Friday, December 16, 2011

Top Ranked Films of Henri-Georges Clouzot

Henri-Georges Clouzot and Romy Schneider

Henri-Georges Clouzot
3 titles, 83rd in total points with 10,033

A formalist, Clouzot’s films adhere to plot and pacing much like Hitchcock, to whom he’s been compared. It’s a pity that there weren’t very many full-length titles in his life’s work, around fifteen total.

These are all the films of classic French director Clouzot that made the top 1000 in our 2011 update of the Top Ranked 1000 Films on the Net, all polls.

1. The Wages of Fear (1953) #168 This film would be a masterpiece except for the silly ending ("I'm a good driver" - Rain Man)
2. Diabolique (1955) #214 (aka Les Diaboliques) We have the same title confusion as The Bicycle Thief (is it plural or singular? Depends on whose list you’re reading)
3. Quai des Orfèvres (1947) #790

Conspicuously missing is Le Corbeau (1943, aka The Raven), a brave film about a poison pen letter writer in a small town, and a film banned by both the Nazis and the victorious French. This film is a classic study of paranoia and individual guilt.

Clouzot’s stunningly beautiful Brazilian wife Vera Clouzot [photo above] stars in both Wages of Fear and Diabolique. She has a refreshing, natural beauty that remains fresh looking half a century later. In Wages, she plays a local beauty in a small South American town, who cleans floors (to admiring male eyes) in the local bar, and other assorted pleasures, who is popular with local Europeans there looking for work in the oil industry. In Diabolique, she plots to kill her husband with his mistress, then bizarre events start to happen.

Clouzot’s films won 12 awards, four for Wages of Fear, two for Diabolique.

See the full list of top ranked 100 directors here: Top Ranked 100 Directors, 2011 Edition

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