6.6/10
696
3 user 6 critic

Bluebeard (1963)

Landru (original title)
Follows a family-man who meets women through lonely hearts ads.

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(scenario), (dialogue)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Célestine Buisson
... Berthe Heon
... Mme X. / Madame Ixe (as Hildegarde Neff)
... Anna, Marie, Angèle Colomb
... Fernande Segret
Catherine Rouvel ... Andrée Babelet
Françoise Lugagne ... Catherine Landru
... Madame Guillin
Denise Provence ... Madame Laporte
Serge Bento ... Maurice Landru
Claude Mansard ... Maître de Moro Gafferi, Landru's defence attorney
Robert Burnier ... Le président / Presiding judge
... Le procureur / Prosecutor
Jean-Louis Maury ... Comissaire Belin
Diane Lepvrier ... Suzanne Landru, Landru's Daughter
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Storyline

France, WWI. Landru, the father of four children, contacts Parisian women through newspaper ads, seduces and eventually kills them. Written by Vincent Merlaud <merlaud@studi.mathematik.hu-berlin.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Shocking Scandal Paris Ever Saw...! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

25 January 1963 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Bluebeard  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Sound System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The box office failure of Les Bonnes Femmes (1960), The Third Lover (1962), and Ophélia (1963), followed by the huge failure of Bluebeard (1963), made it impossible for Claude Chabrol to find financial backing from producers for the films he wanted to make, forcing him to make more commercial films like Code Name: Tiger (1964) in order to keep directing. See more »

Quotes

Presiding judge: Tell us what you know about Andrée Babelet.
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Connections

Featured in Voyage à travers le cinéma français (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(uncredited)
Music by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
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User Reviews

 
Very interesting film detailing the life and crimes of the 'French Bluebeard'

Landru aka. Bluebeard may not be one of Claude Chabrol's best films, but it's still a good and interesting one that does a lot right. Landru and his life and crimes are fascinating but infamously shocking and complex, the film follows the subject very closely and deals with it also in a way that entertains and interests. If you are interested in Landru you're not going to be short-changed here and there's a good deal to like judging it as a film too.

As with all Chabrol films, Landru looks great. The colour photography is very handsome and tasteful, the period costumes are sumptuous and evocative and the scenery nothing short of exquisite. Chabrol handles the atmosphere, cultures and environment of early 20th century Paris masterfully to the extent one feels like they're actually there in the era. He also directs beautifully with charm and tension, Landru's scenes with his victims are both charming and chilling like Landru himself(in how he managed to get women to fall for him while being such an irredeemable monster on the inside) and his crimes wrench the gut in how shocking they are(even if some details are still ambiguous). The way Landru's written is enjoyable on the whole too, considering the subject Landru could easily have been melodramatic but the script opts for the sly and sardonic approach and does so cleverly and wittily, without being too cartoonish, that the most acidic moments are very juicy and the most cynical parts bite. The cast are stellar, with a brilliant Charles Denner, who cuts a very magnetic presence, whether funny, cold-hearted, cynical, urbane or charm-on-the-surface, and even looks eerily like Landru. Some may find that Landru is like a cartoon figure here but to me that added to how chilling a person he was. Michèle Morgan, Danielle Darrieux, Juliette Mayniel and Catherine Rouvel are beguiling and poignant, not with a lot to do but you really care what happens to them and Stephane Audran also really comes to life.

The film's not without its problems, once Landru is captured the pace does slacken and the film loses its charm, the trial being on the tedious side rather than suspenseful and would have benefited from tighter pacing and more developed writing. What also would have helped was having Landru arrested a little earlier and dwelling a little less on his methods, the film covers them well enough and I did wish that the same amount of detail went a little more into the trial. The music is also a little intrusive at times as well. Overall, lesser Chabrol, and I did prefer Charlie Chaplin's Monsieur Verdoux as a (loose?) version of the story, but still very interesting. The part of the film covering the arrest, trial and execution doesn't come over as strongly as the parts detailing his life and crimes but the look of the film, the atmosphere, the direction, most of the writing and the acting make it a most worthwhile film. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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