A superbly stylish and baroque crime thriller which marks a return for Chabrol to the bravura incorporation of pulp conventions that distinguished some of his earlier work. But here the convoluted plot draws us inexorably through a minefield of kaleidoscopically changing relationships at the kind of measured pace that allows the film to accumulate all sorts of tragic resonances. There are innumerable bold strokes as Chabrol treads from irony to irony, ambiguity to ambiguity. Romy Schneider is fascinating as the icy wife plotting to rid herself of her boorish husband (doubts about Steiger fade as the film progresses), and the minor characters - including a characteristically histrionic lawyer and two policemen given to discussing the case over meals of various dimensions - are drawn with absolute precision.
Cast and crew
Hans Christian Blech