Diabolique (1955) Criterion Blue-ray

Along with the nerve-racking The Wages of Fear (1953) —a story about a team of desperate misfits carting two truck loads of nitroglycerin through bumpy terrain,  Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Diabolique (1955) ranks as one of the most suspenseful film ever made.  I rank both films on par with any of Hitchcock’s finest thrillers. Back in March 1992, I saw a restored print (148 minutes) of The Wages of Fear at the Detroit Film Theatre.  I was mesmerized. Once the trucks get moving, the film is unrelenting. Clouzot keeps topping the thrills with one brilliant sequence after another.  It was like the first time seeing Jaws.  While I think “Wages” is a better film, Diabolique stands on it’s own for having one of the most startling scenes ever struck on celluloid.  Don’t bother looking for the stupid remakes. Go straight for the Criterion Blue-ray disc.

Since 1984, I’ve been watching Criterion video discs. They’re about the finest discs available. On most DVDs/BR, they offer a combination of exquisite film restoration pressed on premium material, unique supplements and usually an enclosed essay.  They’re DVDs for film connoisseurs.  The new Diabolique Blue-ray is the cleanest and sharpest print I’ve ever seen. I doubt it looked this good when it was originally released.  I’m going to watch it again tonight—

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