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Henri-Georges Clouzot's deliciously dark tale of two women who conspire to murder their mutual paramour features one of the most famous and terrifying endings in cinema history.
Deluxe: "one of the most suspenseful films ever made" (James Monaco), from a novel that Hitchcock had reportedly hoped to adapt himself. (Another novel by the same authors, Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac, would serve as the basis for Vertigo.) Sordid and scary, with "undertones of strange, tainted pleasures and punishments" (Pauline Kael), Diabolique is set at a provincial school for boys, where the callous headmaster (Paul Meurisse) brutally mistreats both his long-suffering and tellingly weak-hearted spouse (Vera Clouzot) and his bitter, hard-bitten mistress (Simone Signoret). The two women conspire to murder the bastard and dump him into the school's swimming pool, but it soon appears that their plan might not have been as successful as they thought ... "For diabolical wit, nothing surpasses Diabolique... No matter how many times you've seen it, Diabolique still has one of the all-time great endings ... It is one of the most influential suspense scenes ever filmed" (Caryn James, The New York Times); "The last 15 minutes are as suspenseful as anything ever put on film" (Monaco).