Chabrol's sexiest film
Doug Anderson | Miami Beach, Florida United States | 03/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Opening scene: Romy Schneider is sunbathing outdoors on the lush green lawn of her San Tropez estate, nude. A mans kite slowly comes to rest on Romy's back. The man approaches and asks if he can retrieve his kite. Romy rolls over exposing herself and asks, "is there anything else you want?". So begins Claude Chabrols 1975 Innocents With Dirty Hands. Chabrol has made lots of movies and this in my estimation is his sexiest. Usually in his late sixties and early seventies pictures Stephane Audran is Chabrol's star and she is beautiful but also icy cold. Audran seems encased in her beauty and expresses very little in the way of emotion. It is nice to see an actress in a Chabrol film who express as much emotion and sensuality as Romy Schneider and there are lots of different kinds of emotions and sensuality to be expressed in Innocents. As to be expected in a Chabrol film the plot involves infidelity and murder but unlike many of Chabrols other treatments of his pet themes this film has some real heat. Chabrol loves to film the decadence of the rich as they enjoy their leisures and pleasures and San Tropez provides the perfect setting for this story of the idle rich playing dangerous games. Hitchcock is always mentioned in the same breath as Chabrol but Chabrol subverts Hitchcock as much as he borrows from him. In Hitchcock no matter how complicated things got there was always a comfortable resolution. In Chabrol complications do not work themselves out so neatly. Things get tangled and they remain tangled. In Chabrol's world everyone is a fallen creature, each character just realizes it in a different way and at a different time. Romy Schneider appears in one striking outfit after another, including one scene in a very cool caftan, another in black silk with cascades of diamonds. Her sensuality seems luxurious and this is a woman who basks in the glow of her luxury. Two men want her bad enough to kill, her husband played by Rod Steiger and the kite flying writer who lives next door. One plot gives way to another as each character tries to gain the upper hand. I've seen maybe 20 Chabrol fims and this one I would place very near the top of the list. The acting is tremendous by the main three characters and by the minor characters as well, ie the police detectives(great duo of detectives) and lawyer(great actor, Jean Rochefort). The ending as always with Chabrol is unexpected. A very sexy and very satisfying film which will please the most discerning filmgoer and delight anyone who already considers themselves a Chabrol fan. Also recommeded by Chabrol: La Ceremonie, Wedding in Blood, Le Boucher, The Unfaithful Woman(Le Femme Infidele), Cry of the Owl & This Man Must Die."
An absorbing film !
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 07/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First at all Rommy Schneider was one of the most beautiful women in all the story of cinema . In this opportunity Schneider plays the role of an unhappy woman who decides break the rules .
An intense drama will be developed in this puzzle of intrigue , erotism, jealous , betray and murder .
The amazing script plays in the european style . Deep focus , expressive close up , slow paced , careful attention to the corporal and visual language , characterized by a clear resources economy plus a script loaded with high caliber tension .
The shame will be flowing through the mind as a new element that it will never leave her .
Intense thriller that reveals once more to Claude Chabrol as the suspense french master .
Chabrol has common roots with Hitccock , but he plays harder . You can watch in Hitchcock a deep respect for the established order , and all his suspense is under this premise . After the torment , everything will reassume a new order (With the glorious exceptions of The wrong man and Vertigo of course) . But Chabrol always walks beyond the limited boundary . And the characters will never be back .
Watch this film . You will love and will adopt it as one your favorites ones.!"
Intriguing French mystery
G. Richards | Overland Park, KS | 12/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dating from 1975, this French mystery almost sets a new standard for its superbly convoluted plot and amoral characters. Director Claude Chabrol has often acknowledged Hitchcock as an influence. In the first scenes, a love triangle develops and the elements of a classic murder plot are set up. Then, after the murder has seemingly been carried out flawlessly, the plan begins to unravel. As layer upon layer is peeled off, it soon becomes apparent that nothing is quite what it seemed. The detectives, who struggle to make sense of conflicting evidence, provide an interesting foil for the characters, who are caught up in their respective intrigues. This edition is available both in French with English subtitles, and dubbed into English; it works better in the original French."
Chabrol Getting His Hands Dirty
Alex Udvary | chicago, il United States | 08/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The more films I see directed by Claude Chabrol the more impressed I am with his work. He has now found a place among my favorite filmmakers. I have mostly seen his work of the 90's "L' Enfer", "La Ceremonie" (Kind of a comeback movie for him), and "The Flower of Evil", though I have been able to sneak in a few of his classics such as "Les Biches", and his first film "Le Beau Serge".
"Innocents With Dirty Hands" has a Hollywood noir feel to it. Something along the lines of "The Postman Always Rings Twice" or "Double Indemnity". The story is similiar.
Romy Schneider plays Julie Wormser. A wealthy but unhappily married woman. She soon starts an affair with a neighbor, Jeff (Paolo Giusti) and they immeditaly decided to kill Julie's husband Louis (Rod Steiger).
The beginning of the film is a little hazy. We don't suspect this intense love affair is going on, and nothing before hand would lead us to believe the murder plot, but this is a Claude Chabrol film so what were you expecting to happen?
Once the plot starts to set in the movie in very involving. And the performances given by Schneider and Steiger really bring the movie together. I must admit though my eye did tend to follow Schneider more. She's the focal lead.
But there is a fault with this movie as the conclusion starts to come the movie becomes far moe complex than need be. It's almost like something out of a soap opera. Remember the simpliest touch is always the best one. There's no need to try and add layers on a story. A good story can get by without twist and turns at every corner.
Also the material doesn't seem as rich as in "Le Boucher" or "Les Biches", but despite everything "Innocents with Dirty Hands" works.
The movie has that Chabrol "feel" to it and we can sense we are in good hands. Chabrol will deliver the goods.
No matter how confusing the end may get there's one thing you have to admit, Chabrol puts on a good show. And that more than anything is one reason why you should see this movie.
Bottom-line: Despite whatever faults it may have this is one of Chabrol's best and belongs up there with his classics. The performance from Schneider is a standout. Well worth seeing."