8.1/10
56,128
174 user 133 critic

Diabolique (1955)

Les diaboliques (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Horror | 21 November 1955 (USA)
Trailer
1:14 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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 »
Reviews
Top Rated Movies #232 | 4 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a decrepit South American village, four men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Stars: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter van Eyck
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A waifish prostitute wanders the streets of Rome looking for true love but finds only heartbreak.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Giulietta Masina, François Périer, Franca Marzi
The 400 Blows (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier
Certificate: Passed Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In 1431, Jeanne d'Arc is placed on trial on charges of heresy. The ecclesiastical jurists attempt to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, André Berley
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Fredric March
Paper Moon (1973)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

During the Great Depression, a con man finds himself saddled with a young girl who may or may not be his daughter, and the two forge an unlikely partnership.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal, Madeline Kahn
Rebecca (1940)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A self-conscious woman juggles adjusting to her new role as an aristocrat's wife and avoiding being intimidating by his first wife's spectral presence.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders
Sunrise (1927)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh - one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau
Stars: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston
Tokyo Story (1953)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura
Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George
Paris, Texas (1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Travis Henderson, an aimless drifter who has been missing for four years, wanders out of the desert and must reconnect with society, himself, his life, and his family.

Director: Wim Wenders
Stars: Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell
Edit

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
Edit

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:

See it, be amazed at it, but... BE QUIET ABOUT IT! (original Finnish poster tagline) See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Some twelve weeks into the production, Simone Signoret received notice that rehearsals had begun for a stage version of "The Crucible" in which she was starring. She had originally thought there would be no conflict since the shoot was only supposed to go eight weeks and wrap a solid month before The Crucible rehearsals started. Henri-Georges Clouzot would not rearrange the shooting schedule to accommodate her and she had to go straight from the set to rehearsals for the play, get a few hours of sleep in between (maybe) and start over again. 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 Ring (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Perhaps the greatest suspense film ever
14 October 2004 | by andyman618See all my reviews

Another terrific suspense film from Henri-Georges Clouzot, Les Diaboliques (also known as "Diabolique") is a tense story of murder, suspicion and revenge. The plot revolves around two women, Christina (Vera Clouzot) and Nicole (Simone Signoret) who conspire to murder the brutish man who is Christina's husband and Nicole's lover Michel, played by the delightfully sullen Paul Meurisse. He is the principal of a boarding school for boys who relies on Vera's money to support his excesses, and the two women are both teachers at the school.

Vera has her doubts about committing murder, even though Michel is incredibly abusive. But Nicole convinces her to help drug and then drown Michel. All seems to be going well until Michels body goes missing and the two women turn against each other. The situation is complicated further by the appearance of a retired police inspector who is determined to help Vera find her "missing" husband, despite the poor woman's protests. The tension continues to mount until the hair-raising climax.

This movie is on a par with some of Hitchcock's best work, although Clouzot doesn't mix much humor in with the suspense, as Hitch often did. However, Vera's interaction with the droll inspector does provides some chuckles. Unlike his previous film, The Wages Of Fear, Clouzot doesn't spend a whole lot of time on the set-up of the plot, but gets right to the meat of the matter, and from there Diabolique rolls along very quickly with barely a letup in the action.

I can't believe it took me so long to see this masterpiece. Highly recommended.


66 of 94 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 174 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed