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

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  21 November 1955 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 38,709 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 »
0Check in
Top Rated Movies #194 | 4 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In a decrepit South American village, men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Stars: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter van Eyck
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.

Directors: Charles Laughton, Robert Mitchum, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
The 400 Blows (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Moving story of a young boy who, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier
Touch of Evil (1958)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.

Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Stars: Brahim Hadjadj, Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi
La Strada (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A care-free girl is sold to a traveling entertainer, consequently enduring physical and emotional pain along the way.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina, Richard Basehart
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Three WWII veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a murder trial, the defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. What is the truth, and will he win his case?

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A poor Midwest family is forced off of their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine
Persona (1966)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A nurse is put in charge of an actress who can't talk and finds that the actress's persona is melding with hers.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A war-hardened general, egged on by his ambitious wife, works to fulfill a prophecy that he would become lord of Spider's Web Castle.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Minoru Chiaki, Isuzu Yamada


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


Don't Reveal the Ending! 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?


Last film of Jean Témerson before his death. 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 »


Version of House of Secrets (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Watch this film alone......and be afraid.
6 July 2003 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Are you alone? good. Have you turned off the lights? good.Is there a storm brewing in that dark foreboding sky?Excellent. Do you like brilliant black and white movies? Wonderful.Now, sit back and enjoy the best of the best. This is quite simply the best psychological thriller ever made.Often imitated but never bettered. If you have a problem with subtitled films then don't worry because you will understand this film without reading them. If you want slash and gore, go elsewhere.If you want sophisticated entertainment,you've come to the right place.Georges Cluzot's finest work is a thing of beauty as is his wife Vera, who stars opposite Simone Signoret as the schoolmaster's wife.From the very start it is very clear that all is not as it seems. But why? and who? What is the terrible secret of the swimming pool and later on, the bathtub? As the tension builds to an unbearable climax, we sit and hide behind our hands, peering through the gaps in our fingers.Oh my God!! it can't be!.....it is! Do not confuse this movie with the disgraceful remake starring Sharon Stone. All copies of that disaster should be burned. Watch this movie if you are a serious film buff. Rent something else if you have the attention span of a goldfish.Brilliant. 10/10

137 of 180 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
Loved it...but... derbyStar16
Not that my mind is in the gutter, but... thirteenpunkemos
Almost back in the Top 250 G1ant
Discuss Diabolique (1955) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: