CRIME: LES DIABOLIQUES (DIABOLIQUE) (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955)
136 Metropolitan Ave. between Berry St. & Wythe Ave.
Saturday, October 15, and Sunday, October 16, 11:30 am
Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Les Diaboliques is a masterpiece of suspense, a psychological thriller that never lets up. This intense noir stars Véra Clouzot as Christina Delassalle, the mousy owner of a private school for boys run by her nasty, sadistic husband, Michel (Paul Meurisse), who is having an affair with teacher Nicole Horner (Simone Signoret). Nicole conspires with Vera to murder Michel and dump his body in a pool, and the plan works, if not exactly perfectly. Shortly after that, a young student claims to have seen the headmaster alive, frightening Christina and forcing Nicole to — well, we’ve already said too much. As the end credits say, “Don’t be devils. Don’t ruin the interest your friends could take in this film. Don’t tell them what you saw.” Les Diaboliques is based on the novel Celle qui n’était pas (The Woman Who Was No More) by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac, who also wrote D’entre les morts (The Living and the Dead), which was turned into the Alfred Hitchcock classic Vertigo. Sadly, Véra Clouzot, wife of director Henri-Georges, died five years after Les Diaboliques came out, at the age of forty-six, of a heart condition. Les Diaboliques is screening October 14-15 at the diabolically early time of 11:30 am at the Nitehawk Cinema as part of its “Brunch Screenings,” “Crime,” and “Halloween at Nitehawk” series. The Halloween series continues through October 29 with such horror favorites as Takashi Miike’s awesome Audition, John Carpenter’s classic original Halloween, Tod Browning’s Dracula, Charles Laughton’s Night of the Hunter, and Charles Barton’s Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.