The Claude Chabrol Collection

  |  Buy to Own: 17/04/2006
  |  826 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC
The Claude Chabrol Collection Film Poster


Eight classic films from the French director, often compared to Hitchcock because of his use of strong plots and suspense. In 'Les Biches' (1968) Frédérique (Stéphane Audran) is a cool, rich lesbian who picks up young student Why (Jacqueline Sassard) and takes her back to her elegant villa in St Tropez. They live happily for some time, annoyed only by the lunatic pranks of two resident camp buffoons. At a party Why falls for a young architect (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and begins an affair with him. At first amused by this, Frédérique later visits the architect herself and begins an affair, drawing him into an unstable and ultimately tragic ménage-a-trois. In 'La Femme Infidele' (1969), a respectable middle-class husband discovers that his wife is having an affair. He attempts to turn a blind eye to the indiscretion, but in the end his emotions can not be contained. However, despite a distinctly grisly turn of events, the couple strive to maintain a façade of respectability to their lives. In 'Que La Bete Meure' (1969), Charles Thenier's (Michel Duchaussoy) only son is killed in a hit and run accident. Bent on revenge, the anguished Charles resolves to track down and kill the driver. During the course of his quest, he meets and starts an affair with Helène (Caroline Cellier) - whose brother-in-law Paul (Jean Yanne) may be the man Charles is looking for. Complications accumulate when the boorish Paul's adolescent son (Marc Di Napoli), who detests his father, attaches himself to Charles. 'Le Boucher' (1970) is a thriller set in a provincial French village. At a friend's wedding, schoolmistress Hélène (Audran) meets Popaul (Jean Yanne), a soldier back from Algeria and Indo-China who has returned home to the family trade of butchery. The pair are attracted to each other, dabbling on the fringes of an affair, but Hélène is reluctant to become involved as she has been hurt by a previous lover. Shortly after Popaul's arrival in town, the body of a young girl is found. When Hélène discovers a second victim, along with a vital piece of evidence that seems to link Popaul to the murders, she reluctantly suspects her new friend. In 'Juste Avant La Nuit' (1971), successful professional Charles Masson (Michel Bouquet), married and with a loving family, has been having a secret affair with his neighbour's wife Laura (Anna Douking). Finding with Laura the outlet he needs for his sadomasochistic urges, during one liaison Charles goes too far and ends up strangling her. Unsuspected of the crime, and with no evidence linking him to the murder, Charles has apparently escaped justice. It soon proves impossible for him to escape the urgings of his own conscience, but when Charles confesses his responsibility for the killing to his wife and Laura's husband, he finds them strangely unconcerned. In 'Les Noces Rouges' (1973), Audran stars as an unfaithful wife. The film offers a portrayal of a Gaullist villain, a Mayor who has devious plans to buy up some property and turn it into a high-rise flat for workers who will be employed in his plastics factory. Michel Piccoli plays Pierre, the assistant to the Mayor of the small French town. Pierre's longstanding passionate affair with the Mayor's wife is hampered by both their loveless marriages. But then Pierre's sickly wife dies. Meanwhile, the Mayor, continuing with his shady plans, discovers their affair and blackmails Pierre to help him. There seems onlly one way out for the lovers - murder. Originally banned when it was first made, ostensibly because it was based on a real murder case but more likely because it coincided with the French elections. 'Nada' (1974) is a violent and cynical black comedy about a small band of French terrorists who kidnap the American ambassador after one of his regular visits to a brothel. The gang leave several dead in their wake and as the police purge supects in an attempt to destroy the Nada group, the terrorists start to argue amongst themselves and violence escalates on both sides. Finally, 'Madame Bovary' (1991) is an adaptation of Flaubert's classic novel. Isabelle Huppert plays the bored provincial wife who embarks on a series of passionate affairs after becoming dissatisfied with her tedious rural life and her dull doctor husband.