The Bride Wore Black

1968 [FRENCH]

Crime / Drama / Mystery

IMDb Rating 7.3 10 8453

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 19, 2020 at 07:25 AM


Jeanne Moreau as Julie Kohler
Michael Lonsdale as Rene Morane
989.17 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 47 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by seymourblack-1 8 / 10

Truffaut's Hitchcockian Revenge Thriller

Francois Truffaut greatly respected and admired the work of Alfred Hitchcock and "The Bride Wore Black" is his homage to the great director. It's a movie that's fascinating to watch because of the skillful way in which the story's important background information is gradually revealed but also because it's highly entertaining in the conventional sense. Its off-beat nature, its numerous Hitchcockian elements and the mystery surrounding the stony-faced widow who embarks on a murder spree are just some of the strong features of this tense revenge thriller which interestingly, also incorporates some of the more gentle and light qualities that are typical of Truffaut's work.

Julie Kohler (Jeanne Moreau) is the mysterious woman who, after having failed in an attempt to commit suicide, sets off on a journey to kill the five men whose names she has written down on a list. Her approach to her mission is very meticulous and unemotional and the ways in which she kills her victims vary on each occasion. It transpires that Julie's husband had been shot dead on the church steps on the day of their wedding and she held the five men accountable because, after a night of drinking and playing cards together, one of them had fired a high-powered rifle out of a window opposite the church and this thoughtless act had robbed her of her new husband who'd been her childhood sweetheart and the love of her life.

Julie's modus operandi is to lure each victim into a situation where she can kill him. At a party being held in his high-rise apartment by a womaniser called Bliss (Claude Rich), she pushes him off the balcony and he falls to his death. At the apartment of the lonely bachelor Robert Coral (Michel Bouquet), she poisons his drink and at the house of pompous politician Clement Morane (Michel Lonsdale), she suffocates him to death after locking him in a storage cupboard under a flight of stairs. Her plan for her fourth victim is thwarted because Delvaux (Daniel Boulanger), who's a used car dealer, is arrested by the police for handling stolen property but with the aid of a bow and arrow, she successfully completes the murder of the fifth man on her list, an artist called Fergus (Charles Denner).

The actions that Julie takes following the murder of Fergus initially seem to be illogical but her reasons soon become clear because the way in which she manipulates events to ensure that she's able to conclude her mission is ingenious and provides the movie with a tremendous conclusion which is also brilliant in the way that it's filmed.

The presence of disguises, a poisoned drink and high-angle camera shots together with a Bernard Herrman score, the theme of obsession and a sequence that takes place in a concert hall, are just some of the many Hitchcock trademarks that feature in this story. Julie's character is so traumatised by her experience that she's been completely numbed and Jeanne Moreau captures the cold elegance of her character perfectly in a deadpan performance that's at the centre of everything that happens in this drama. The supporting cast is also top class with Michel Bouquet and Michel Lonsdale both being particularly good in their roles.

One of the strengths of "The Bride Wore Black" is that it's thoroughly enjoyable whether it's viewed as a Hitchcock tribute or taken simply at face value. In view of the circumstances in which it was made and the obvious affection that Truffaut had for Hitchcock's work, it's sadly ironic that out of all of his movies, this is the one that Truffaut liked least.

Reviewed by Don-102 9 / 10

From One Auteur To Another: Truffaut's Ode To Hitchcock...

Francois Truffaut's THE BRIDE WORE BLACK is an excellent gift of a film to fans of Hitchcock and even to the master himself. There are many nods to Hitch's films and you know Truffaut had done his homework while making the picture (by writing the definitive book on Hitch's films). What makes BRIDE WORE BLACK more than just mere homage is an elevation of suspense and a less stylized, blatant approach to the material. Truffaut does not sell his own cinematic soul and is able to present a terrific suspense story of his own. It was almost like Hitch's work turned inside out. Jeanne Moreau plays a miserable middle-aged woman, both suicidal and murderous, looking to avenge the death of her life-long companion and husband.

We see the murder of the husband repeatedly throughout the picture, studied from different angles and vantage points. He is assassinated on the steps of the church, while the thunderous 'wedding suite' plays rather ominously. We find out why she picks her victims the way she does and how they all relate to the slaying. This is one ticked off woman. Some of the murders echoed Hitch, one inspired by FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, another from NOTORIOUS. The scenes and "borrowing" that occur here are not as blatant as you may think, however. They are mostly inspirations and Truffaut puts his own spin on them, meshing them together or taking them apart and reassembling the elements. If you are a Hitch connoisseur, it is fun to interpret what Truffaut is doing with the master's vast material.

I was also struck by a feeling of NORTH BY NORTHWEST, but with a woman as the main protagonist and the journey turned inside out. Of course, we get the character who has seen this person before and either leads to her capture or is on to her, a staple in Hitch flix. The ultimate homage is Bernard Herrmann's score (he was Hitch's right hand man for years). The 'wedding suite' is louder than usual, resonating evil, and the music as a whole is Herrmann's typical gothic work, brilliant and memorable. Truffaut extends Hitchcock by showing us in more graphic detail some of the killings and the relentless mission this woman is on is not stylized the least bit.

Check out the poisoning scene and tell me you don't see Ingrid Bergman looking at Claude Raines circling and bellowing in expressionistic ways. Trains are littered throughout the film, one on the lampshade of a young boy, another with Moreau riding on it. This is all great, but it transcends some of Hitch's work in many ways. The blood-curdling ending is one of the best I have ever seen in film, period. Considering BRIDE WORE BLACK was released in 1968, the horrific ending may have inspired HITCH of all people when he made FRENZY in 1972. Watch both and see if you know what I mean. This is a must see for foreign film fans as well.

RATING: 8 1/2 of 10

Reviewed by jotix100 7 / 10

The avenger

Julie Kohler has reasons for wanting to avenge the death of the man she marries, but whom is no longer around to ensure their happiness as a couple. A determined woman, Julie knows she must deal with the five men that changed her life in a second as she and her husband are posing atop the steps of the church where they were married. Mme. Kohler embarks in a mission to remedy the situation that have rendered a bitter woman.

The novelist Cornell Woolrich, who also wrote under the pen name of William Irish and George Hopley, wrote the novel which is the basis of the Francois Truffaut's "The Bride Wore Black". The director, obviously inspired in the original text, brought it to the screen by co-adapting it with an actor, Jean-Louis Richard. The setting was changed to France, for obvious reasons. The result is a film that, on second viewing, recently, proved not to be as exciting as we once thought.

Part of the problem is in the execution of the story. Julie Kohler sets the trap to get the five men responsible to ruin her life, and yet, there is no clue in the film that gives a hint as to how she got to identify the men in the apartment across the way from where she was standing. We go along for the ride; the viewer wants to make concessions in order to enjoy the film. We want to think Julie can pull it off. At each killing, the otherwise intelligent murderess, is oblivious of the things the police will look into to identify the assassin, like leaving a trail of fingerprints on occasion. Logic was something M. Truffaut threw away when he decided to bring the novel, which, by the way, we have not read, to the cinema. The director, a fervent admirer of Alfred Hitchcock, gives a nod to his idol in this ambitious production.

Jeanne Moreau is perfectly chilling as the calculating Julie. She shows a determination and cold blood to do away with the five men that she blames for killing her husband. Ms. Moreau shows a remorseless woman in her resolve to get rid of the people that made her suffer. The casting was an absolute coup for the director, bringing actors of the caliber of Michel Bouquet, Jean-Claude Brialy, Michael Lonsdale, Charles Denner, Claude Rich, and Alessandra Stewart, among them.

Raoul Coutard, who had worked with Truffaut before, is the cinematographer. Bernard Herrmann, a frequent Hitchcock collaborator composed the musical score.

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