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Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

Old 09-20-09, 12:04 AM
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Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

I wanted to see this film for a very long time and I don't think it lived up to the hype at all. I found it predictable, slightly boring, and unbelievable at times. Some people at IMDB have claimed it tops Psycho, well to me it's not even in the same ballpark. I can think of many, many other films that are more suspenseful than this. Seriously I wanted to turn it off and just do something else instead of watching it. I really don't get why this is considered a classic. I'm not saying it's the worst movie ever or something, it's just not nearly worth the praise it gets. Does anyone agree or am I alone on this one?
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Old 09-20-09, 12:07 AM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

Try the remake then.
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Old 09-20-09, 09:08 AM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

It's not overrated, it's just you. It is a classic, and frankly comparing it to Psycho is pointless, they are nothing alike.
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Old 09-20-09, 09:32 AM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

I've had this DVD for a while but put it away when I moved. I just watched it after seeing this thread. I liked the movie and the ending - I didn't think it was predictable. I certainly learned a lot about the French school system
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Old 09-20-09, 11:09 AM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

Originally Posted by naitram View Post
It's not overrated, it's just you. It is a classic, and frankly comparing it to Psycho is pointless, they are nothing alike.
I didn't think it was anything like Psycho either, I said people at IMDB message board did, it was said to have influenced Psycho.
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Old 09-20-09, 03:06 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

It's overrated because it's a classic. Just because modern fans are desensitized doesn't mean the movie isn't good.
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Old 09-20-09, 03:28 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

Originally Posted by statcat View Post
I didn't think it was anything like Psycho either, I said people at IMDB message board did
Your first mistake was reading the IMDb message boards.

And it's just you. "Diabolique" is a classic that deserves the praise it gets.
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Old 09-20-09, 03:31 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

Originally Posted by Kurtie Dee View Post
It's overrated because it's a classic. Just because modern fans are desensitized doesn't mean the movie isn't good.
I'm by no means a modern fan at all, most of my collection is pre 1980. As a thriller it just doesn't live up to the hype. I'd rank some mediocre film noirs and giallos over this.
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Old 09-20-09, 03:37 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

Originally Posted by statcat View Post
I'm by no means a modern fan at all, most of my collection is pre 1980. As a thriller it just doesn't live up to the hype. I'd rank some mediocre film noirs and giallos over this.
I guess it's just a 'to each his own' kind of thing.

Even with the language barrier, old fashioned sensibilities etc. I find the movie, by the time of the payoff scene, to be electrifying.

For the heck of it, what's the name of a thriller that you'd hype the way so many have done for Les Diaboliques?
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Old 09-20-09, 08:12 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

Originally Posted by statcat View Post
I'm by no means a modern fan at all, most of my collection is pre 1980. As a thriller it just doesn't live up to the hype. I'd rank some mediocre film noirs and giallos over this.
well...I think you need to grasp what a thriller means NOW compared to what a "thriller" was back in the day. A romantic love story from way back in the day would stereotypically follow the linear plot of it's genre but now....it can be a million ways. I've yet to see it but I'm just putting what my personal grasp as to what you meant and as to what the film may be like.
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Old 09-20-09, 09:00 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

Les Diaboliques >>>>> Psycho, but it's a stupid comparison...
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Old 09-21-09, 09:53 AM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

I totally disagree with Diabolique being overrated. It's very deserving of its status as a classic.

I have to admit that I sort of like the remake in a complete guilty pleasure kind of way. It's just so over the top and trashy.
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Old 09-22-09, 08:57 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

Originally Posted by statcat View Post
I'm by no means a modern fan at all, most of my collection is pre 1980. As a thriller it just doesn't live up to the hype. I'd rank some mediocre film noirs and giallos over this.
It's not really a thriller. It's more a suspenser. The stakes are high, something has gone horribly wrong, and no one can understand what happened. The first time I watched it, I kept waiting for something to break, and got impatient. I liked it a lot more the second time. You've really got to slow down your clock-speed to enjoy it.
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Old 09-23-09, 10:24 AM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

It's French. All French films are overrated. Stick with the Hong Kong remake. It's got Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung and kung fu. (Well it would have if I were in charge of Hong Kong remakes.)
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Old 09-23-09, 03:33 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

I've always liked this movie and watched it for the first time at what I would call ideal viewing conditions--very late at night at a movie theater. I've since watched it many times since and still find it very enjoyable. I think it is deserving of its status.
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Old 09-23-09, 04:18 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

Originally Posted by Kurtie Dee View Post
Even with the language barrier, old fashioned sensibilities etc. I find the movie, by the time of the payoff scene, to be electrifying.
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Old 09-23-09, 05:04 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

I'll agree with the OP. I've seen it 3 times and I find it to be lesser than its reputation. It's good, and I like the detective character who shows up in the second half, but I think it's one of those films that was great in its time, but falls short today. It can only be enjoyed by viewing it through a prism where one alway reminds oneself "this is 50 years old and quite good for its time."

For superior, timeless Euro suspense I would recomend Knife in the Water as being 10x more suspensful and able to hold the audience at rapt attention. I also think that while Diabolique is overrated, Clouzout's Wages of Fear is way underrated. It's held in high regard, but it just might be one of the 10 best films ever made. It's fucking tough as nails and sustains suspense for a solid 90 minutes in the second act.

Last edited by Mabuse; 09-23-09 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 09-23-09, 11:30 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

At least we can agree it's all about Clouzot - although I read something recently that made a convincing argument for Friedkin's Sorcerer as being superior to Wages of Fear ...
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Old 09-24-09, 12:17 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

I'd like to read that, what was it?

I'm gonna laugh my ass off at whatever it is, but I'd like to read that.

Wages of Fear is my number one all time favorite!
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Old 07-05-11, 02:46 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

Nothing like a two year bump.

So I just saw this film. Some say it has nothing in common with Psycho, and I don't think we saw the same movie. There are many similarities between both films.

But anyway, curious to know what people think about how it ended:

Spoiler:
Obviously Michel and Nicole planned the entire thing to off Christina, but what do you make of the boy at the end of the film, who says Christina gave him the sling shot (after she presumably died)?
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Old 07-05-11, 02:50 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

Not overrated, but it's been imitated and re-imitated so many times, that what was fresh in 1955 is trite and cliched in 2011 (or 2009, depending on when you're reading this thread).
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Old 07-05-11, 03:37 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

I've still never seen this friggin' movie.
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Old 07-05-11, 05:32 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

What's the movie about ? I've never heard of it.
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Old 07-05-11, 07:04 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

Originally Posted by Spottedfeather View Post
What's the movie about ? I've never heard of it.
From this thing called IMDb.
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Old 07-05-11, 08:13 PM
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Re: Diabolique (1955)- why is this film so overrated?

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
I've still never seen this friggin' movie.
That's surprising.

I like Les Diaboliques but Le Salaire de la peur is superior, even with its
Spoiler:
ridiculous nihilist
ending.
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