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The Unfaithful Wife (La Femme infidèle)
The Unfaithful Wife
La Femme infidèle
Actors: Stéphane Audran, Michel Bouquet, Michel Duchaussoy, Maurice Ronet, Louise Chevalier
Director: Claude Chabrol
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2003     1hr 38min

Another suspense classic from French director Claude Chabrol this taut psychological thriller tells the tale of a contented middle-class husband (Michel Bouquet) who suspects his seemingly faithful wife (Stephane Audran) o...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Stéphane Audran, Michel Bouquet, Michel Duchaussoy, Maurice Ronet, Louise Chevalier
Director: Claude Chabrol
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance
Studio: Pathfinder Home Ent.
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/21/2003
Original Release Date: 11/10/1969
Theatrical Release Date: 11/10/1969
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 38min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: French
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Faithfully Chabrol
Alex Udvary | chicago, il United States | 08/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Stephane Audran has a face that reminds me of Isabelle Huppert. Both women always have a game face on. We can never quite tell what's going on in their pretty little heads, but we know we should be on the look out.

Audran does this to perfection in "The Unfaithful Wife". She also did a great job in Chabrol's previous film "Les Biches".

She has such a sleek beauty to her it's easy to see why a man would fall for her and perhaps even easily to see why a man would go to the lengths her husband Charles does in this movie to keep her by his side.

Audran plays Helen Desvallees, a seemingly happily married woman who has a child, wealth, and a mother-in-law she likes (That's our first sign this is only a movie). What more could she possibily want?

Chabrol presents these people as if they are an average family. On the surface they could be your neighbors, but, the impression I got was there are a lot of secrets between this couple. There is never a scene where they actually have a conversation. It's all small talk. Do they really know each other that well?

We fairly quickly know what's really going on. Helen (Audran) is having an affair with Victor Pegala (Maurice Duchaussoy) and Charles (Michel Bouquet) finds out and trys in his own way to keep his wife.

The movie is never really suspenseful. You're never on the edge of your seat. Chabrol works in much more subtle ways. With whispers not loud bangs.

This film as many may know was remade in 2002 as 'Unfaithful'. It was diirected by Adrian Lyne and starred Richard Gere and Diane Lane. It was admirable but not as polished as this movie is. This movie clears up some of the pot-holes I thought the first one suffered from. I should also mention I saw the remake first. So don't think I bashed it simply because it was a remake. I had nothing to compare it to.

"The Unfaithful Wife" shows Chabrol at the top of his game. It was a time when he was able to churn out hit after hit and much thanks to Stephane Audran.

Bottom-line: Effective Claude Chabrol film. Has a nice setting and strong performances. Audran plays her part extremely well. Lots of choice moments here for film buffs and Chabrol fans."
Chabrol's brilliant attempt at "Madame Bovary"
Gallic Cinema | Chicago, IL | 04/10/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"'The Unfaithful Wife' is really about a faithful husband, who will kill to save his marriage. This kind of fidelity is a chilling exercise of power - the film's many point-of-view shots are mostly his - with adultery a rebellion, a bid for freedom that must be crushed. It's not enough that Charles uncovers his wife's lover, he must sit on the bed they make love on, drink the same drink...Chabrol's most perfect film, where character inertia is expressed in blatant artifice, both in the home and in 'nature'; where a materialist filming of materialists conceals an austere spirituality, embodied in those Fateful policemen. Like his namesake Bovary, Charles sleeps when his exquisitely beautiful wife offers herself to him. He deserves what he gets."
The Unfaithful Wife (1969) - Claude Chabrol
Donny | Planet Earth | 10/14/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Unfaithful Wife is another film dealing with murder by the French New Wave's most mainstream talent, Claude Chabrol. What makes Chabrol different than his many contemporaries who also worked in the thriller genre is his approach towards his actor's emotions. Chabrol stays far away from exposing his characters inner thoughts, and allows more subtle actions and gestures to tell the story. The Unfaithful Wife is a prime example of how to deal with murder in the most minimalistic fashion. Chabrol isn't concerned wth visual exuberance, or artistic integrity like some of his New Wave counterparts, instead he's concerned with building characters that are meaningful to the viewer in different ways based on interpretations. Done in his most prolific period, The Unfaithful Wife is one of Chabrol's most emotionally detached, and deadpan films that works because the characters are not easy to define. The film also has a memorable ending that puts an original spin on an old plot."
The Unfaithful Wife
John Farr | 07/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Murder maestro Chabrol is one of the heralded French New Wave directors whose intelligent twists on genre (thrillers are his domain) ushered in an exciting new era in filmmaking. In "Wife," he offers a fresh take on the standard crime-of-passion tale, with the intense Bouquet playing a wealthy cuckold and Audran, Chabrol's own beautiful spouse, lending her ironic talents to the role of über-bored trophy wife. Chabrol's graceful camerawork, his sardonic attitude toward the nouveau riche, and a disquieting resolution will make you faithful to this "Wife." (Note: Divorce yourself from Adrian Lyne's wan 2002 remake.)"