Les Diaboliques DVD+Blu-ray
This DVD+Blu-ray is currently unavailable to order
Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
Produced in 1954
Main Language - French with English subtitles
Classic Horror Movies • Classic Mystery Movies • Classic Movies Blu-rays • European Film • French Film • Blu-ray • Crime - Horror • Crime - Mystery • Crime Blu-rays • Classic Horror Movies • World Cinema Horror • Horror Blu-rays
After the success of The Wages of Fear, Henri-Georges Clouzot cemented his reputation with his masterpiece, the brilliantly dark thriller Les Diaboliques, which was an acknowledged influence on Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick among others, and which continues to thrill and terrify.
Based on a novel by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac (who also wrote the novel on which Hitchcock’s Vertigo is based), Les Diaboliques tells the story of a sadistic headmaster (Paul Meurisse) who brutalises his wife and mistress (Véra Clouzot and Simone Signoret) and their plot to murder him. Superbly edited with nail-biting suspense, the two women murder the headmaster and dump the body in the swimming pool - but when the pool is drained no corpse is found. An unsettling and beautifully-paced study of betrayal, mistrust and guilt, Les Diaboliques is atmospherically shot in black and white, its murky tones reflecting the moral ambiguity of its principals.
Publisher: Arrow Films
Length: 117 mins
Format: DVD+Blu-ray B&W
Released: 25th April 2011
Cat No: FCD474
- Brand new transfer from a new High Definition restoration of the original film negative
- Audio commentary by Susan Hayward, author of Les diaboliques (Cine-file French Film Guides)
- Original Trailer
- Filmed interview with Ginette Vincendeau, French cinema scholar, critic and author
- Brand new writing on the film by author and critic Brad Stevens and a reprinted interview with Clouzot by Paul Schrader illustrated with stills and rare original set drawings by Léon Barsacq
- Artwork presentation packaging including original posters and a newly commissioned artwork cover.
by Barry Forshaw on 14th April 2014
The Arrow Blu-ray of Les Diaboliques is the perfect reason to take another look at this highly influential suspense classic. But what about the original authors? Their... Read on
The Arrow Blu-ray of Les Diaboliques is the perfect reason to take another look at this highly influential suspense classic. But what about the original authors? Their influence on crime novels and cinema has been prodigious – so why isn't the critical stock of Boileau & Narcejac higher? When Alfred Hitchcock saw the effect on audiences of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Les Diaboliques/The Fiends (1955), he realised that this Hitchcockian French film – with its superb orchestration of suspense (including horror in a bathroom) and twist-filled plotting of immense ingenuity – would have been absolutely perfect material for him, and subsequently proceeded to make a film utilising very similar tactics, Psycho (1960).
In the original novel of Les Diaboliques, Ravinel has drowned his wife Mireille in her bath, and (aided by his mistress Lucienne) he has dropped her body into a river to suggest suicide. But as Mireille is dead, how is she able to correspond with him from beyond the grave? (Details were tweaked for Clouzot’s film). Regrettably, the plot for the Les Diaboliques has subsequently been borrowed so often, it is now over-familiar, but as well as being one of the most effective films in crime cinema – a piece that still carries a charge even in our seen-it-all era – Clouzot’s classic was groundbreakingly influential. Apart from the matchless black-and white cinematography, it is, of course, the impeccable performances that still register: a glowering Simone Signoret, a sneering Paul Meurisse, and (most memorably) Vera Clouzot’s vulnerability as the terrified wife. Nepotism (for once) earns an honourable place here with Clouzot’s casting of his wife. A forgettable American re-make with Sharon Stone can be… forgotten. Hide
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