The headmaster of a provincial boarding school is so cruel, even sadistic, that everyone wants him dead, especially his wife and his mistress. When he goes missing, the police drain the murky pool where the killers dumped the body, and the killers get a big surprise. Now the suspense from director Henri-Georges Clouzot really starts.
A master of the thriller, Clouzot was nicknamed the French Hitchcock. In an achingly scary scene from Clouzot’s The Wages of Fear, two truck drivers try to get a long truck around a cliff side hairpin curve – and the truck is filled with nitroglycerin. If you like Diabolique, you’ll probably also like another domestic murder – this time set in Paris – Quai des Orfevres. Criterion has released the Diabolique DVD.