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1953, Janus Films, 131 min, France, Italy, Dir: Henri-Georges Clouzot

Later remade as William Friedkin’s SORCERER, Pauline Kael called this nail-biting thriller “the most original and shocking French melodrama of the ’50s.” When one of its South American wells catches fire, an oil company hires four drivers to transport the nitroglycerin needed to extinguish it. Yves Montand stars as one of the men desperate enough to carry the explosive cargo over very rough mountain roads. In French with English subtitles.

1955, Janus Films, 110 min, France, Dir: Henri-Georges Clouzot

One of the greatest psychological thrillers ever made, DIABOLIQUE focuses on the browbeaten wife (Vera Clouzot) of a brutal schoolmaster and his tough-as-nails mistress (Simone Signoret) as they team up to murder their mutual tormentor. But that’s only the beginning of this edge-of-your-seat affair, a twisting, turning shocker that still holds up today as one of the all-time classics of suspense. Legend has it that Clouzot beat Hitchcock to the punch by only an hour in sewing up rights to the original novel by Pierre Boileau. With sardonic Charles Vanel as the poker-faced inspector. In French with English subtitles.

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