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Diabolique (1955)

Les diaboliques (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Horror | 21 November 1955 (USA)
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The wife and mistress of a loathed school principal hatch a plan to murder him while having the perfect alibi. They carry out the plan...but then his body disappears.

Director:

Henri-Georges Clouzot (as H.G. Clouzot)

Writers:

Pierre Boileau (novel) (as Boileau), Thomas Narcejac (novel) (as Narcejac) | 4 more credits »
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Top Rated Movies #238 | 4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Simone Signoret ... Nicole Horner
Véra Clouzot ... Christina Delassalle (as Vera Clouzot)
Paul Meurisse ... Michel Delassalle
Charles Vanel ... Alfred Fichet, le commissaire
Jean Brochard ... Plantiveau, le concierge
Thérèse Dorny Thérèse Dorny ... Mme. Herboux
Michel Serrault ... M. Raymond, le surveillant
Georges Chamarat ... Dr. Loisy
Robert Dalban ... Le garagiste
Camille Guérini Camille Guérini ... Le photographe (as Camille Guerini)
Jacques Hilling Jacques Hilling ... L'employé de la morgue
Jean Lefebvre ... Le soldat
Aminda Montserrat Aminda Montserrat ... Madame Plantiveau
Jean Témerson Jean Témerson ... Le garçon d'hôtel (as Jean Temerson)
Jacques Varennes ... M. Bridoux, professeur
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Great Suspense Film That Shocked the World... And Became A Classic. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

21 November 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Devils See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Filmsonor, Vera Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (A.R.T.E.C.)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite losing out on the chance to make the film, Alfred Hitchcock was a big fan of Diabolique (1955). Indeed, some state that it bore an influence on the making of Psycho (1960). See more »

Goofs

When Michel is unconscious on the bed, his shoes are off. A few minutes later when Nicole and Christina pick him up and put him in the bathtub, his shoes are suddenly back on. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Plantiveau, le concierge: Headmaster!
Michel Delassalle: Yes.
Plantiveau, le concierge: Isn't it time I rang the bell?
Michel Delassalle: It's okay. I'll unload the car myself.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The movie ends with a text screen commenting on what the viewer has witnessed, and a request not to spoil the ending for those who are planning to see the movie. See more »

Alternate Versions

USA release in 1955 ran 107 minutes rather than 116 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Le diaboliche (1987) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Hold your breath suspense
18 December 1998 | by mantoneSee all my reviews

Les Diaboliques is one of the tightest, pure suspense movies I have ever seen. The story starts out slowly, but as it moves on, peculiar things start to happen. This movie keeps you guessing in such a way, you are riveted to your seat, hoping for a quick resolution to the suspense. Yet, as the story unfolds, the suspense deepens. The final scene of the movie had me sitting back holding my breath.

This movie does not offer cheap, pop out and scare you tactics. Rather, it makes the viewer expect things to happen that don't. You wait on the edge of your seat for the quick jump out and scare you event to take place, but instead, it sneaks up from behind you. What an effect!

Les Diaboliques is a classic film that delivers the complete suspense package. It's not surprising that many suspense movies of the modern era have tried to copy the plot. This movie is well worth renting in a video store, if you can find it.


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