A tyrant schoolteacher - Delasalle (Paul Meurisse) in a seedy boarding school has both his wife (Vera Clouzot) and his mistress (Simone Signoret) looking for a way out as he maltreats them both. They decide to work together to murder their tormentor. The two women drown Delasalle in the bath then dump the body in a swimming pool. When the pool is drained and no body found they start to worry. When his suit is returned, cleaned, they start to panic. Is he alive? Does someone else know? A spiral of perfectly crafted tension hurtles you to an unparalleled conclusion and an ending you will never forget!
Brilliant and influential French film
- Les Diaboliques review by PV
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You rated this film: 5
This film works. Why? It's got a GREAT script - and the fact that the director, the actors and everyone else remembers that is why it works, even though it's a bit dated now. It was updated in the 70s or 80s - but this first version is better. It is genuinely creepy - far more than any horror movie - and keeps the audience guessing. The tension crackles right till the end. One of the best films ever made - in France or anywhere. Watch it and learn.
Have heard loads of great stuff about this movie so thought I would give it a go. I have to say I was impressed. Considering its age this film stands up amazingly well in todays special effects soaked cinema. Watch it! you'll never guess the ending........
This French dark comedy is a masterpiece. A good plot, good acting and beautiful black and white photography. If you don't like old films you will be pleasantly surprised, if you do, it is fantastic. Theatrical acting is the usual spoiler for these but this (although a little dramatic in parts) is well played even by today's wooden standards.