Claude Chabrol's meditation on infidelity and murder is creepy and cold, wholly owned by Romy Schneider as its near alien starlet. Dubbed in English, the film has Schneider's gorgeous wife in a loveless marriage to a husky American (Rod Steiger), who is not only free of emotion but impotent as well. A chance encounter draws her into a love affair with a younger man (François Maistre), and before 20 minutes of screen time are up, Schneider has coldly bludgeoned hubby to death while he sleeps. Or has she? I'm reminded of Diabolique, but from the guy's point of view. Sort of. The scenes with the police investigation are on the lame side, but the core of the film -- around Schneider's guilt and fear of the unknown future -- is an excellent freak-out.

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