High and Low: From Pulp to Poetry
Screening Dates
  • July 4, 2019 6:30
  • July 5, 2019 8:40
  • July 8, 2019 6:30

One of the most frightening of all films … Clouzot has a consistent vision that is more jaundiced than any other in French cinema.”

David Thomson

Hitchcock had wanted to option Celle qui n’était plus, the Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac crime novel on which Les Diaboliques would be based, but Henri-Georges Clouzot, France’s own Master of Suspense,” beat him to the punch. And what a punch! Clouzot’s sordid, morbid chiller is one of cinema’s most heart-stopping works—and a decided influence on Hitchcock’s Psycho a half-decade later! The diabolical plot has the wife (Véra Clouzot) and mistress (Simone Signoret) of an abusive schoolmaster (Paul Meurisse) teaming up to murder him. The performances are sensational; the tension gets cranked up to an almost-unbearable 11. Hitchcock would make Vertigo from a subsequent Boileau-Narcejac novel.