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Dirty Hands (1975)

Les innocents aux mains sales (original title)
Saint Tropez, 1975. Julie Wormser and her lover, writer and neighbour Jeff Marle, plan the assassination of her wealthy husband Louis, an impotent who drinks a lot. She hits him, and leaves... See full summary »


Claude Chabrol


Richard Neely (novel), Claude Chabrol (adaptation)

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Complete credited cast:
Romy Schneider ... Julie Wormser
Rod Steiger ... Louis Wormser
François Maistre François Maistre ... Le commissaire Lamy
Paolo Giusti Paolo Giusti ... Jeff Marle
François Perrot ... Georges Thorent
Hans Christian Blech ... Le juge / Judge (as Hans-Christian Blech)
Pierre Santini Pierre Santini ... Le commissaire Villon
Jean Rochefort ... Maître Albert Légal
Henri Attal Henri Attal ... Un policier
Serge Bento Serge Bento ... Le directeur de la banque
Jean Cherlian Jean Cherlian ... Le policier du bateau
Jurgens Doeres Jurgens Doeres ... (as Jurgen Doeres)
Gilbert Servien Gilbert Servien
Dominique Zardi Dominique Zardi ... Un policier


Saint Tropez, 1975. Julie Wormser and her lover, writer and neighbour Jeff Marle, plan the assassination of her wealthy husband Louis, an impotent who drinks a lot. She hits him, and leaves the rest of the task to Jeff. Julie finds herself alone the following day, and becomes therefore prime suspect. Where is Louis' body? Where is Jeff? Is there any secret beyond a door? Written by Vincent Merlaud <merlaud@studi.mathematik.hu-berlin.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Savage Greed. Searing Sex. Shattering Suspense. See more »


Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »



France | Italy | West Germany



Release Date:

26 March 1975 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Dirty Hands See more »

Filming Locations:

Saint-Tropez, Var, France

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?


In an interview, Claude Chabrol said Dirty Hands (1975) was bizarre: "there was a young Italian actor - Paolo Giusti - who was hallucinating mediocrity, he was really appalling (laughs) ... Romy Schneider was the only woman in the film - even the extras were men - and it was interesting to see that this girl could put up with anything. It must be said that this film is not terrible. But you see, it's still a curiosity." See more »


Referenced in Les bidasses s'en vont en guerre (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

A Great Film-Noir with Many Twists
1 February 2011 | by Claudio CarvalhoSee all my reviews

In Saint Tropez, Julie Wormser (Romy Schneider) is a beautiful and sexy young woman married with the wealthy retired businessman Louis Wormser (Rod Steiger), who is eighteen years old older than she and infatuated on her. Louis is impotent since he has had a heart attack and alcoholic and drinking too much. When Julie meets her handsome neighbor Jeff Marle (Paolo Giusti), a mediocre writer that likes to fly kite, they have a love affair. They plot the assassination of Louis and build an alibi for Jeff. During the night, Julie hits Louis head with a cudgel while he is sleeping, and Jeff takes his body to his yacht to dump into the sea. Then he travels to Italy in Julie's Datsun to have an alibi. On the next morning, Julie reports to the police that Louis is missing and Inspectors Villon (Pierre Santini) and Lamy (François Maistre) of Paris assume the investigation. Sooner the police finds the yacht anchored offshore and the Datsun crashed on a cliff, but neither the body of Louis nor the body of Jeff. Further, they find that the Louis bank account and safe are empty and Julie becomes the prime suspect of murder.

"Les Innocents aux Mains Sales" a.k.a. "Innocents with Dirty Hands" is a great film-noir with many twists, maybe more than the necessary. Directed by Claude Chabrol, the mystery in the original screenplay recalls a Hitchcock film or an Agatha Christie's novel, and nothing is what seems to be. The femme fatale Romy Schneider is astonishingly beautiful and the introduction with her naked on the grass in breathtaking. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Assassinato por Amor" ("Assassination for Love")

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