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Le Boucher (1970)

Le boucher (original title)
An unlikely friendship between a dour, working class butcher and a repressed schoolteacher coincides with a grisly series of Ripper-type murders in a provincial French town.

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Hélène
... Popaul / Paul Thomas
Antonio Passalia ... Angelo
Pascal Ferone ... Père Cahrpy / Uncle Cahrpy
Mario Beccara ... Léon Hamel
William Guérault ... Charles
Roger Rudel ... Commissaire Grumbach / Inspector Grumbach
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Storyline

Butcher Popaul meets schoolteacher Helene at a wedding in a small rural French village. They become friends. But girls are murdered in the area and Helene finds at the scene the lighter she gave Popaul... Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

19 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le Boucher  »

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(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While his wife Stéphane Audran often stated to owe everything to him, some critics have tried to claim that it was the other way around, with Claude Chabrol's cinema benefiting a lot from the director's encounter with the actress. Chabrol himself wasn't too fond of this take on his long partnership with Audran, stating that Stéphane had been a pivotal figure in the making of Le Boucher (1970) by suggesting him to pair her with Jean Yanne for a film, but this was as far as her influence on his work went. See more »

Goofs

When the blood from a murder victim drips down onto a girl from a cliff above, the hand shown dripping the blood looks fake. See more »

Quotes

Popaul: If you never make love, you go crazy.
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Connections

Referenced in Butterfly (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Plaisir D'Amour
Music by Johann Martini (uncredited)
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User Reviews

Beyond suspense
21 August 2003 | by See all my reviews

In my ongoing program of finally seeing films I should have seen years ago, tonight I watched "Le Boucher" on VHS. After two minutes of it, I wasn't sure I could bear to watch any more. And there was no overt cause for my uneasiness! All that was being shown was a simple country wedding banquet--yet there was such a palpable sense of unrest and evil that I felt like crawling down into the sofa to escape from it. And this relentlessly oppressive atmosphere persisted through the entire film.

How Claude Chabrol managed this seeming magic is beyond my comprehension. He instantly draws the viewer into a world very similar to Hitchcock's, but without the comic relief that Hitchcock unfailingly put into his films. Without the relief of tension that comedy affords, the experience of the film becomes almost unbearable--but I managed to sit through this entire short masterpiece, marveling at how a skilled director can create so much nerve-wracking suspense with so few means.

I was especially impressed by the film's totally unpretentious nature. The lighting is downright amateurish (on purpose, I'm quite certain), there are no special effects whatever, the dialogue is simple and straightforward: and in a theatrical setting, I think I would have been about scared out of my pants.

I can see why Chabrol has been called "the French Hitchcock." The honor is well and truly deserved.


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