Diabolique (Les Diaboliques)
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Diabolique (Les Diaboliques)
The greatest film that Alfred Hitchcock never made, Henri-Georges Clouzot's Diabolique is set in a provincial boarding school run by headmaster Michel Delasalle (Paul Meurisse). A ruthless lothario, he becomes the target of a murder plot concocted by his long-suffering invalid wife Christina (Vera Clouzot, the director's own spouse) and his latest mistress, an icy teacher played by Simone Signoret. A dark, dank thriller with a much-imitated "shock" ending, Diabolique is a masterpiece of Grand Guignol suspense. The simple murder plot goes haywire, and Michel's corpse… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Although this has a few hallucinating bits of terror, the film is primarily a creaky-door type of melodrama."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"This is one of the dandiest mystery dramas that has shown here in goodness knows when."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Like the greater of Hitchcock's essential films, the movie is a skillful marriage of ingredients that tread dangerously close to the edge of reasoning while still absorbing them in impeccable artistic standards."
‑ David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org
"...[a] demonic clockwork thriller."
‑ Chris Barsanti, PopMatters
"set the bar high in terms of both its murderous, yet sympathetic characters and its tense scenario that mixes the conventional thriller elements of lust, jealousy, and homicide with the possibility of supernatural horror"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"Cruel, sour, and -- unfortunately -- very effective."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"[Creates] a diabolical double-reverse plot that keeps the audience guessing right up to the thoroughly implausible final scene."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"One of the best horror-thrillers of the classic era, and a massively inspirational piece of cinema."
‑ R. L. Shaffer, IGN DVD
"With barely any music, Clouzot unfolds the action with precision timing and suspense, culminating in one of the cinema's first and most memorable twist endings ever."
‑ Eric Melin, Scene-Stealers.com
"Still has the power to grip and shock."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A great piece of Guignol misanthropy."
‑ , Time Out
"With a deliciously curvy and complex plot, Diabolique is a masterpiece of suspense -- as accomplished as anything done by Hitchcock."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"So dependent on visuals, many horror films do not wear well except as kitsch. But crafted fright films like Diabolique maintain their power by creating atmosphere through what is not seen."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"No doubt, the film is cruel and manipulative, but it's also the scariest thriller I've ever seen."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Superbly acted, Les diaboliques is as effective a thriller as Hitchcock's film, if lacking the depth and resonance."
‑ Philip French, Guardian
More reviews for Diabolique (Les Diaboliques) on Rotten Tomatoes

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