The cruel and abusive headmaster of a boarding school, Michel Delassalle, is murdered by an unlikely duo — his meek wife and the mistress he brazenly flaunts. The women become increasingly unhinged by a series of odd occurrences after Delassalle’s corpse mysteriously disappears.

Credits: TheMovieDb.

Film Cast:

  • Christina Delassalle: Véra Clouzot
  • Nicole Horner: Simone Signoret
  • Plantiveau, caretaker: Jean Brochard
  • M. Drain, teacher: Pierre Larquey
  • M. Raymond, teacher: Michel Serrault
  • Michel Delassalle: Paul Meurisse
  • Police Inspector Alfred Fichet: Charles Vanel
  • Moinet, student wearing striped T-shirt: Yves-Marie Maurin
  • Soudieu, tall student: Georges Poujouly
  • Mrs. Herboux: Thérèse Dorny
  • Mr. Herboux: Noël Roquevert
  • Robert, drunk soldier: Jean Lefebvre
  • Garage Owner: Robert Dalban
  • Dr. Loisy: Georges Chamarat
  • Counter Clerk, at cleaner’s: Madeleine Suffel
  • Hotel Janitor: Jean Témerson
  • Morgue Receptionist: Jacques Hilling
  • Photographer: Camille Guérini
  • Dr. Bridoux, specialist: Jacques Varennes
  • Patard, student (uncredited): Henri Humbert
  • Ritberger, student (uncredited): Michel Dumur
  • De Gascuel, student (uncredited): Jean-Pierre Bonnefous
  • Student (uncredited): Johnny Hallyday
  • Student (uncredited): Jimmy Urbain
  • Employee of the morgue (uncredited): Henri Coutet
  • Man in the morgue (uncredited): Christian Brocard
  • Taxi driver (uncredited): Jean Clarieux
  • Radio Game-show Host (voice) (uncredited): Zappy Max

Film Crew:

  • Writer: Henri-Georges Clouzot
  • Writer: Jérôme Géronimi
  • Director of Photography: Armand Thirard
  • Editor: Madeleine Gug
  • Novel: Pierre Boileau
  • Novel: Thomas Narcejac
  • Hairstylist: Simone Knapp
  • Camera Operator: Louis Née
  • Original Music Composer: Georges Van Parys
  • Art Direction: Léon Barsacq
  • Sound Designer: William Robert Sivel
  • Makeup Artist: Anatole Paris
  • Camera Operator: Jacques Robin
  • Camera Operator: Robert Juillard
  • Script Consultant: René Masson
  • Script Consultant: Frédéric Grendel
  • Assistant Camera: Daniel Diot
  • Assistant Director: Michel Romanoff
  • Producer: Georges Lourau
  • Costume Design: Carven
  • Camera Operator: Jean Lallier
  • Script Supervisor: Jeanne Witta
  • Still Photographer: Léo Mirkine
  • Production Manager: Louis de Masure
  • Still Photographer: Robert Joffres
  • Assistant Camera: Jean Dicop
  • Unit Manager: Georges Testard

Movie Reviews:

  • talisencrw: I have only seen but two of Clouzot’s films (this and the equally brilliant ‘The Wages of Fear’), but I understand immediately what connoisseurs mean when they say he’s the French Alfred Hitchcock. He has an innate and unbelievably vivid and accurate take on human nature. I can’t wait to check out the rest of his oeuvre.
  • John Chard: The keys in the pool, the husband in the morgue! You dream too much about water in this house!

    Headmaster of a boarding school, Michel Delaselle (Paul Meurisse) is a brooding bully of a man, one day his wife and mistress decide enough is enough and plot to kill him, trouble is that once they murder him, his body disappears and reported sightings of him are adding to the ladies’ paranoia.

    Thus is the setting for director Henri-Georges Clouzot’s brilliant suspenser. The pace is stiflingly perfect, he gently racks up the tension, neatly toying with audience expectation, the sense of dread that hangs in the air is palpable. How refreshing it is to see a suspense film actually build its plot for a good hour? In this day and age the MTV generation would be walking out of this after 30 minutes. Armand Thirard’s atmospheric photography accentuates the creeping menace like mood, to the point that when we get to the last 15 minutes, nerves are already frayed and we then of course get what is arguably the greatest bath scene ever, and “that” ending…

    When I first watched it back in 2008 it was on a poor quality DVD, but revisiting it on Blu-ray it still worked me over as the great suspense movie it is, forcing me to seek the solace of daylight ASAP. Great writing, great directing, great acting, the latter thriving due to Simone Signoret’s dangerously simmering sexuality and Véra Clouzot’s heartfelt vulnerability. It’s one of the classic chillers of European cinema. And if you haven’t seen it yet? Do what I did last night, get the Blu-ray, turn off the lights and just have a couple of candles flickering away in your peripheral vision. Maybe indulge in some stiff drinks like I did, and most of all, watch it on your own… 9/10

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