Actor Paul Meurisse acting in a scene from the movie Diabolique.    (Photo by Walter Daran/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Henri-Georges Clouzot Had A Simple Goal When It Came To Creating Diabolique
Henri‑Georges Clouzot’s 1955 thriller, "Diabolique," is a story about a near-perfect murder that disintegrates into a dangerous game of backstabbing and covert intentions. The film’s legacy is undeniable, having inspired filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock, and it’s easy to wonder what Clouzot had in mind while filming.
An essay on the film by The Criterion Collection states that Clouzot's primary intention behind crafting the film was to "amuse" himself the way parents might when telling their kids a scary story. "I just produced it as I would a game," he said, which informs the caustic trope inversions he employs in the film to keep matters thrilling.
Clouzot has often been called the "French Hitchcock," which is inaccurate considering Hitchcock took major cues from "Diabolique" while working on "Vertigo.” Coincidentally, however, Hitchcock would have directed Clouzot’s cultural phenomenon, if he hadn’t lost the option for the novel on which “Diabolique” was based.