At a friend’s wedding, Helen meets Popaul (Yanne), an ex-soldier with combat honors from Algeria and Indo-China, who has returned to his hometown and the family trade of butchery. The two are attracted to each other, but Helene is reluctant to get involved, as a previous lover has hurt her. Shortly after Popaul’s arrival in town, the body of a murdered girl is found. When Helene discovers a second victim and a vital piece of evidence that seems to link Popaul to the murders, she reluctantly suspects her new found friend. Consistently taut, with engrossing twists, Le Boucher (The Butcher) is an intense and enthralling thriller. –amazon
Widely credited as the founding father of the French Nouvelle Vague movement, Claude Chabrol is responsible for a body of work that is as prolific as it is boldly defined. A master of the suspense thriller, Chabrol approaches his subjects with a cold, distanced objectivity that has led at least one critic to liken him to a compassionate but unsentimental god viewing the foibles and follies of his creations. Inherent in all of Chabrol’s thrillers is the observation of the clash between bourgeois value and barely-contained, oftentimes violent passion. This clash gives the director’s work a melodramatic quality that has allowed him to drift between the realm of the art film and that of popular entertainment.
Born in Paris on June 24, 1930, Chabrol was educated at the University of Paris, where he was a pharmacology student, and at the Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques. Following some military service, he developed an interest in the cinema and worked for a brief time in the publicity… read more
A school headmistress befriends a butcher in a country town only to later suspect him of being a murderer when bodies are found. The butcher's guilt is never really in doubt and the suspense in Chabrol's masterful film comes from his relationship with the teacher and the audience's fear that she could become the next victim. Audran's skilful performance of a complex character has to be one of the best of her career..
Anyone else feel the kid who couldn't figure out the train problem foreshadowed he would also become a serial killer like Popale, which could open a door to a sequel? Because I sure didn't. Whoever would think that is an idiot. But seriously, Popale is such a kid in this movie; calling Helene "Madamoiselle Helen", as if he was a pupil, trying to form a semblance of his former home after 15 years in foreign lands.
It was inevitable that Chabrol, "the French Hitchcock," to allow for a moment that utterly inaccurate sobriquet, would at some point tackle