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Murderous Maids (2000)

Les blessures assassines (original title)
Based on the true story of two chambermaids (the Papin sisters) of 1930s France who murdered their employer and her daughter.


4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Isabelle Renauld ...
Dominique Labourier ...
François Levantal ...
Le Gazé
Jean-Gabriel Nordmann ...
Tessa Szczeciniarz ...
Charlotte Guille ...
Emilia Papin (13 ans)
Marie Donnio ...
Geneviève Lancelin
Camille Leproust ...
Nadia Barentin ...
La mère supérieure
Lily Boulogne ...
Jean Terensier ...
Alain Rimoux ...
Le maire


On February 2nd 1933, in the town of Le Mans, in the West of France, two sisters, Christine Papin, 27, and her younger sister Léa Papin, 21, brutally killed their employer Mrs. Ancelin and her daughter Geneviève. Why did they commit this horrifying murder? As a result of an unhappy childhood? Because they could no longer stand being commanded and exploited by arrogant bourgeois employers? Because their incestuous relationship had been exposed? The film tries to answer these questions and make us understand why and how the two sisters turned from meek sheep to bloody monsters. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

22 November 2000 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Murderous Maids  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$19,992 (USA) (19 April 2002)


$225,390 (USA) (22 November 2002)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Visa d'exploitation en France # 96540. See more »


Christine: [to her sister Lea on her first of work] And always speak to them in third person. Aunt Isabelle said a master is three people. the one he is, the one others think he is and the one he believes he is. Always address the last one.
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Version of Les abysses (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

Words can't really explain the range the depth of this film
19 November 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Let us be very clear from the beginning, the person who came up with Murderous Maids could not have seen or understood the film. The Injured Assassins, or Injured Killers (assassins just sounds better to me) is much more evocative of the feel and content of the story. For this is not the story of a murder, but the story of two sisters who happen into murder.

First, Sylvie Testud is superb, restrained yet full of emotion, humble but full of pride, cold but full of love.

Many people have commented on the class warfare. The Jean Genet play takes that to an extreme. Some have been pulled in by the story of incest and illicit love between sisters. Denis walks deftly across these problems and presents a story that unfolds itself authentically and truly.

The mother in this movie did give me problems, she seems nicer than her effect on the girls, but remember who it is that puts them in the convent, and how she hides the secret of the oldest sister's pain using it only as a weapon to inflict damage upon Christine (Testud).

As the film came to the climax I briefly thought of Chabrol's Le Ceremonie, but that is another story, another film. Though depressing and slow, but not a second too long, this is a seriously important film for those who value the intensity with which cinema can bring the truth to light.

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