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This Man Must Die (1969)

Que la bête meure (original title)
A man asserts himself within the life of an actress he believes is somehow responsible for his son's death.


Claude Chabrol


Cecil Day-Lewis (novel) (as Nicholas Blake), Claude Chabrol (dialogue) | 3 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Michel Duchaussoy ... Charles Thénier
Caroline Cellier ... Hélène Lanson
Jean Yanne ... Paul Decourt
Anouk Ferjac ... Jeanne Decourt
Marc Di Napoli Marc Di Napoli ... Philippe Decourt
Louise Chevalier Louise Chevalier ... Madame Levenes
Guy Marly Guy Marly ... Jacques Ferrand
Lorraine Rainer Lorraine Rainer ... Anna Ferrand
Dominique Zardi Dominique Zardi ... Le premier inspecteur de police
Stéphane Di Napoli Stéphane Di Napoli ... Michel Thénier
Raymone Raymone ... La mère de Paul
Michel Charrel Michel Charrel ... Le ferrailleur
France Girard France Girard
Bernard Papineau ... Le policier
Robert Rondo Robert Rondo ... Le garagiste


Single father obsessed with murdering the hit&run driver who killed his only child, poses as a screenwriter to get close to an actress who was in the death car. He feels fully prepared to kill the pretty young woman if she was the driver, but as his knowledge of her family grows, so does his empathy for them. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


I don't know who he is or what he looks like or where he lives. But I am going to find him...and kill him. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The only film in the 'Hélène cycle' where Claude Chabrol's regular leading actress in the cycle, Stéphane Audran, doesn't star as a character named Hélène. Caroline Cellier plays the role of a character named Hélène instead. See more »


At the beginning Paul is shifting several times although the Mustang has an automatic transmission. See more »


Featured in Cinema Goes to Dinner (2005) See more »


La terre
By Dominique Zardi
See more »

User Reviews

The ogre.
13 August 2001 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

"Que la bête meure " belongs to Chabrol's golden era.This is one of his most brilliant achievements,and,nevertheless,he would do even better with the next one"le boucher",with,again,Jean Yanne,an actor,who,before ,was featured in generally mediocre commercial movies.In his two films with Chabrol ,Yanne will show skills we would never thought of.Both characters,in "que la bete..." and "le boucher" are monsters;but monsters of different kinds:in "le boucher",Yanne is pitiful,moving,a product of the war (in Algeria?)On the other hand,in "Que la bête...",he's a hateful vulgar petit bourgeois brute.Compare the way Chabrol introduces his characters:in "le boucher",Popaul appears in the first scene,the wedding banquet,and he seems a good guy.In "Que la bête...",Chabrol does not show his face during Duchaussoy's son death on the road.When finally,the father discovers the reckless driver's house,we meet first his scared family circle.Then we hear his formidable voice.All happens like in a fairy tale:Tom Thumb entering the ogre's den.Perhaps Chabrol's most terrifying character, he holds up to ridicule his wife's attempt at poetry and he cannot understand his son ,a frail,sensitive,and clever teenager. The plot will take shape quickly,and after this story of sound and fury,the last pictures brings the audience some relief.Note,in both films,"le boucher" and "Que la bête.." ,the presence of water in these last pictures.

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France | Italy



Release Date:

20 October 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

This Man Must Die See more »

Filming Locations:

Argol, Finistère, 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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