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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 37,926 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?


Two women drive from the outskirts of Paris to Niort, the birthplace of director Henri-Georges Clouzot. 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 The Beyond (1981) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Devil You Say
10 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

The odds against writing and directing two all-time classic thrillers/suspensers back to back must be fairly remote, featuring your wife in both remoter still, and starring Yves Montand in the first (The Wages Of Fear, in case there are any first-time buyers out there) and his wife, Simone Signoret in the second, astronomical. Say hello - and tip your hat while you're about it - to Henri-George Clouzot who pulled off this double whammy with ease. Clouzot made only a handful of films but those he did make were worth seeing, from Le Corbeau thru L'Assassin habite du 21 thru Quai des Orfevres and up to Wages and this one. Again many previous commenters have set the scene and described the plot and most of them are more than positive in their praise. I can only endorse their opinions and raise a glass to all involved especially Paul Meurisse and Charles Vanel who tend to get lost in the shuffle. 9/10

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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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