In a peaceful little town, three women are murdered. Oddly enough the killer has left a black snail shell on each of the bodies. It takes the unusual talents of Lavardin, assisted by Mario, the local inspector, to solve this mystery.

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(characters created by), (original scenario) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mario David ...
Mario, l'inspecteur
...
Pierre Tassin
Jean-Louis Maury ...
Jean-Philippe Picolet
François Perrot ...
Me Legodard
Catherine Rouvel ...
Florence
Roger Carel ...
Le médecin légiste
...
Catherine
Raphaël Almosni
Jean-Marie Arnoux ...
Jérôme
Eric Averlant ...
Le boucher
Guy Bacquie
Julie Baraduc
Lucien Barjon ...
Duchesne, le curé
Françoise Bertin ...
La mère de Martine
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Storyline

In a peaceful little town, three women are murdered. Oddly enough the killer has left a black snail shell on each of the bodies. It takes the unusual talents of Lavardin, assisted by Mario, the local inspector, to solve this mystery.

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Crime

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Release Date:

15 September 1988 (Italy)  »

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Here comes Lavardin again
20 December 2009 | by See all my reviews

In the eighties, Claude Chabrol's career faltered between fiascoes including "Le Cheval D'Orgueil" (1980), "Le Cri Du Hibou" (1987) and successes that encompassed "Masques" (1987) and the series of investigations led by deadpan inspector Lavardin in Poulet Au Vinaigre (1985) and the chapter with the eponymous title (1986). The success garnered by the two films prompted Chabrol to shoot a TV series with this eccentric character resolving investigations with his peculiar manners. "L'Escargot Noir" was the first of four installments released on French TV in September 1988.

In the small, lovely town of Chinon, women are murdered with black snails next to them. Lavardin (Jean Poiret) has to find the culprit. Although it's a modest TV film, all the ingredients Chabrol developed throughout his filmography are well present here. Beginning with the backdrop: Chinon is a beautiful provincial town, so it's the perfect scenery to reveal dark, tawdry secrets. Then, Jean Poiret was irreplaceable in the role of Lavardin and it was always a pleasure to see him leading his investigations and resolving them through odd ways. The film has the look of a whodunit with its clues and logical progression. It also features a gallery of strange even neurotic characters who have something to hide. In the end, a cinematographic pleasure is guaranteed for all. And this modest TV film starring ex Mrs Chabrol (Stéphane Audran) is superior to many Chabrol's duds.

At last, Chinon is a beautiful, small town I visited many times. So, it was funny to see familiar places used for a whodunit. And it is said that when Chabrol created his work, he spent a lot of time with Jean Poiret hanging around the restaurants of the town...


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