“Each time I close my eyes, it seems I’m going to see him.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
In the rest of his review, Peary discusses the film’s “sinister vision”, arguing that it “conveys a nastiness of character and environment that is both oppressive and unsettling”, given that “the heroine, the nicest person in the story, plans cold-blooded murder” — yet this isn’t quite accurate. As in Hitchcock’s Rope (1948), one weaker (same-sex) character is convinced by another that murder is an appropriate course of action in a particular situation — therefore, it’s not really Clouzot’s character who plans the murder, per se. Plus, Clouzot is so clearly guilt-ridden and panic-stricken about what she’s doing that she remains a sympathetic protagonist throughout. Regardless, this is most definitely a bleak and “unsettling” film, one which works almost (though not quite) as well even if you already know (or can predict) the infamous plot twist. (And here’s where I’ll admit that years ago, as a first-time viewer, I was both terrified and shocked by the twist — thus disproving Peary’s assertion above).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)