"Les Diaboliques" Is Released
Les Diaboliques is a 1955 black and white French suspense film directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, starring Simone Signoret and Véra Clouzot.
The story blends elements of thriller and horror, with the plot focusing on a woman and her husband's mistress who conspire to murder the man; after the crime is committed, however, his body disappears, and a number of strange occurrences ensue.
The title literally translates from French to English as 'The Devils'. It was called The Fiends when released in the UK, while the US release is entitled Diabolique. It is based on the novel Celle qui n'était plus (She Who Was No More) by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac.
Now considered a classic of the horror genre and film in general, Les Diaboliques ranked #49 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments.
The greatest film that Alfred Hitchcock never made, Henri-Georges Clouzot's Diabolique is set in a provincial boarding school run by headmaster Michel Delasalle (Paul Meurisse). A ruthless lothario, he becomes the target of a murder plot concocted by his long-suffering invalid wife Christina (Vera Clouzot, the director's own spouse) and his latest mistress, an icy teacher played by Simone Signoret. A dark, dank thriller with a much-imitated "shock" ending, Diabolique is a masterpiece of Grand Guignol suspense. The simple murder plot goes haywire, and Michel's corpse disappears, prompting strange rumors of his reappearance which grow more and more substantial as the film careens wildly towards its breathless conclusion. Later remade as a greatly inferior 1996 Hollywood feature with Sharon Stone and Isabelle Adjani. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Movie Guide