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

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  21 November 1955 (USA)
8.2
Your rating:
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 37,167 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.

Director:

(as H.G. Clouzot)

Writers:

(novel) (as Boileau) , (novel) (as Narcejac) , 4 more credits »
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Cast

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
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Great Suspense Film That Shocked the World... And Became A Classic. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

21 November 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Diabolique  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(A.R.T.E.C.)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

It is believed that Henri-Georges Clouzot actually served rotten fish to Véra Clouzot in order to get a genuine reaction from her. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in The 100 Greatest Scary Moments (2003) 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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