The hatter (Serrault) is a mass strangler who allows his secret to be discovered by hangdog Cachoudas (Aznavour), the tubercular Armenian tailor opposite. The ensuing relationship seems unbelievably reckless, even with a mad hatter involved, and manifestly it's the Hitchcocko-Jesuitical theology about shared guilt which animates the picture. If it's all a bit exclusive, it's redeemed by Serrault's baroque performance - shaking with secret mirth, letting slip snippets of the mysterious conversations running on in his head. Though based on a 1956 Simenon novel (The Judge and the Hatter) Chabrol locates his adaptation in an off-kilter time zone - little bit '30s, little bit '50s - that some may find the most intriguing aspect of the movie.
Cast and crew