7.6/10
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Le Boucher (1970)

Le boucher (original title)
An unlikely friendship between a dour, working class butcher and a repressed schoolteacher coincides with a grisly series of Ripper-type murders in a provincial French town.

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Antonio Passalia ...
Angelo
Pascal Ferone ...
Père Cahrpy / Uncle Cahrpy
Mario Beccara ...
Léon Hamel
William Guérault ...
Charles
Roger Rudel ...
Commissaire Grumbach / Inspector Grumbach

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Storyline

Butcher Popaul meets schoolteacher Helene at a wedding in a small rural French village. They become friends. But girls are murdered in the area and Helene finds at the scene the lighter she gave Popaul... Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

19 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le Boucher  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The third film that Jean Yanne and Claude Chabrol worked on. See more »

Goofs

When the blood from a murder victim drips down onto a girl from a cliff above, the hand shown dripping the blood looks fake. See more »

Quotes

Hélène: A crime is awful! Think of the poor girl!
Popaul: I've seen a corpse or two - their heads in the wind, cut in half, mouth open. I've seen three or four piled together. Kids with their eyes punctured. Indo-Chinese as old as Madame Tirrant completely torn to bits. I've seen pals of mine rotting in the sun, being eaten by maggots.
Butcher shop customer: Yes, war is a horrible thing. That's a fact, but murder like this - it's barbaric!
Popaul: We counted corpses by the truckload, so... I'm rambling.
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Connections

Referenced in Butterfly (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Capri Petite Île
by Dominique Zardi
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User Reviews

 
Gallic Hitchcock?
24 August 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Hitchcock comparisons abound with Chabrol. However, you may be hard pressed to see anything other than a superficial similarity between them here.

Although nicely acted and crafted, 'Le Boucher' has a curious sense of disengagement that will either fascinate or frustrate viewers. While not necessarily a bad thing in itself, this can also give the impression of a lack of depth. It's hard to fully discern what the character motivations are so, depending on your proclivity, you are likely to become either enthralled or disinterested in what they might actually be.

Viewers familiar with Francois Truffaut will notice some similarities in approach but Chabrol lacks the concise poetry of that other French great. Even though the opening wedding sequence nicely sets up a scene of normality for the events that follow, it's rather overlong and a more Hitchcockian terseness would certainly have helped.

Still, the film does have a strange charm and there are some excellent character ideas regarding the schoolteacher (content with her celibacy long after a bad relationship) being seduced? threatened? by the promise of new love from the local butcher - who may or may not be a murderer. These threads are either unexplored or deliberately withheld, depending on your point of view.

A worthwhile watch for those interested but, possibly, not quite the masterpiece some might lead you to believe it is.


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