6.5/10
825
6 user 10 critic

Bluebeard (1963)

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

Director:

Claude Chabrol

Writers:

Françoise Sagan (scenario), Françoise Sagan (dialogue)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michèle Morgan ... Célestine Buisson
Danielle Darrieux ... Berthe Heon
Hildegard Knef ... Mme X. / Madame Ixe (as Hildegarde Neff)
Juliette Mayniel ... Anna, Marie, Angèle Colomb
Stéphane Audran ... Fernande Segret
Catherine Rouvel ... Andrée Babelet
Françoise Lugagne Françoise Lugagne ... Catherine Landru
Mary Marquet ... Madame Guillin
Denise Provence Denise Provence ... Madame Laporte
Serge Bento Serge Bento ... Maurice Landru
Claude Mansard Claude Mansard ... Maître de Moro Gafferi, Landru's defence attorney
Robert Burnier Robert Burnier ... Le président / Presiding judge
Mario David ... Le procureur / Prosecutor
Jean-Louis Maury 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:

His women always meet their match! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bluebeard (1963) was the only original screenwriting credit for the author and playwright Françoise Sagan. See more »

Quotes

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

Featured in My Journey Through French Cinema (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Fascination
(uncredited)
Music by Fermo Dante Marchetti
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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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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

25 January 1963 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Bluebeard See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Sound System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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