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

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  21 November 1955 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 37,796 users  
Reviews: 147 user | 104 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
Michel Serrault ...
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 <>

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
See  »

Did You Know?


French visa # 14131 delivered on 26-1-1955. See more »


When Christina drugs Michael on the bed she takes his shoes off, but when she and Nicole carry Michael to the bathtub his shoes are back on. 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 Hollywood Mouth (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Hold your breath suspense
18 December 1998 | by (Denver, CO) – See all my reviews

Les Diaboliques is one of the tightest, pure suspense movies I have ever seen. The story starts out slowly, but as it moves on, peculiar things start to happen. This movie keeps you guessing in such a way, you are riveted to your seat, hoping for a quick resolution to the suspense. Yet, as the story unfolds, the suspense deepens. The final scene of the movie had me sitting back holding my breath.

This movie does not offer cheap, pop out and scare you tactics. Rather, it makes the viewer expect things to happen that don't. You wait on the edge of your seat for the quick jump out and scare you event to take place, but instead, it sneaks up from behind you. What an effect!

Les Diaboliques is a classic film that delivers the complete suspense package. It's not surprising that many suspense movies of the modern era have tried to copy the plot. This movie is well worth renting in a video store, if you can find it.

79 of 105 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
Alfred Fichet, the inspiration for Columbo? cinenoir
Not that my mind is in the gutter, but... thirteenpunkemos
Loved it...but... derbyStar16
Almost back in the Top 250 G1ant
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