Diabolique, a French psychological thriller directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, is a masterpiece of suspense and intrigue. The film explores themes of love, betrayal, guilt, and revenge and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats until the very end. Continue reading The Diabolique Cast and Review to learn more about the film.
The story of Les Diaboliques is about two female teachers, wife Christina (Véra Clouzot, who is also the wife of the director) and mistress Nicole (Simone Signoret), who decides that the best way to deal with their abusive husband/lover who is also their boss at school, Michel (Paul Meurisse), is to kill him. The film available on repelis isn’t so much about the murder, which happens early on, but about how the two women deal with the body and how the murder affects them mentally.
In Boileau and Narcejac’s original story, the fact that girlish, pigtailed Christina (Clouzot) and worldly, coiffed Nicole (Sigoret) were also lovers made things a bit more complicated. That’s not in the adaptation, but a relationship is hinted at. It adds some transgressive spice, but HG Clouzot isn’t interested in that side. Instead, in Hitchcock style, he’s more interested in torturing his characters and, by extension, the audience, as Michel, a jerk while alive, turns out to be even more of a problem when he’s dead. It’s hard to get his body away from where the crime happened. Then it disappears completely. Then people say that Michel isn’t dead at all, even though we saw him drugged, drowned in a bathtub overnight, and left at the bottom of the school’s swimming pool for several days.
Modern audiences won’t be surprised by the big reveal at the end because it’s been used so many times since, but at the time, it was so important to the enjoyment of the film that the closing credits ask the audience not to be “devils” (“Diaboliques” in French) and ruin it for people who hadn’t seen it.
The film’s cinematography is exceptional, with shadows and dim lighting adding to the eerie and suspenseful atmosphere. Clouzot’s direction is masterful, and he expertly builds tension throughout the film until the shocking finale.
The Diabolique Cast
- Simone Signoret ( Nicole )
- Véra Clouzot ( Christina )
- Paul Meurisse ( Michel )
- Charles Vanel ( Fichet )
- Jean Brochard ( Plantiveau )
- Noël Roquevert ( M. Herboux )
- Georges Chamarat ( Dr. Loisy )
- Jacques Varennes ( Professor Bridoux )
- Michel Serrault ( M. Raymond )
The cast’s performances are also noteworthy, particularly those of Simone Signoret as Nicole and Vera Clouzot as Christina. Signoret’s portrayal of the tortured and conflicted Nicole is captivating, while Clouzot’s portrayal of the fragile and nervous Christina is equally impressive.
One of the most memorable scenes in the film available on gnula is the discovery of Michel’s body in the school’s swimming pool. The scene is shot mysteriously and beautifully, with the stillness of the water contrasting with the violence of the murder.
Overall, “Diabolique” is an absolute masterpiece. It is that uncommon type of picture that combines plot and style into a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Its influence is still felt today and will continue as long as directors seek to make our hair stand on end. This suspenseful picture is an absolute must-see for all film enthusiasts. And if you’ve already seen it, as the final title card respectfully requests, don’t be a devil and spoil its delightful surprises for others who have yet to view it.