Henri-georges Clouzot

Henri-georges Clouzot

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L'Enfer Review


Extraordinary
One of Claude Chabrol's finest films, giving us a marriage that at first looks fine. 100 minutes later, one of them is dead and the other one insane. And it's all due to jealousy. François Cluzet is excellent as a husband who's convinced his lovely wife (Emmanuelle Béart) is cheating on him, and eventually he becomes so enraged over this notion that he takes to handcuffing her to the bed. But the show belongs to Béart, who accurately portrays a woman torn by love for her husband and fear over his increasingly crazy actions.

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The Wages Of Fear Review


Essential
"The best thriller ever made" is perhaps too much praise for the movie, while "best examination of the human condition" is too faint to be heard. Nevertheless, one can safely say that Henri-Georges Clouzot's The Wages of Fear is to film of the nail-biter variety what Raymond Chandler is to detective fiction: pretty damn essential. For pure thriller mechanics, it's a textbook in step-by-step screw-tightening, while those looking for something of more substance will find themselves swimming in the stuff.

The South American village of Las Piedras is located just past the edge of nowhere, baking in the sun and providing just the correctly seedy backdrop for a number of Europeans to wallow in their own misery, abusing the locals, and lazing about the saloon, to the pained chagrin of its hapless owner. There's no work, the road doesn't go anywhere, and a plane ticket out it too expensive. It's the kind of place where dead-enders show up after getting kicked out of the Last Chance Saloon, a hole to crawl in to die. The most dashing of the dead-enders is Frenchman Mario (Yves Montand), a dashing and immoral louse who sponges off his hardworking roommate, acts abusively towards his erstwhile girlfriend, the barmaid Linda (played with va-va-voom naïveté by the director's wife Vera Clouzot) and looks cooler than Humphrey Bogart through all of it.

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Le Corbeau Review


Very Good
Henri-Georges Clouzot's Le Corbeau is a puzzle. Shot during the Nazi occupation of France in 1943, the film is a damnation of Gestapo inquisition tactics and, in a broader sense, of fascism in any form. But Clouzot's contemporaries saw it a different way. Ever the self-obsessed, French cineastes felt Clouzot was mocking provencial French society, with its backbiting and stringent (yet polite) class warfare. Attacked (or banned) by just about every political and religious group in the country, Le Corbeau ruined his reputation as a director for years. Later would it be interpreted correctly -- but the backlash against it pretty much proves that either way you want to look at the film, Clouzot was right.

Le Corbeau is a short and pointed film, never straying far from its central plot line. In a small village, mysterious letters are showing up just about everywhere. The anonymous letters allege the worst -- infidelities, alcoholism, abortions -- and no one is immune. Within days a witch hunt is underway, as the two figurehead leaders of the village, two doctors, launch an all-out campaign to uncover the "poison pen," whose alias is "Le Corbeau," aka "The Raven." Their quest culminates in an event obviously inspired by Nazi atrocities, as everyone in town is rounded up and forced to rewrite some of Le Corbeau's greatest hits all night long, the idea being that eventually, The Raven's true handwriting will be revealed, along with The Raven's identity.

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Henri-georges Clouzot

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Henri-Georges Clouzot Movies

The Wages of Fear Movie Review

The Wages of Fear Movie Review

"The best thriller ever made" is perhaps too much praise for the movie, while "best...

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