- SKU: 5299937
- Release Date: 05/20/2003
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Based on a novel by Charlotte Armstrong, the story concerns Helene (Stephane Audran), the wife of a hopeless would-be writer and drug addict. Her husband's best friend tries to lay a trap for Helene, so that she will be forced to pay dearly for a divorce settlement. Also conspiring against Helene is her father-in-law, who wishes to wrest her child away from her. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Sexual frustration is the focus of this Hitchcockian thriller from French director Claude Chabrol. Schoolteacher Hélène (Stéphane Audran) comes to a small Périgord village to begin a new job. She is soon romanced by the local butcher, Popaul (Jean Yanne), but is distracted by her job and memories of a previous ill-fated relationship. A series of brutal murders of young women and a dropped cigarette-lighter raise Hélène's suspicions about her suitor, whose pitiable, depraved compulsions lead to a gruesome conclusion. Audran, who was Chabrol's wife at the time, makes an engaging heroine, and Yanne is simultaneously scary and pathetic as the obsessive butcher. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi
The Unfaithful Wife
Stéphane Audran plays the title character, Hélène Desvallées, the bored wife of insurance executive Charles Desvallées (Michel Bouquet). Charles suspects Hélène of playing the field, so he has a private detective locate his wife's lover, author Victor Pegala (Maurice Ronet). Confronting Victor, Charles tries to adopt an air of indifference, but the conversation ends with the husband bludgeoning the author to death and then calmly disposing of the evidence. When Hélène is questioned about Victor's murder, she discovers on her own that her husband is guilty. Instead of turning him in, Hélène is so thrilled that Charles cares so deeply about her that she is more in love with him than ever before. The Unfaithful Wife was directed by Claude Chabrol, the then real-life husband of leading lady Stéphane Audran. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Bored, wealthy Parisian socialite Frederique (Stéphane Audran, then director Claude Chabrol's wife and the star of many of his films) picks up young sidewalk artist Why (Jacqueline Sassard), brings her home, offers her a nice hot bath and coffee, and seduces her. Then Why follows Frederique to the latter's Saint-Tropez villa, where they alter their sensuous encounters with wild parties for the idle rich. At one of these parties, Why meets Paul (Jean-Louis Trintignant), a handsome young architect, and immediately falls for him. Jealous Frederique intervenes only to lure Paul into her own arms, and the two soon depart for Paris, leaving Why alone with her frustration at the villa. Though often labeled the French Hitchcock, here Chabrol consciously abandons suspense for adult-oriented drama. ~ Yuri German, Rovi
Also known as Nada, The Nada Gang is a lesser effort from director Claude Chabrol. A group of European terrorists calling themselves the Nada kidnaps an American ambassador. Their hideout is besieged by a sadistic police official and his minions. Thanks to the official's eagerness to pull the trigger, everyone winds up dead, including the ambassador. The Nada Gang was based on a novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Ten Days' Wonder
In this ponderous French mystery-drama, based on an Ellery Queen story, blackmail would seem to be the least of the problems of Charles (Anthony Perkins). His adoptive father Theo (Orson Welles) has a madwoman for a mother, and a gorgeous woman of Charles' age (Marlene Jobert) for a wife. In fact, Charles is deeply attracted to her. In addition, his father encourages the whole family to dress in '20s clothing, which makes them all feel out of place. However, when he wakes in a strange bed with blood on his hands and no memory of anything the night before, he gets a little bit frantic. He calls Paul, his old professor of philosophy (Michel Piccoli), one of the few non-family members he can trust for discreet help. Theo has made his country estate into an eerily independent universe, not like anyplace else. Paul accompanies Charles to the father's strange home, and uses his philosophical training to try to solve the mystery of the bloody hands. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi
Que la Bête Meure
Claude Chabrol directs the tense psychological thriller Que la Bête Meure (This Man Must Die). When his young son is the victim of a hit-and-run car accident, writer Charles Thenier (Michel Duchaussoy) is determined to find the killer. Obsessed with avenging his son's death, he carefully records his thoughts in a diary. He travels to Paris and meets actress Helene Lanson (Caroline Cellier), who is a prime witness to the accident. After they start up a love affair, he discovers that the driver of the car was her brother-in-law, Paul Decourt (Jean Yanne). Paul also owns the auto repair shop that fixed up the car after the accident. Believing Paul is the killer, Charles befriends his son Phillipe Decourt (Marc Di Napoli). As it happens, Phillipe also wants Paul dead for his own reasons. Charles manages to get invited to the family's seaside home in Brittany in order to finally get his revenge, but things don't work out according to plan. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi
Innocents With Dirty Hands
In this crime drama, a philandering wife plans to ill her alcoholic husband so she can run away with her lover. It all goes according to plan, and the widow is finally happy. Her happiness is short lived, as the "dead" husband shows up alive on her doorstep. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi