8.1/10
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Diabolique (1955)

Les diaboliques (original title)
Unrated | | Crime, Drama, Horror | 21 November 1955 (USA)
The wife and mistress of a cruel headmaster conspire to kill him; after the murder is committed, his corpse disappears, and strange events begin to plague the two women.

Director:

(as H.G. Clouzot)

Writers:

(novel) (as Boileau), (novel) (as Narcejac) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Top Rated Movies #224 | 4 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Christina Delassalle (as Vera Clouzot)
...
...
Alfred Fichet, le commissaire
...
Plantiveau, le concierge
Thérèse Dorny ...
Mme. Herboux
...
M. Raymond, le surveillant
Georges Chamarat ...
Dr. Loisy
...
Le garagiste
Camille Guérini ...
Le photographe (as Camille Guerini)
Jacques Hilling ...
L'employé de la morgue
...
Le soldat
Aminda Montserrat ...
Madame Plantiveau
Jean Témerson ...
Le garçon d'hôtel (as Jean Temerson)
Jacques Varennes ...
M. Bridoux, professeur
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Storyline

The wife and mistress of a sadistic boarding school headmaster plot to kill him. They drown him in the bathtub and dump the body in the school's filthy swimming pool... but when the pool is drained, the body has disappeared - and subsequent reported sightings of the headmaster slowly drive his 'killers' (and the audience) up the wall with almost unbearable suspense... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

See it, be amazed at it, but... BE QUIET ABOUT IT! (original Finnish poster tagline) See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

21 November 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Diabolique  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(A.R.T.E.C.)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In reality, Simone Signoret did not know how to drive. Hence the reason why Véra Clouzot is seen doing all the driving in the film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Plantiveau, le concierge: Headmaster!
Michel Delassalle: Yes.
Plantiveau, le concierge: Isn't it time I rang the bell?
Michel Delassalle: It's okay. I'll unload the car myself.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The movie ends with a text screen commenting on what the viewer has witnessed, and a request not to spoil the ending for those who are planning to see the movie. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 100 Scariest Movie Moments (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Intense claustrophobia
28 May 2003 | by (Zurich, Switzerland) – See all my reviews

Les diaboliques is an unusually intense movie. I believe this is due to the well thought out choice of real locations and the masterful use of spatial entities and textures. Your memory really gets hooked on those things, and it gives the story a sense of reality that makes you feel uneasy.

Les diaboliques is as much a horror movie as it is a thriller. When I watch this I perceive an intense mouldy smell throughout. The crumbling boarding school where the main characters live and act is worse than any nightmare – even the swimming pool filled with murky water appears like a menacing abyss. The stifling crummyness is accentuated by the plot: School teachers sit at the sadistic principal's table in the refectory and have to force unspeakably ghastly meals down their throats (only one glass of wine is allowed). The second location is the principal's lover's apartment in a dead borough somewhere in no man's land. It's stuffy and utterly claustrophobic. The transfer between the two places is made with a "deux chevaux" station wagon – its characteristic back part of corrugated sheet metal once was a common feature in our parts of the world, as was the snarling sound of the deux chevaux‘s engine. In the corrugated iron "box" sits a creaky wicker crate, which on the way back from the lover's apartment contains evidence of the crime, wrapped in a checkered wax tablecloth. So you see shells within shells, not unlike one of those Russian wooden dolls. You don't know what you will find in the innermost until the end.


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