This iconic, influential thriller centers around two women, a cruel boarding school headmaster’s wife and younger mistress, who plot together to murder him and hide the body in the school’s out-of-season pool, only to find the body go missing shortly thereafter.
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There's so much "Vertigo" & "Psycho" here. What can one say about a film that made Hitchcock direct TWO of his all-time greatest films ever? Clouzot was actually better than Hitch, but he was a Frenchman. Had he worked in America, he'd top every All-time Best Directors list. Shameful he's not more appreciated. The hype is 'not juste' as Fougasse: a famous character in "Le Gendarme à New York" used to say over & over.
DCP. Clouzot surrenders to "greatness" to tell a story that only serves to satisfy advertisers - and, in addition, the public (the same happenned with this busy session at cinematheque). Hitchcockian? This is a false question, it's above all an accumulation of irrelevant jokes/effects that are meant to be provocateurs. Clouzot is, for once, heavy without the grace he wants.
An engaging thriller with some beautiful editing that could've reached greater heights had it's attempt for ambiguity have been more successful. Unfortunately, by having a ending resolved by a plot twist, the film has doomed itself to be less engaging and effective on multiple viewing. Also, the main character's Christian guilt felt like a cheap characterisation as if they didn't know what to do with her.
Clouzot tries to out-Hitchcock Hitchcock. He comes close, but this one doesn't hold up to repeat viewings quite as well as Hitchcock at his finest. Even so, it's a classic and one of the greatest thrillers of the era. Just a pleasure to watch, particularly the first time you get to experience it.
predictable, but dark and suggestive enough to be considered one of the greatest french thrillers I've ever seen. I'm sure Alfred Hitchcock would have done a better film out of this twisted murder plot, but is not bad at all the way it is.