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The Unfaithful Wife (1969)

La femme infidèle (original title)
3:19 | Trailer
A man begins to believe his wife is cheating on him.


Claude Chabrol


Claude Chabrol (original scenario), Claude Chabrol (dialogue) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Stéphane Audran ... Hélène Desvallées
Michel Bouquet ... Charles Desvallées
Michel Duchaussoy ... Police Officer Duval
Maurice Ronet ... Victor Pegala
Louise Chevalier Louise Chevalier ... Maid
Louise Rioton Louise Rioton ... Mamy, Charles'mother-in Law
Serge Bento Serge Bento ... Bignon
Henri Marteau Henri Marteau ... Paul
Guy Marly Guy Marly ... Police Officer Gobet
François Moro-Giafferi François Moro-Giafferi ... Frederic
Albert Minski Albert Minski ... King Club owner (as Albert Minsky)
Dominique Zardi Dominique Zardi ... Truck driver
Michel Charrel Michel Charrel ... Policeman
Henri Attal Henri Attal ... Man in cafe
Jean-Marie Arnoux Jean-Marie Arnoux ... False Witness


Charles Desvallées has good reasons to believe that his wife is cheating on him and hires a P.D. in order to prove himself right. Once he knows the lover is writer Victor Pégala, he drives to his apartment, calmly presents himself as the husband, starts a conversation and then kills him cold-bloodedly. The police trace the wife but when she discovers by accident a picture that could incriminate her husband she decides to remain silent. Written by Bernard Dionne <guero@globetrotter.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Psycho-Sexual Study in Murder!


Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The Desvallées house furniture was supplied by Raoul Guiraud. See more »


Brigitte is always wearing the same frock, despite the passage of several days. See more »


Referenced in Lost in Separation (2019) See more »

User Reviews

The Talented Monsieur Michel
11 April 2009 | by Myshkin_KaramazovSee all my reviews

What Michel Bouquet does in his role as the husband to Stephane Audran's title character can only be described as an acting tour-De-force. MAGNIFICENT!

Audran is not bad herself, but a notch less than stellar. Or maybe her performance just pales in comparison to her co-star. As does pretty much everything else in the film. From a certain point onwards, it is Bouquet who becomes the co-auteur, as for as the viewer is concerned.

The film has a very remarkable score, which Chabrol uses effectively as if both checking, and challenging the Hitchcockian legacy of pronounced scores in the thriller realm.

With unmistakable, (still his kind of) nouvelle-vague elements, the film admirably reflects director's familiarity with the classic genre and its (then) modern subversion.

With unmistakable, (still his kind of) nouvelle-vague elements, the film admirably reflects the director's familiarity with the classic genre and its (then) modern subversion. The economy and brilliance of shots is such that viewer cannot take eyes off screen, not for one sec. The last shot alone informs a good lot more than an average novella. And demands a separate essay I am not gonna write. However, it becomes quite clear early on that this auteur, unlike some others, is not at all that keen on subversion for the very sake of it.

La Femme Infidele has all the bearings of a rebellion forgone, if you please. It definitely looks like the work of an auteur, but not just a rebel kind, but a mature mind, someone well on his way to become a real master of the medium: already he affords to be audacious, or flexible, every which way to fulfill demands posed by his art. This audacious flexibility in turn provides the auteur opportunity to comment, in his fashion, if not alter the rules of the genre that he is seen, here as well, rebelling against and compromising with.

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France | Italy



Release Date:

10 November 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Unfaithful Wife See more »

Filming Locations:

Jouy-en-Josas, Yvelines, France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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