Diabolique (1996 film)

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Diabolique ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik
Produced by James G. Robinson
Marvin Worth
Written by Henri-Georges Clouzot
Don Roos
Music by Randy Edelman
Jeremy Sweet
Cinematography Peter James
Edited by Carol Littleton
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • March 22, 1996 (1996-03-22)
Running time
107 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45 million
Box office $17,100,266

Diabolique is a 1996 American psychological thriller film directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik and written by Henri-Georges Clouzot and Don Roos. It is a remake of the French film Les Diaboliques (1955) directed by Clouzot. The film stars Sharon Stone, Isabelle Adjani, Chazz Palminteri and Kathy Bates. Filming took place in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[1][2]

Plot Summary[edit]

The wife and mistress (Adjani and Stone) of a cruel school master (Palminteri) collaborate in a carefully planned and executed attempt to murder him. The plan goes well until the body, which has been strategically dumped, disappears. The strain starts to tell on the two women as a retired police investigator (Bates) who is looking into the disappearance on a whim begins to think that they know more than they are telling, and further complications arise when their victim is seen, apparently alive and well by several of the school's pupils. The majority of this plot follows the original. It turns out the mistress and husband are trying to scare the rich wife with the bad heart enough to give her a heart attack so they can inherit her money. This ruse climaxes with the husband rising out of the bathtub and the wife collapsing when she sees him. However, unlike in the original, the mistress has developed feelings for the wife. After this scare, she can see that the wife didn't actually die but is just unconscious. She helps the wife up and together they try to leave the school grounds. The husband finds out and angrily chases after his wife to kill her with his bare hands. As he is struggling with her, she gouges his eye out with a crucifix she bought earlier. Then he corners her at the pool and pins her down and starts choking her. The mistress shows up with a gardening rake and slams it into his face and knocks him out. She kicks his unconscious body into the pool. As they turn to leave, he rises out of the pool and pulls them both into the pool with him. However, they both proceed to hold him under water until he drowns. As they are getting out of the pool, the retired police investigator from earlier shows up. She has figured out what the husband was up to and sympathizes with the wife. She punches the wife in the face and gives her a black eye to make it easier to plead self defense before calling for back up. Then the wife tells the mistress she wants nothing to do with her and leaves her in tears.




The movie was compared unfavorably to the original movie, and received overall negative reviews.[3][4] It currently holds a 'rotten' 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 26 reviews. Stone was nominated for a Razzie Award for "Worst New Star" (as The new "serious" Sharon Stone) for this film and Last Dance, where she lost to Pamela Anderson for Barb Wire.

Box office[edit]

The movie was a box office bomb, grossing far below its $45 million budget.[5]


  1. ^ "The Vindicator - Google News Archive". News.google.com. 1995-12-09. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  2. ^ "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Google News Archive". News.google.com. 1995-10-26. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  3. ^ "FILM REVIEW;Forget the Cerebral. Just Kill Him.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  4. ^ "Movie Reviews : 'Diabolique' Attempts to Replicate the Mystique". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 
  5. ^ "Weekend Box Office". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-31. 

External links[edit]