Henri-Georges Clouzot has been called the French Alfred Hitchcock and with these two films he shows that he can outmaster the master of suspense.
THE WAGES OF FEAR is a film I've recommended before. I caught it very late one Friday night on TCM and could not stop watching it-- at the time is seemed endlessly long but I was so engrossed I could not turn away. The story centers on the working poor who are forced to drive dangerous trucks loaded with nitroglicerin across a rocky highway under construction. The job is so dangerous they actually send three trucks in the hopes that one actually makes it.
The desperation of the drivers and their co-pilots make this a five star film, Clouzot's masterpiece outside of...
"The best Hitchcock film Hitchcock never made." -- While I've long thought that title belongs more to NIAGARA it's often referred to that way.
Honestly, while Hitch tried to get the rights to this story and allegedly Clouzot beat him out by just a few hours I'm not sure Hitch could have pulled this one off as well-- it's got more horror elements to it than any other film Hitch has ever done including PSYCHO.
DIABOLIQUE is set in a rundown boarding school owned by invalid Christina and run by her tom cat husband Miguel, who flaunts his affairs in her face especially the one he's having with teacher Nicole who also happens to be a friend of Christina's-- despite her full knowledge of the indiscretion.
The two women plot to murder Miguel and things go bad-- very bad.
If this one doesn't have you on the edge of your seat you aren't paying attention.
Which brings me to another great point about movies today-- you are doing yourself and the film maker a great disservice if you watch most of your movies at home with the lights on with some distractions. I'm guiltier than most of you-- almost always working while I watch something-- but with movies like these you will never get what the excitement is about.
Do yourself a favor, pick a great film a week, turn out the lights, pop some popcorn and watch it the way you're supposed to watch it-- with your full attention.
You will not be disappointed with either of these.