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“It’s been insane since the beginning. . . . Bathtubs that fill up, and swimming pools that empty. That’s insane. And I was insane to listen to you.” That’s not even the half-of-it. Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Whitney Collazo, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, and Jeff Mohr – as they experience Boileau-Narcejac’s twisted tale as presented by Henri-Georges Clouzot in Les Diaboliques (1955).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 143 – Les Diaboliques (1955)
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The wife and mistress of a loathed school principal plan to murder him with what they believe is the perfect alibi.
- Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot (as H.G. Clouzot)
- Writing Credits:
- From the novel by: Boileau-Narcejac (Pierre Boileau as Boileau & Thomas Narcejac as Narcejac; She Who Was No More (1952, Celle qui n’était plus)
- Scenario & dialogue by: Henri-Georges Clouzot (as H.G. Clouzot) & Jérôme Géronimi
- Collaboration by: René Masson & Frédéric Grendel
- Cinematographer: Armand Thirard (director of photography)
- Selected Cast:
- Simone Signoret as Nicole Horner
- Véra Clouzot as Christina Delassalle (as Vera Clouzot)
- Paul Meurisse as Michel Delassalle
- Charles Vanel as Alfred Fichet, le commissaire
- Jean Brochard as Plantiveau, le concierge
- Thérèse Dorny as Mme. Herboux
- Michel Serrault as M. Raymond, le surveillant
- Georges Chamarat as Dr. Loisy
- Robert Dalban as Le garagiste
- Camille Guérini as Le photographe (as Camille Guerini)
- Jacques Hilling as L’employé de la morgue
- Jean Lefebvre as Le soldat
- Aminda Montserrat as Madame Plantiveau
- Jean Témerson as Le garçon d’hôtel (as Jean Temerson)
- Jacques Varennes as M. Bridoux, professeur
- Georges Poujouly as Soudieu, un élève
- Yves-Marie Maurin as Moinet, une jeune Moynet
- Noël Roquevert as M. Herboux
- Pierre Larquey as M.Drain, professeur
- Johnny Hallyday as Un élève (uncredited)
Are you ready for a French murder thriller/ghost story/character piece from the mid-1950s? We thought so! Move over Hitchcock! Director Henri-Georges Clouzot has the rights to the novel and the skill to write and direct Les Diaboliques (1955). If celebrated genre author Robert Bloch (Psycho) considers this his all-time favorite horror film, then the Classic Era Grue Crew just has to check it out! And they loved it! In fact, this is one of those movies that demands (at least) a second watch.
Shame on you if you listened to this podcast without first watching Les Diaboliques! At any rate, at the time of this writing, the film is available to stream from HBOmax, The Criterion Channel, and Plex. If physical media is your preference, Les Diaboliques (Diabolique) is available as a Blu-ray from Criterion.
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule, as chosen by Whitney, will be The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), another Ray Harryhausen extravaganza! Who doesn’t love ‘em some stop-motion?
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To each of you from each of them, “Thank you so much for listening!”