An elegant and outrageous black opera, handled with a panache that deliberately flouts notions of good taste. Piccoli enjoys himself hugely as the civic eminent (a distinguished lawyer newly invested with the Legion of Honour) who swindles and murders unscrupulously with the help of his lovers, two sisters (Schneider and Gomska). The result is a finely balanced fairytale (complete with 'happy' ending), full of a subversive mockery of pathetic respectabilities, unkind but not callous. Avoid the English-dubbed version, which coarsens the film to such an extent that it's scarcely recognisable: the exuberant excesses of Piccoli's performance are made to look merely hammy.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Francis Girod, Jacques Rouffio|