A Double Tour

Chabrol’s first big commercial film and his second collaboration with writer Paul Gegauff, whose scathing attitudes are very much in evidence in this account of murder breaking into the tensions of a Provencal household. Henri Marcoux (Jacques Dacqmine) is a wealthy wine-grower who has a narrow-minded wife (Madeline Robinson), a beautiful young mistress, a restless daughter and an effeminate, mother-fixated son. When the mistress is murdered, suspicion falls on each member of the family – and also on Henri’s house guest (Jean-Paul Belmondo), an oafish young anarchist who drinks his host’s wine, wolfs down his food and advises him to leave his wife. Chabrol’s preoccupation with the bourgeois family begins to emerge here, as do some of his formal concerns, as evidenced in the striking use of colour and shifting points of view.

France, 1959.
English subtitles.
110 min.

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