Enigmatic, slyly amused, fastidious, swinging from bleak introspection to boisterous knockabout, such is the style of Landru, the character and the film both. Its first half is a series of repetitions: WW1 newsreels to confirm the period, Landru selecting a victim, winning her confidence; then a freeze-frame on a trusting face, followed by a smoking chimney and the English neighbours complaining about nasty smells. The remainder - arrest, trial, execution - is slightly anti-climactic, but carried along by Denner, his mincing movements, booming bass voice and his mesmerising strangeness making for a plausible mass murderer. It's violence-free, though not without visual shocks: bilious purple upholstery intruding into a world of pale pastel, a victim-to-be ominously aligned with a row of brimming coal scuttles.
Cast and crew