At a boarding school run by loathsome, heartless headmaster Michel Delasalle (Meurisse), his frail, long-suffering wife Christina (Clouzot) and mistreated mistress Nicole (Signoret) concoct a cold-blooded murder scheme to get rid of him for good. All goes well... until the body disappears from its watery grave. Then the two black widows start finding eerie clues that seem to point towards their victim being back from the dead. What could have gone wrong?
Snatched from Alfred Hitchcock, who lost the film rights to Clouzot, "Diabolique" is one of the finest thrillers ever made — in any language. Macabre, mysterious, and haunting, it keeps you consistently on edge with mind-bending plot twists, taut pacing, and an atmosphere of ghostly uncertainty. Signoret is icy yet resplendent, while director Clouzot's real-life wife Véra conveys just the right mix of fear and paranoia. This is chilling perfection from a criminally under-recognized French master of suspense. Beware the atrocious American remake.