Diabolique (1955)
"Les diaboliques" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  21 November 1955 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 38,714 users  
Reviews: 147 user | 105 critic

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.


(as H.G. Clouzot)


(novel) (as Boileau) , (novel) (as Narcejac) , 4 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christina Delassalle (as Vera Clouzot)
Paul Meurisse ...
Alfred Fichet, le commissaire
Plantiveau, le concierge
Thérèse Dorny ...
Mme. Herboux
M. Raymond, le surveillant
Georges Chamarat ...
Dr. Loisy
Robert Dalban ...
Le garagiste
Camille Guérini ...
Le photographe (as Camille Guerini)
Jacques Hilling ...
L'employé de la morgue
Le soldat
Aminda Montserrat ...
Madame Plantiveau
Jean Témerson ...
Le garçon d'hôtel (as Jean Temerson)
Jacques Varennes ...
M. Bridoux, professeur


The wife and mistress of a sadistic boarding school headmaster plot to kill him. They drown him in the bathtub and dump the body in the school's filthy swimming pool... but when the pool is drained, the body has disappeared - and subsequent reported sightings of the headmaster slowly drive his 'killers' (and the audience) up the wall with almost unbearable suspense... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


See it, be amazed at it, but... BE QUIET ABOUT IT! (original Finnish poster tagline) See more »


Drama | Horror | Thriller


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

21 November 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Diabolique  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Véra Clouzot went up and down in spirits and when Henri-Georges Clouzot and Simone Signoret would begin to fight, she would "arbitrate or pour oil on troubled waters, depending on the state she was in." The three of them, not unnoticed by observers on the set, mirrored the three characters of the movie, with Henri-Georges Clouzot standing in for Michel. See more »


[first lines]
Plantiveau, le concierge: Headmaster!
Michel Delassalle: Yes.
Plantiveau, le concierge: Isn't it time I rang the bell?
Michel Delassalle: It's okay. I'll unload the car myself.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The movie ends with a text screen commenting on what the viewer has witnessed, and a request not to spoil the ending for those who are planning to see the movie. See more »


Referenced in House on Haunted Hill (1959) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Great Thriller - See It As Soon As You Can
23 May 2001 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

"Les Diaboliques" has one of the best plots you will ever find in any mystery or suspense thriller. The excellent directing, acting, and writing combine with the story itself to make it a memorable experience.

If you enjoy quality mysteries or thrillers, you will almost certainly enjoy this one - and if you have not seen it yet, you might just want to buy or rent it now, before you read any more reviews. This comment will avoid any discussion at all of the actual plot itself, because the less you know in advance, the more you will enjoy it. The few implausible elements in the story do not detract at all from the enjoyment.

A great plot does not all by itself make a good movie, and everything works especially well here because of the expert pacing by director Henri-Georges Clouzot and good, mostly understated acting by the main actors. We are drawn into their world very nicely. Everything about the characters and events is built up perfectly, to give the brilliant climax its full effect. Once again, see it before you find out any more.

Even if you do not normally watch black-and-white films or foreign movies (this is in French), if you enjoy thrillers, watch "Les Diaboliques" as soon as you have the chance.

65 of 85 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Psycho or Les Diaboliques? zaxor99
Is it just me or did Peter Falk lift his 'Columbo' character from here? raketex
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Loved it...but... derbyStar16
Not that my mind is in the gutter, but... thirteenpunkemos
Almost back in the Top 250 G1ant
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