Les Diaboliques

Les Diaboliques Trailers

Original title Les diaboliques
Category Drama, Horror, Thriller
UK Release Date
Production year 1955
Production Country
Directors Henri-Georges Clouzot
Cast Thérèse Dorny, Simone Signoret, Charles Vanel, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse, Michel Serrault, Jean Brochard, Pierre Larquey, Noël Roquevert, Georges Poujouly, Georges Chamarat, Jacques Varennes, Jean Lefebvre, Robert Dalban, Yves-Marie Maurin
Distributor British Film Institute (BFI)


In the most Hitchcockian of all the films made by the French master of suspense - like Vertigo, it was adapted from a novel by Boileau and Narcejac - the wife and the likewise abused mistress of the tyrannical headmaster of a seedy boys' boarding school conspire to put an end to his callous brutality. Taut as a mantrap, the meticulous script provides plenty of tension, surprises and shocks, but what really distinguishes the film is Clouzot's beady eye for details both atmospheric and telling: a swimming pool clogged with debris, rancid school meals, the dismal efforts of the staff to curry favour. Much imitated but seldom bettered, the film can also lay claim to a clutch of excellent performances; not just Véra Clouzot, Simone Signoret and Paul Meurisse as the misbegotten ménage-à-trois, but a young Michel Serrault as a teacher and the inimitable Charles Vanel as a canny detective.