Dirty Hands (1975) Poster

(1975)

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7/10
Fascinating.
jimmydavis-650-76917430 August 2010
I would like to give this wonderful film more than 7 points but it cannot measure up to the superb 'Helene' group of films Chabrol made during the period immediately prior to it.

Many reviews and books are rather scathing about 'Les Innocents aux mains salles', and this disregard, although understandable is largely unfounded. I must admit that the first time I watched it I found the dubbing disappointing and was a little disappointed by the rather casual approach of both director and actors. However by the third viewing a strange fascination and sense of immersion had developed, a state a lover of Chabrol's films will recognise. The deficiencies which the film has do little to detract from it's strange unearthly colour, the disturbing architecture and the 'otherness' evident in the most mundane acts and settings. Added to this it is a rather good thriller with plenty of plot twists and wrong turns.

This film, perhaps because it isn't one of Chabrol's best makes clear to me why he is such a talent. To clarify this I will point out that no other French director, new wave or otherwise interests me at all and I really think I only have a peripheral interest in film. This film is so un self conscious,playful and yet deeply sinister it makes a mockery of any serious analysis. Chabrol confounds those who attempt to analyse or compare him and this film is perhaps the best example of this, you can only enter the reality presented, experience and perhaps enjoy.
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8/10
More twists in the tale than usual, and another excellent film from the great Claude Chabrol!
The_Void8 April 2008
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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8/10
Astonishing fusion of Hitchcock and Bresson. (possible spoiler)
alice liddell8 May 2000
Warning: Spoilers
The films of Claude Chabrol are, more than those of any other director, highly unnerving. I don't just mean in subject matter, which are generally taken from pulp fiction. This plot is Double Indemnity as if written by Nabokov. The beautiful Julie, is married to overweight, rich, impotent, drunk, self-loathing Louis Wormser, and plots with her young hack writer lover, Jeff Marle, to kill her husband. Things generally go to plan, but Jeff panics and lies low in Italy, sending Julie letters, while she has to face the insinuating investigations of two detectives.

For a director of his intellectual reach, Chabrol shows a strange affinity for Golden-Age style mystery stories. Unlike the fiction of Pynchon and Borges, or the films of Bertolucci and Antonioni, he has no interest in formally deconstructing the mystery story, subverting its narratives, ironising its principle characters, obviously undermining its tenets (although his double act of Epicurean detectives, teasing out the crime like cross word puzzles over dinner, making lecherous jokes and misogynistic comments, unbelievably hitting on solutions, yet completely missing the point, are a comic, disturbing joy, as are the upturned faces of the Law searing Julie at the climax). It is perfectly possible to watch INNOCENTS as a straight thriller with a recognisable crime, investigation and solution, and plenty of excellent twists and turns.

Even on this conventional level, the film is unnerving. The abruptness of the decision to murder. The shocking, callous act of murder itself. The brutal, climactic rape. But Chabrol's real nagging is in his whole-hearted artifice. Many directors, from Chabrol heroes Lang, Welles and Hitchcock to Von Sternberg, Sirk and Ophuls are artificial, but they create convincingly hermetic worlds, which are totally artificial and plausible on their own terms. Chabrol's is different.

Although not as breathtakingly formal as LA DECADE PRODIGEUSE, INNOCENTS is highly artificial, from the stylised acting, the unrealistic dialogue, dissonant score and stunningly contrived plot, to the breathtakingly intrusive camera movements and alienating shifts in point of view, and, especially, the setting, the futuristic/modernist architecture which swallows up its characters; the decor that moves and closes in on them.

With Chabrol, however, this artifice is not self-sufficient. It co-exists, jarringly, with a sublime feeling for nature, for the French countryside, the shadows cast by wind-blown trees, the wide green fields, the parched roads. The two realms refuse to merge, and this disjunction of registers moves the film away from mystery to something much more metaphysical.

An interesting question that arises from this film is whether it is a film about misogyny, or a misogynistic film. We are shown quite clearly how a female protagonist who is in almost every frame of the film, who seems to be in control and driving the plot, is completely betrayed by men - husbands, lovers the law - an object of contempt, whose desires are made seem guilty, whose grasping for love in a chilling, loveless evnironment and marriage are reduced to petty motives.

Maybe they are - she does collude in murder and theft. She is often featured in scenes, present but silent, as men decide her fate. The director, further, is obviously a man, colluding in this too, filming her pain and humiliation, witholding from her all the information. Yet, despite this, the film is very sympathetic to Julie, its visuals often seeming to arise from her emotions.

However, I don't think the film is really a post-feminist 70s comment on the still marginal and oppressed role of women in French society. Before Chabrol became a filmmaking genius, he was one of the brilliant critics of Cahiers du Cinema, co-writing a book on the religious underpinnings of Hitchcock's thrillers. In one sense INNOCENTS (a religiously loaded title) can be seen as an allegory in the Bresson tradition of the spiritual progress of a woman, a three part processo of Sin, Suffering and Redemption.

The final image, when Julie rises in the darkness, stripped of material wealth, defining environment and human companionship, and walks towards a flickering light is compellingly enigmatic, possibly indicating suicide, but, such is the theorematic godlike structure of the film, the sly, allusive imagery, I prefer to think of it as Julie existentially completing her spiritual journey. In any case, an endlessly rich masterpiece.
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Film Noir in Sunny Setting
Carlo Houtkamp23 April 2001
Claude Chabrol's Les Innocents aux Mains Sale sometimes runs the risk over becoming very, very slow-paced. Particularly the scene in the judge's office in which Julie's attorney cunningly pleads for her innocence is way, way too long. A little less dialogue, and a little more suspense would have helped this film, although it is really not bad.

But... The major attraction in this film is not the story, which, I must say, does have some highly unexpected twists and does indeed show Chabrol's creative skills and pleasure in directing. The star of Les Innocents is no one less than the wonderful Romy Schneider, whose acting performance, charm and beauty in this film are more stunning than ever before. I am very happy that Chabrol has chosen her character as the central one, for now we can admire gracious Scheider in almost every scene. I have the impression the camera man was in love with her, and who can blame him. Romy even looks amazing in the scene where she is putting curlers in her hair. She is the perfect cast for this complicated Femme Fatale role.

Although mainly the mediteranean filming locations in combination with the outstanding weather are to be credited for providing this Film Noir with a deceptively pleasant yellow, warm glow, it is Romy Scheider's radiance and talent that make Les Innocents aux Mains Sales a joy to watch.
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Much more complicated story than necessary
taylor988518 March 2002
Chabrol just can't be bothered with mcguffins and creating suspense, that's where he differs from Alfred Hitchcock. Instead of a meticulous recreation of a social group (the rich), we are given careless expressionistic filmmaking using the repertory actors Attal and Zardi (here as buffoonish policemen) plus a name Hollywood actor (Steiger), an Italian pretty-boy (Giusti) and the greatest European actress of her time, Romy Schneider.

You know the plot's clumsy when two characters keep having to discuss it at length for the viewer's benefit. There's a murder scene using some sort of club that falls completely flat in dramatic terms. There are simply too many twists and turns for a simple adultery story to bear, so we are left to admire the gracefulness of Schneider's performance. She is a trophy wife who must start to make decisions on her own, in the absence of her husband and her lover; she must also learn to lie convincingly to suspicious detectives. The eroticism of the lovemaking on the livingroom carpet, taunting her frustrated husband is well evoked.

The interrogation before the judge is the one scene that really holds up dramatically. The impatient judge who finds the beautiful woman suspect very desirable, the eager lawyer who smells a way out for his client--fabulous acting by Jean Rochefort--and the woman herself who hardly says a word while the two men argue over her fate. The only such scene I can recall with this power is the one in Altman's The Player.
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7/10
some voices dubbed, some not
adverts14 July 2005
Well done thriller - I won't add to the other comments save this -- just so you know -- Rod Steiger and Romy Schneider were filmed speaking in English while all other characters were filmed speaking in French: So, you have two choices (assuming you're either English or French speaking - and not Spanish): Watch the film in French (with or without English subtitles) - but keep in mind Rod Stieger and Romy Schinedier's voices will be DUBBED into French. It is definitely not Steiger speaking French (although I think Romy speaks both languages) Watch it in English - and the voices of the all other (French) actors (except Steiger and Schneider) will be DUBBED into English.

Didn't bother me tooo much...but I'm a Steiger fan - so I needed to hear him speak in his native tongue.
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9/10
twists and turns like some manic giallo
christopher-underwood28 September 2009
Top notch Chabrol! I was a bit worried at first as after the initial nude appearance of the delectable Romy Schneider, a rather puffy faced Rod Steiger does not look too good. His being dubbed does not help but soon enough with such a fast moving tale, any misgivings are forgotten. This twists and turns like some manic giallo and Chabrol does not take himself too seriously, even allowing us to laugh - out loud at one point, that must be a first for me in this directors films. I'm sure if analysed carefully there are plot holes but it is clever, involving and very enjoyable. It can also be taken very seriously as Schneider' s character as the only female, takes a little more than the 'male gaze' from everybody else in the film and the varying relationship between the two leads is as puzzling as the film itself.
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8/10
A Great Film-Noir with Many Twists
claudio_carvalho1 February 2011
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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7/10
Very good, but it seems to go on too long--lessening the impact of the film
MartinHafer10 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
First, as another reviewer pointed out, the two leads (Romy Schneider and Rod Steiger) do their parts in English and the rest of the cast are speaking French--making it irrelevant whether or not you watch the French-dubbed or English-dubbed version. However, and this is odd, you probably should NOT watch the film with captioning, as the subtitles are inferior to both dubbed versions! I know this makes no sense, but often the subtitles were inaccurate or didn't convey the message as well as the actors originally spoke! I actually watched about half the film in French and then watched the other half in English. But boy were those subtitles annoying--even getting little details wrong.

As for the film itself, through the first half of the film, it all seems pretty familiar--especially for a tale directed by Claude Chabrol. He made a career out of films about infidelity and murder. However, midway through the film, the film has many excellent twists and turns. BUT I CANNOT REALLY TALK ABOUT THEM WITHOUT WRITING A FEW SPOILERS, SO BE ADVISED!!! Romy and boy-toy, Jeff, begin a torrid affair as the husband (Steiger) drinks himself to oblivion. Eventually, the lovers come up with a plan to murder Steiger and live off his fortune. Unfortunately for the lovers, the plan goes awry but it isn't certain exactly what happened--all we know is Romy is now being blamed for possibly killing BOTH men, as there isn't much trace of them.

When Steiger returns later and is indeed alive, this created a wonderful opportunity for the film, as Romy suddenly found that her formerly impotent husband is very potent indeed and their dead relationship is rejuvenated. This would have been a wonderful point to end the story. In essence, the woman's lover is killed by the impotent man, who, in doing this regains his own power and sexuality--a somewhat kinky but fascinating idea. Unfortunately, while this was where the film was going, the movie had an additional 30 minutes of plot twists that did a lot to confuse everything and make the story much more difficult to believe. It's a great example of a film that didn't know when to stop. Without the next 30 minutes, I'd have scored the movie an 8. With it, the impact is greatly lessened. I strongly agree with the review that saw this film as needlessly complicated--a problem common to many of Chabrol's films.

Finally, a note to parents that this isn't a great film for kids due to its sexual nature and nudity. Miss Schneider, at age 37, is quite lovely in her many nude scenes--it's a real shame her life off-screen was so short and tragic.
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How to plan the perfect murder of your husband!... but -
Artemis-923 January 1999
  • more important than the carefully analysis of a wife/husband relationship gone sour, with a cunning game between the husband and the wife's lover, is the magnificent depiction of the relationships between a number of characters. The whole bourgeois world that Chabrol so often chastised is here, with unforgettable roles by Romy Schneider, Rod Steiger, and Jean Rochefort. Sum-up: Film's photography is neat; Justice... has got "dirty hands".
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6/10
Pilate was right: you should wash your hands ,dearest Julie.
dbdumonteil5 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"Les Innocents" was released at a time when Chabrol's career was slowly but inexorably slipping..Among a handful of horrors ("nada" "Les Magiciens" and the nadir "Folies Bourgeoises" ),before Chabrol regained his mastery with his underrated "Alice Ou La Dernière Fugue" or "Violette Nozières" ,but only for a while.Except for the 1968-1971 period or his debut,Chabrol's career has been erratic ,mainly because he has made too many films .

"Les Innocents" inaugurated a new genre for Chabrol,which actually began with "Docteur Popaul": a tongue-in-cheek thriller ,it paved a reliable way for such works as "Inspecteur Lavardin" "Masques" "Poulet Au Vinaigre" or "Rien Ne Va Plus" .None of these works were major works but some of them (particularly "Masques" ) are pleasant enough.A foreign viewer may take this story seriously ,compare it with Bresson (!) but a French one cannot be fooled.Chabrol actually laughs at the audience as he laughs at Julie: although a criminal,Julie almost appears as a victim....of men of course as Lawyer Mr Legal (what a name!) says .We come to pity Julie (the scene in the bank where she learns that all the money she has left is 92 francs is priceless)and her character sometimes resembles that of Stephane Audran in "la Rupture " ,this great 1970 work.

With its spate of "unexpected " twists ,"Les Innocents " may seem today ahead of its time.But not only "Alice ou La Derniere Fugue " which had only one (unexpected twist) packed a real wallop -in the grand tradition of "carnival of souls" "Jacob's ladder" and "the sixth sense"-,those of "the innocents do not make sense cause the characters are uninteresting (Do you care for them as you did for the characters of ,say,"le Boucher" or "Que La Bête Meure" ?)and RomySchneider ,one of my favorite actresses ,does not belong in Chabrol's world.Neither does Rod Steiger.Only Mischievous Jean Rochefort and the pair of Colomboesque cops (Pierre Santini and François Maistre who play cat and mouse with Julie)really survive in this hotchpotch.
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3/10
Les innocents aux mains sales
austrianmoviebuff9 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
They both longed to work with each other for many years, but when it finally happened in 1974, Romy Schneider and Claude Chabrol failed miserably. "Les innocents aux mains sales" is a low point of both their careers, a slow-moving and unconvincing film that meanders somewhere between crime story, sex drama, baroque thriller and social study.

"Les innocents…" pairs Schneider and Rod Steiger as Julie and Louis Wormser, a rich couple living in a grandiose villa in the Southern part of France. Louis is very rich and about twenty years older than his wife who is disgusted by his alcoholism and rude manners. One day, Julie meets Jeff Marle (hunky Paolo Giusti), a writer and neighbor who flies kites and shows eminent sexual interest in her. Together, they plan to drown Louis and run away with the inherited money. Of course, something goes wrong, and a supposedly dead Rod Steiger suddenly stands on the doorstep again, ready to take revenge…

Schneider solidly acts her way through the 125 minutes of Chabrol's mystery, and certainly she's prettier than ever, but you don't get to see the passionate performer that made films like "L'important c'est d'aimer" or "Les chose de la vie" so unforgettable. As a matter of fact, Romy seems obviously bored and out of place, and she doesn't watch with either Steiger or Giusti. She later declared that she and Chabrol just didn't get along together: "He just sat there playing chess while the cameraman and we tried to make this picture. He left me alone, something I cannot bear. I need either a challenge, like with Welles, Visconti, or Zulawski, or cooperation, like with Sautet."

"Les innocents…" does have its moments of greatness, but all in all, it remains an unsatisfying experience.
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8/10
Romy is Sexy and Desirable...
elo-equipamentos7 May 2017
The opportunity to see Romy Schneider naked in the grass already justifies itself to watch this movie directed by Claude Chabrol,I never liked those European movies called Nouvelle Vague...whose the director came from...but this kind of suspense is amazing a true Hitchcock's movie....the plot is usual the pretty young woman married with a rich old man finds a lover,the result is predicable....but Chabrol provides some surprises along the story...the cast is fine as Rod Steiger and Jean Rochefort,but no one exceed Romy she is sexy than never and desirable....valuable movie settled in Saint Tropez.
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5/10
Troublesome
otth-128 March 2007
Much has been said about the plot and the actors of the film, I won't go into it in more details, just give a few personal impressions.

First of all, the film has excellent actors in the main roles, Romy Schneider, Rod Steiger and Jean Rochefort being absolutely brilliant, every single one in very memorable roles. However, there are also, inexplicably, weak actors such as Paolo Giusti (one of my previous commentators has already stated this correctly) which lead me to believe that Claude Chabrol really was not up to his great level in this film. Whatever it was, something is definitely wrong, the camera angles and shots, the story, how the plot is linked - you watch the film, it sucks you in, but leaves you with a strange feeling of unfilled expectations! Secondly, what buggers me very much indeed is the horrible mixture of dubbed and non-dubbed voices. I have had the chance of watching the French and English version on DVD and caught myself switching from one to the other for getting the respective voices in their original. Yes, and another commentator here said rightly, Rod Steiger spoke English, of course. And *lots* of his acting power and prowess went into *how* he spoke! Unforgettable, how, at the beginning of the film, he plays the "impaired", soon-to-be-betrayed husband of a too beautiful wife. Romy Schneider spoke both languages in the English and the French version. The other French actors, as the great Jean Rochefort in the memorable court room scene (hilarious) spoke French to great advantage. And Paolo Giusti is speaking I don't know what, absolutely impossible to figure out, he sound horrible in whatever version you listen to. You see, it's a complete mixture. Very disturbing, very un-French. All cinephiles know the French cinema to excel in the art of direct sound recording and captivating the original actor's voices marvelously. Why on Earth did Claude Chabrol make such a mess here? Why not have chosen all-French actors and make another one of his great films? This one isn't one, even it it entertains you, in a certain, unfulfilled way.
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6/10
As morally complex as the title suggests
gridoon20198 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"Innocents With Dirty Hands" could perhaps be described as Claude Chabrol's variation on the classic French thriller "Diabolique". It's not a perfect movie: it's long and talky; the plot has some extreme "conveniences"; the final shot is a bit of a WTH. But it's a refreshingly adult, constantly twisty, sometimes creepy, morally complex thriller that challenges its viewers by giving them characters (the central love triangle, the two cops, the financial adviser) who are not easy to like, and who through the process of the movie reveal that they are not who they first appear to be. The one likely audience-pleasing character is the quick-thinking lawyer Albert Legal; Jean Rochefort gives a flamboyant performance and nearly steals the show in about 10 minutes of screen time. At first you may fear that Rod Steiger will feel out of place in a French film, but somehow he fits right in. And between Romy Schneider, the St.Tropez locations, and the big beautiful house with a view where most of the action takes place, your eyes will usually have something to get fixed on. Beware of a harrowing physical attack scene near the end, though. **1/2 out of 4.
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9/10
Romy sparkles.
sbasu-47-6087371 May 2018
Let me leave aside the glamour coefficient of Romy, which was in large measures in this movie, she looked glamorous even in a prim suit here, and it was no wonder that every one was making a pass on her, from the judge, to the defense lawyer to her husband's best friend, and becoming her mortal enemy when she rebuffed them and that is the basic crux of the story. This is a story more into study of human sexuality, or rather a man's and as pointedly told in the end "It's a man's world, where all the law's are made by man"

The main two character around whom the story revolves are the spouses Wormser (Romy and Steiger) and their problem is the lack of physical relationship due to the husband's health, first we are made to belief it was his heart problem, and later told that he was impotent, it was one of those, or something else, wouldn't be divulged till the end.

Anyway lack of physical relationship (for couple of years by then), the young and glamorous wife falls in the arm of a young pulp-fiction-writer, and they plan to murder the wealthy husband, frame it as an accident, and then legally walk off with the money.

From there the crossing and double crossing starts between not only the three main figures (husband wife and lover), but a few others too. The police suspects, but without the corpus delicti, and also the prime suspect (lover) supposed to be dead in and accident the case falls flat, and the widow is acquitted, despite police rightly suspecting her. Nothing out of the ordinary in the deduction process, may be a bit Sherlock-ian, but the evidences for deductions were all there, even to audience, to come to the conclusion the detectives (or rather one) did.

As some have pointed out, there had been twists and turns, including resurrection, but that didn't create too much of aberration, and rather brought the story to a some-what predictable end, without surprises. By surprise I mean, creating situations to force the end, here everything fell naturally without manipulation, even the end.

The characters of the men, all swarming around the glamorous young woman were all well portrayed, even their 'male' mind-set was clear by the epithets they used for her, especially considering that she was a deprived woman than a depraved woman. But ce'st la vie, don't we still look at most with that eyes? The crime graph would show that it is really a man's world. If a woman resists, either she is subjugated or termed as bitch or even worse.

This deprivation could have serious implications too, and that is again natural. Here, her all internal feelings remained in, the ember was covered in the thick ash courtesy the physical needs and could come out when the ash was rudely shaken.
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8/10
The Only Hand That Can Beat This ...
writers_reign27 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
... is a misdeal. Chabrol does it again. This time the colours tend more toward rich oil than the pastel water he invariably favours but maybe the rich stew of the plot dictated the palette. The basic premise is a mixture of The Postman Always Rings Twice/Double Indemnity and/or any of the rip-offs in which a young, virile wife is saddled with an older and/or sexually dormant husband, finds a young stud and what begins as healthy lust graduates to 'let's murder rich husband and spend his money'. Chabrol merely uses this as a jumping-off point and is soon introducing more twists than a hairpin bend on that very Riviera that forms the setting (St Tropez). The strongest factor is Romy Schneider as the wife and Chabrol has had the good taste to include her in virtually every scene. Rod Steiger as the husband plays Rod Steiger but that isn't necessarily bad but the weakest link is definitely Poalo Giusti, who has to be the most wooden actor since Laurence Harvey, as the stud cum assassin and for good measure Hitchcock buff Chabrol has thrown in a comic couple who clearly had their genesis in Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne in Hitch's The Lady Vanishes but are now transformed into a Greek Chorus of cops. You may not want to see it again for a decade or so but it's diverting enough for a couple of hours.
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