Julie (Jeanne Moreau), a beautiful young bride, has just married her childhood sweetheart and love of her life. But just moments after the ceremony, her beloved is murdered on the steps of the church. Emotionally distraught, Julie becomes obsessed with her bridegroom's death and begins a descent into madness as she relentlessly pursues the men responsible. One by one, Julie sees to their demises, and, with each murder more bone-chilling and diabolically clever than the last, the question is now who will be next - but rather how they will meet their ghastly end.
A Pretty Conceit
- The Bride Wore Black review by NW
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You rated this film: 3
I understand that the critics thought poorly of this film and that Truffaut himself came to agree ... though the plot is an amusing enough conceit and Jeanne Moreau plays beautifully throughout. The flaws, however, are glaring: the murder methods, for example, are so chancy and unreliable as to be practically infeasible; the first twenty minutes or so of the film drop so many puzzling hints with so many logical jumps as to be simply muddling: a sort of logical inadequacy seems to run through. Visually, also, the filming is pretty enough, but somehow struck me as no more than humdrum ... a film you can enjoy watching - well performed - but which leaves an annoying emptiness behind. Of course, I have not read the original book, but my impression is that Truffaut constructed a workaday presentation of its key ideas and scenes but has only cursorily bound them together into a coherent whole. He has not taken the film beyond the bones of the plot, leaving logical lacunae and inconsistencies: hence an empty feeling of slight dissatisfaction.
And yet ...almost … forget the much of the above. In the last twenty minutes everything sharpens up: the earlier flaws remain, but the finish is a climax like a bugle call ... the Sick Call or the Last Post, perhaps.