“Don’t be devils! Don’t ruin the interest your friends could take in this film. Don’t tell them what you saw. Thank you, for them.” So close the end credits of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s 1955 Diabolique, hailed as the first film designed around a true climactic twist.
Christina Delassalle (Vera Clouzot) is the rich owner of a boys’ boarding school, trapped in an abusive marriage with the repellent Michel (Paul Meurisse). Another teacher at the school, Nicole (Simone Signoret), is openly Michel’s mistress but also abused by him. Nicole convinces Christina to murder Michel, scheming to drown him in the boarding house of a remote village before depositing him in the school pool. Their plan goes awry, however, when the body mysteriously disappears from the pool.
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