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Year: 1955
UK: BFI Films (re-release)
Cast: Simone Signoret, Vera Clouzot, Paul Meurisse, Charles Vanel, Pierre Larquey, Michel Serrault
Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Country: France
Language: French (English subtitles)
Color: Black and White
UK: 117 mins
UK Certificate: 12A contains moderate horror, violence and language
USA Release Date: 21 November 1955
UK Release Date: 18 March 2011 (re-release)


The most Hitchcockian of all the films made by French master Clouzot, in which the wife and mistress of the tyrannical headmaster of a seedy boys’ boarding school conspire to put an end to his callous brutality.

Taut as a mantrap, the meticulous script provides plenty of tension, surprises and shocks. But what really distinguishes the film is the director’s eye for detail. Much imitated but seldom bettered, it is a master-class in suspense.

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