Diabolique (1955) - Plot Summary Poster


Plot Summary

  • 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>
  • In a French provincial town, Michel Delassalle, a sadistic headmaster of a school belonging to his wife Christina, a fragile young woman with a weak heart, carries on an affair with Nicole Horner, a strong, forceful teacher who has been his mistress from the day she arrived. He has, however, treated her as badly as his wife, and the two women have been driven into an alliance against him. Together they work out an elaborate plan to rid themselves of their common tormentor. Luring him away from the school to Nocole's cheap lodging house, they induce him to drink some doctored whiskey - and drown him in a bath. The body is later wrapped in a nylon tablecloth, packed into a laundry basket, taken back to the school, and at dark tipped into the grimy water of the school swimming pool. When, shortly after, the pool is drained, watched in anguished expectation from a window by the women, no corpse is there. Soon other mysterious events begin to occur...

    - Written by alfiehitchie
  • Christina Delasalle suffers greatly at the hands of her brutish husband Michel. She inherited the boys boarding school they run but it's clearly Michel who is in charge. With Nicole Horner - one of the teachers and Michel's former lover - they decide to kill him. They lure him to Nicole's house where he is drugged and drowned in the bath. They then dispose of his body in the school murky and algae-filled swimming pool. After several days, his body fails to float up to the surface and when the pool is drained, his body is nowhere to be found. Christina, who has a serious condition, is terrified especially after one of the students says he saw him. By chance, she meets a retired police inspector who decides to look into the case.

    - Written by garykmcd
  • Married Michel and Christina Delassalle are the headmaster and headmistress respectively of Institution Delassalle, a second rate boys boarding school in St. Cloud, outside of Paris. Although Christina officially owns it - she bringing it into their marriage as part of her dowry - Michel effectively makes all the decisions, partly because he wants to show everyone involved that he is in control as the man, and as Christina is a frail woman with a delicate constitution, the primary problem being a weak heart. Their marriage has long been over because of Michel's brutish behavior toward her, although Christina, a devout Catholic, refuses to get a divorce. Michel has openly been having an affair with Nicole Horner, one of the teachers at the school. But even now their relationship is on the rocks as Michel beats her. Nicole convinces Christina that their collective problems can all be solved if they kill Michel. Nicole hatches an elaborate plan to take place over a long weekend: she and Christina will drive down to her house in Niort for the weekend, while Michel is stuck at the school; Christina will make up some ruse for Michel to come to Niort; they will drug and then drown him in Nicole's bathtub; they will then transport the body back to the school before the end of the weekend, dumping the body into the school's murky outdoor pool; the dead body will eventually rise to the surface and thus be discovered. With the successful execution of the plan, Nicole and Christina will have an alibi of being away for the weekend when he would have died by accidentally drowning in the pool. With a few required modifications and a few hiccups along the way, the latter largely due to Christina often losing her nerve, they are able to carry out the plan successfully... or so they believe. However, the body never materializes in the pool, even after the pool is emptied on a pretense. Other strange things happen with regard to a missing Michel which belie what Nicole and Christina believe to be reality. Did someone discover what they did, take the body and will eventually try to blackmail them? Is Michel still alive and just playing with them? Are their minds playing tricks on them? Or is there another reason they just have not thought about as a possibility?

    - Written by Huggo
  • The wife and mistress of a cruel headmaster conspire to kill him; after the murder is committed, his corpse disappears, and strange events begin to plague the two women.


The story takes place in a second-rate boarding school run by the tyrannical and mean Michel Delassalle (Meurisse)...

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