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A vengeful woman (Jeanne Moreau) hunts down the five men who caused her husband's accidental death in François Truffaut's devilishly elegant homage to Hitchcock.
"Pure pleasure! What movies are about!" (The New York Times). Jeanne Moreau is coolly implacable as the bride whose groom is shot dead as they exit the church on their wedding day. Bent on revenge, she methodically undertakes to bump off each of the five men responsible for her husband's death. (In terms of cinematic lineage, she's the chic European descendant of Cliff Robertson's Tolly in Sam Fuller's Underworld U.S.A., and the ancestor to Uma Thurman's "Black Mamba" in Tarantino's Kill Bill.) The bride's deadly quest takes her from posh Riviera spas to a mountain village, each spectacular setting the backdrop for a perfectly planned execution. ("I especially liked the scene of Moreau watching the man who had taken poison dying slowly," commented Hitchcock.) While paying elaborate homage to Hitchcock — Raoul Coutard's cinematography mimics Hitchcock's use of low angles, and the music is by Bernard Herrmann — Truffaut balances the macabre wit, suspense, and stylistic flourishes with the moral ambiguity and humanism of his other hero, Renoir. As the black-clad bride, Moreau revels in the murderous proceedings, and some of France's finest character actors lend classy support as her five victims.