31 Days of Horror: Les Diaboliques

Les Diaboliques (1955) has one of the most frightening endings ever shot on film. And the less said about the film, the better for people who haven't seen the movie.

Director Henri-Georges Clouzot was a master of suspense. His 1953 film Le salaire de la peur (The Wages of Fears) is one of the most intense films ever made. It featured a group of men who end up driving some highly unstable explosives to a burning oil rig.

Les Diaboliques is based on the novel Celle qui n'était plus (She Who Was No More) and there was a rumour that Clouzot and Alfred Hitchcock raced to buy the film rights to Les Diaboliques from novelists Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac. Clouzot won and Boileau and Narcejac wrote another novel, D'Entre les Morts (From Among the Dead), especially for Hitchcock who made it into Vertigo (1958).

I really don't want to give too much of the plot away. The film stars Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot and Paul Meurisse. And I think that's all I want to reveal. There was a very crappy remake made in 1996 that starred Sharon Stone and Isabelle Adjani and was directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik - the man responsible for the really crappy The Avengers movie. This film, unlike the remake, is masterpiece of terror and a must see.

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