All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
See it, be amazed at it, but... BE QUIET ABOUT IT!
Les Diaboliques is a mystery thriller from French director Henri-Georges Clouzot about a triangle relationship that leads to murder.The wife of a cruel headmaster and his mistress conspire to kill him, but after the murder is committed his body disappears, and strange events begin to plague the two women.
I finished this film just moments ago, and I immediately want to go tell the world what I just saw. But I cant. Because at the end, a little message scrolled past that told me not to ruin the surprise. Diabolique is very interesting in the fact that a movie released in 1955, 58 years ago, is still making its audiences keep quiet about the ending. I have to thank the fans of the movie who didnt spoil this for me, and I will become one of those people who will carry the secret of this film to my grave.
Well, thats a little extreme, but I feel its justified in this context. The twist is simple, but planned…
Part of my 2012-1932 project
If there has ever been a movie equipped with the ability to have the viewer(s) glued to the screen while chewing on their arms as they have no nails nor fingers left, it must be Les diaboliques.
I had no doubts about Clouzot's claim to the throne of French master of suspence, after having seen La salaire de la peur, but Les diaboliques is a step up in my book.
It takes its time, meticulously building up to the crime, and establishing motives. And although it's nowhere near boring, the true perfection is the second half, when the suspence is turned up to 11. Incredible tension, and here we're also treated to some great direction from Clouzot as well, especially in the build up to the penultimate scene. Masterful!
The suffocating atmosphere that clasps its hands round the throat of the two women at the heart of its story is but one of the many elements that make Diabolique such a masterful piece of genre cinema. The Hitchcock references are obvious and somewhat a little unfairly associated with the film as it serves to undermine the ingenuity of director Henri-Georges Clouzot.
Set almost exclusively in the grounds of a boarding school, the initial set-up already gives off a stench of immorality that is a time-bomb waiting to explode. Michel, the brutish, strict headmaster lives the best of both worlds married to the worn down Christina whilst openly engaging in an affair with the more confident Nicole. Given his belligerent…
I finished watching this last night, typing this out in a well-lit room with all the lights on in the house.
A thriller hasn't done that to me in I don't know how long! It's an amazing movie and very well put together - a slow build is the best build. The characters of Nicole & Christina were believable and three-dimensional - many differing thoughts and little twists change your thinking on how this will play out. The children in the boarding school were great as well, who swore and acted out and really felt authentic which I don't think you'd see had it been done in Hollywood (I don't think I'll be watching the 1996 remake). That ending was outstanding, an instant classic for me - it gave me a vibe of both Alien & No Country For Old Men. I'll leave it at that.
I have it on DVD and will be upgrading to bluray on the next Criterion sale.
The Good: Cold, eerie, atmospheric, suspenseful, heart-stopping, twisty goodness.
The Bad: I didn't find it as great as the first time I saw it.
The Bottom Line: A.K.A. "I Can't Believe It's Not Hitchcock." The granddaddy of all twist endings comes recommended.
Need to see again
Film 5 of my Unseen Alphabet
I haven't been thrilled that much during a movie in a long time. Modern day action-thrillers just don't cut it. This is the real deal. Les Diaboliques is the endlessly inventive tale of a murder, and the enormous sense of paranoia that accompanies the criminal. As we watch, we feel the impact of the revelations as though they were happening to us. It was incredibly gut-wrenching to watch the poor woman go through so much, and the ending. Oh, it's one of those endings where the director asks not to divulge any of it to our friends. Superb.
It impressed me from the very beginning. We open at a school, we meet the staff,…
I’ve been meaning to see this for a while and, spurred on by how much I dug The Wages of Fear, I finally took the plunge. Not as emotionally intense as Wages, but more silly and fun and Hitchcockian. Great performances from the two leading ladies, wonderful use of shadows and obscuring angles and deep dark frames. Great movie. Hilarious final frame (I won’t, Henri, I won’t!).
Do not let anyone ruin the film's secrets for you. I will keep this one short and say this: nearly sixty years on and that virtuoso ending can still affect a horribly desensitized new generation. Not a perfect film; but mostly brilliant, and very, very misleading. Any excess of detail is likely to afford an unwanted peek around one of its many, twisty corners. The shiver of dread is still embedded in my mind and beneath my skin. Diabolique speaks from a heart which is seemingly bruised but absolutely intact. Must watch more Clouzot films as this guy has been plausibly bracketed with the great Hitchcock on numerous occasions.
A masterclass in suspense.
One of my occasional and risky indulgences is to buy a Criterion film without having seen it and hoping for the best. It hasn't failed me so far (I loved both REPULSION and THE UNINVITED, and KISS ME DEADLY is now one of my all-time favourites), and DIABOLIQUE is no different.
This atmospheric thriller/horror is at least on par with Hitchcock's best (who apparently just barely missed out on making this by a few hours, and so he is always mentioned in relation to this movie). The tension runs at an intense high through almost every scene, and yet there are still moments of wonderful humour ("Midnight baths! The decline of Rome!").
The suspense is some of the best-handled I have ever witnessed, all leading up to a phenomenal final ten minutes (and as the film suggests at the end, I won't spoil it). Brilliant.
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
- Pulp Fiction
most recent update - Thursday, March 6, 2014, 11:42 PM EST
The letterboxd crew has unveiled a new feature that…
- The Shawshank Redemption
- The Godfather
- The Godfather: Part II
- Pulp Fiction
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Some love it, some hate it, but I figured we might as well have the IMDb list here. Since it's…