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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)




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


How Romy Schneider Solved Rod Steiger's Sexual Problem. Permanently. See more »


Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Romy Schneider dubbed herself in the final English language version (besides filming the scenes with Rod Steiger in English). See more »


Referenced in Sadsacks Go to War (1974) See more »

User Reviews

More twists in the tale than usual, and another excellent film from the great Claude Chabrol!
8 April 2008 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Innocents with Dirty Hands appears to have something of a poor reputation among it's viewers and that made me go into it expecting something a bit sub-par from the great French director, so you can imagine my delight when I found that there's very little wrong with this twisted thriller and while it's not quite up there with the best of Claude Chabrol (films such as This Man Must Die, The Butcher and The Breach); it's a thriller that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat for the duration of the film and provides plenty of shocks and twists along the way! The film is unlike some of Chabrol's other films in that the plot is rather simple and the film focuses on a couple with the surname Wormser. Louis Wormser is 18 years senior to his wife Julie and can no longer have sex after suffering a heart attack. When Julie meets young stud Jeff Marle, the two plot to kill Louis and hatch a plan to dispatch him and deflect suspicion from themselves. However, things go awry immediately after the murder when Julie finds herself alone and under suspicion.

The main influence for this film would seem to be The Postman Always Rings Twice as the two plots share a lot in common. Innocents with Dirty Hands does get criticised for being a bit too long, and this is a bit of a problem. The story has plenty to it and is constantly interesting thanks to the numerous twists in the second half; but it could have benefited from being a bit more streamline as the way it pans out does remove some of the suspense. However, this is hardly enough to condemn the film. The first hour building up the initial twist is absolutely superb and Chabrol keeps the tension bubbling nicely. After the initial twist, the film changes somewhat and the focus is more on surprising the audience, but despite this change in pace; the film still flows well. The film is bolstered by two excellent performances from the leads; the beautiful Romy Schneider is superb as the young wife while Rod Steiger is thoroughly convincing in the opposite role. The film works on a number of levels; it's entertaining, thrilling and also funny in places and while it's filmed with Chabrol's familiar verve and focuses on the marital relationship - it's also a change of pace for him. Overall, this is well worth seeing and I'm sure that anyone who enjoys Chabrol's films will find a lot to like in this one.

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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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