Diabolically Yours Movie Review

The definitive highlight of Lions Gate's Alain Delon five-film box set, Diabolically Yours offers a captivating, early example of the psychological thriller. It's a direct ancestor of just about every puzzler that involves mistaken identy or amnesia, from Memento to Suture to Shattered.

The gist this time involves Georges Campo (Delon) wrecking his sports car, then coming to in a hospital with no idea who he is. When his supposed wife Christiane (continental hottie Senta Berger) takes him to his supposed mansion for his recovery, Georges suddenly loses his motivation of self-discovery, happy instead to convalesce in luxury.

For awhile, anyway. Things are obviously not what they seem, from Christiane's creepy, too-handsy Chinese assistant (Peter Mosbacher) to Georges' increasingly confused "memory" of his past, which doesn't jibe with the situation he's found himself in. Christiane won't sleep with him, and strange voices start telling him to kill himself. All is not well in the manse.

Ultimately we come to understand who's scamming whom, but Julien Duvivier, with his final film, has a trick up his sleeve with a twisty ending that's far more satisfying than much of the film that preceeds it: Long stretches of time are wasted with Delon's Georges moaning about his own ennui and the nature of identity. Leaving a dashing star like Delon laid up in bed for the bulk of the film does a real disservice to the high-wattage marquee draw, and the film suffers for it.

Still, Duvivier was on to something here, playing with amnesia in a clever way. The film may play a little stuffy and stiff in modern eyes, with way too much chit-chat for a proper thriller, but it's an important early example of a curious sub-genre.

Aka Diaboliquement vôtre.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer :

Starring : , , , Peter Mosbacher


Comments

Diabolically Yours Rating

" Good "

Rating: NR, 1967

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