Sunday, October 05, 2008

Diabolique



(1955) *****




For some reason, I thought this one was going to fail to live up to its billing. I often am left cold when checking out old foreign Criterion flicks, but this suspense thriller is up there with the best of Hitchcock (and it was apparently a big influence on Psycho and other Hitchcock thrillers).

The plot involves a wife and mistress planning to murder their misogynist prick of a husband/lover. I really liked the meanness of the script--it was much more raw and nasty than I was expecting from an old 50s classic. And all the actors, from the leads to the bit players, are uniformly excellent--lots of weird and memorable performances even in the smaller roles.

I don't want to say too much more about the plot--the closing credits actually carry what might be the first ever "spoiler plea"--so I can't transgress there. But here's the original trailer when it came over from France.





Definitely check it out if you like Hitchcock.

7 comments:

Whirlygirl said...

I've seen the American remake, but this one. Always wanted to check it out though.

miko564 said...

Shark, impressive numbers AND impressive film choices. You gonna teach a Horror film class next year?

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Yeah Landshark, I must say I'm pleasantly surprised with your prolific output this year.

Landshark said...

I'm surprised too. I really thought I'd be in the 15-20 range for the whole month.

I guess paid paternity leave makes for good Horrorthoning!

Landshark said...

Oh, and miko. No lie, I actually WAS thinking about putting together a course proposal on horror films.

Octopunk said...

I wanna come guest-speak!

"Uh, this is my brother, who has watched a lot of these things."

I saw this one night in college when one of the campus film societies were supposed to run something else but the print was screwed up. They had three other movies on hand and let the audience noise decide.

I was glad they picked this -- it's great! I, however, was clapping for the Adam West Batman movie.

Landshark said...

Hell, maybe I can get funds to fly a bunch of you out for a panel discussion! Ohio in the spring, anyone?