INFERNO (Henri-Georges Clouzot; Serge Bromberg, Ruxandra Medrea, 1964; 2009)

A heart attack prevented Henri-Georges Clouzot from completing the filming of what some have nevertheless projected as his likely masterpiece, L’enfer, the script to which Clouzot’s widow sold to Claude Chabrol in the 1990s, resulting in Chabrol’s brilliant film with the same title (1994). The material details a man’s waking nightmare as he steadily slips […]

MANON (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1948)

Abbé Prévost’s 1731 “L’Histoire du Chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut” inspired Henri-Georges Clouzot’s exuberant, passionate though somewhat puerile Manon (scenes of which aren’t far removed from producer Selznick’s overheated Duel in the Sun, 1946), a post-World War II updating, with flashbacks to the Occupation, the Resistance, and the Liberation of Paris—among other things, […]

LE CORBEAU (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1943)

Inspired by an actual series of events that occurred in Tulle in 1922, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Le corbeau—The Raven—likewise unfolds in a provincial village. Poison-pen letters, taking initial aim at Dr. Rémy Germain (Pierre Fresnay, solid) for being an abortionist and an adulterer, neither of which is the case (it turns out he isn’t even Rémy […]

LA PRISONNIERE (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1968)

“Perversion exists; and, to describe it in its most crushing and tragic form, I had to go as far as possible without being afraid of traumatizing the audience.” — Henri-Georges Clouzot Dazzling and overwhelming, somehow both sumptuous and austere, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s last film is among his most intriguing work. La prisonnière—variously called in English The […]

THE TRUTH (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1960)

Consensus has determined that La vérité is one of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s artistic failures, but it has its defenders, and it won a best picture Golden Globe and the directorial prize for Clouzot at Mar del Plata. Does it possess merit?      Set in Paris, the film revolves around the capital trial of twenty-year-old Dominique Marceau for […]

THE WAGES OF FEAR (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953)

In fictional Las Piedras, various lives—people from all over—have reached their dead-ends. The area, somewhere in South America, is exploited and ruled by S.O.C.—the Southern Oil Company. Three hundred miles away, one of the fields is aflame; two pairs of drivers are offered $2,000 each by the U.S. company to drive trucks loaded with, combined, […]

L’ENFER (Claude Chabrol, 1994)

Claude Chabrol’s L’enfer—Hell—is closer to the harsh brilliance of his black-and-white Les bonnes femmes (1960) than to the restraint and refinement of most of his other work in color. Chabrol revised a sixties script by Henri-Georges Clouzot that a heart attack prevented Clouzot from filming. Chabrol has imaginatively transformed what was likely, originally, misogynistic material. […]