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The Unfaithful Wife (1969)
"La femme infidèle" (original title)

M  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  10 November 1969 (USA)
7.5
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Charles Desvallées has good reasons to believe that his wife is cheating on him and hires a P.D. in order to prove himself right. Once he knows the lover is writer Victor Pégala, he drives ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Michel Duchaussoy ...
Police Officer Duval
Maurice Ronet ...
Louise Chevalier ...
Maid
Louise Rioton ...
Mamy, Charles'mother-in Law
Serge Bento ...
Bignon
Henri Marteau ...
Paul
Guy Marly ...
Police Officer Gobet
François Moro-Giafferi ...
Frederic
Albert Minski ...
King Club owner (as Albert Minsky)
Dominique Zardi ...
Truck driver
Michel Charrel ...
Policeman
Henri Attal ...
Man in cafe
Jean-Marie Arnoux ...
False Witness
Edit

Storyline

Charles Desvallées has good reasons to believe that his wife is cheating on him and hires a P.D. in order to prove himself right. Once he knows the lover is writer Victor Pégala, he drives to his apartment, calmly presents himself as the husband, starts a conversation and then kills him cold-bloodedly. The police trace the wife but when she discovers by accident a picture that could incriminate her husband she decides to remain silent. Written by Bernard Dionne <guero@globetrotter.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Psycho-Sexual Study in Murder!

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

10 November 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Unfaithful Wife  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Desvallées house furniture was supplied by Raoul Guiraud. See more »

Connections

References Doctor Zhivago (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Chabrol's cinematographic language.
26 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

They often say that if someone wanted to see a French bourgeois circa 1970,watching Michel Bouquet in a Claude Chabrol movie was enough!Three times he portrayed this kind of character (this movie,"la rupture" and "juste avant la nuit").Three times he teamed up with the director's ex-wife ,the luminous Stephane Audran(twice as her husband ,once as.. her father-in -law )and together they worked wonders -contemporary Chabrol movies suffer from the dearth of great actors -in "merci pour le chocolat ,how could Jacques Dutronc equal the peerless Bouquet?

Unlike "les biches" which has not worn well because of its subject (bisexual women),once daring,now trite,"la femme infidèle" deals with an eternal story:the love triangle ,and it completely renews it:take the first thirty minutes:it is primarily a depiction of the bourgeois dolce vita: the desirable mansion,the servants ,the good little boy who makes a clean sweep of all the prizes and snubs the telly ,the chic nightclubbing....And when the tragic events occur ,it seems that they accidentally happen:who knows if ,Had Bouquet not found the lighter...Hitchcock's lovers will notice the nod to "psycho" when Bouquet gets rid of the body.

Bouquet and Audran talk to each other but they do not really communicate:here lies Chabrol's talent;when at the end ,they try to establish a true relation,they do not use words anymore:looks,gestures, speak louder than words.The jig-saw puzzle is also a good dramatic element and reflects the couple's confusion.As for the last sequence it's not at all what the audience is expecting:no cries or despair ,but a thoroughly silent scene ,where Chabrol enhances the beauty of the nature which surrounds his characters.Chabrol's thrillers of this golden era,although their endings are full of sound and fury,achieve the feat of leaving the viewer with a feeling of quietness:Michel Duchaussoy (here a cop) sailing away in "que la bête meure" ; Audran ,looking at the still waters of a pond in the dark night in "le boucher" or enjoying a balloon release in "la rupture" ;the couple Audran/Bouquet ,turning off the light for what may be his last night in "juste avant la nuit".

As for this abstract communication,Chabrol would take it to its absolute perfection with "le boucher" ,his towering achievement:besides ,like in "la femme infidèle" ,a lighter (coincidence?) plays a prominent part.

Audran's character is called Hélène.This first name would remain for three more movies (le boucher,la rupture,juste avant la nuit).And Chabrol WOULD NEVER FORGET gastronomy:here ,he gives us a piece of advice about crepe flambé.

Remake with Richard Gere,Diane Lane and Vincent Perez taking on Bouquet's Audran's and Maurice Ronet's parts.


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