Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Forgotten Movies: DIABOLIQUE
Not exactly forgotten, but perhaps not seen in a long time. This is a cracking good suspense film made in 1955. Simone Signoret, Vera Clouzot, and Paul Meurisse play a violent schoolmaster, his frail wife and his sexy mistress, all employed at the same school and caught up in a deadly game. The details are perfect, the suspense, palpable. Henri-Geogres Clouzot directed his wife and she is pitch perfect as the fragile vessel. Simone, only in her early thirties, seems much older. Is it the hair style?
The detective does not make an appearance until the final third of the film and is very Columbo-ish. But there is nothing light-hearted here except for the antics of the school children in the background.
The same writing team (Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac) wrote VERTIGO. One so French, the other so Californian.
The nineties remake lacks the atmosphere, tension, everything. See the real thing.