A Murder Is a Murder…Is a Murder
Time Out saysIn a seemingly undistinguished career, Périer at last came up with a fascinating thriller, a pure Hitchcock-Chabrol pastiche. The theme is essentially a reworking of Strangers on a Train, concerned with guilt rather than murder: guilt over the accidental death of the insufferable wife (Audran) of Paul Kastner (Brialy) which could so easily have been murder, and which a stranger (Hossein) subsequently claims his reward for arranging. Périer appears totally at ease with the Chabrol-like nuances: a sinister sister-in-law (also Audran) like a reincarnation from Poe's 'Ligeia', but who in reality is just nutty; or the carefully planned alibi that degenerates into pure farce when the railway commissionaire (Chabrol) breaks his glasses. Added to which he has set the protagonists in a sea of familiar Hollywood paraphernalia - rambling houses, wheelchair lifts, living-room chests - enhancing the gleefulness without destroying the menacing atmosphere.