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Le Boucher (1970)
"Le boucher" (original title)

GP  |   |  Thriller  |  19 December 1971 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 4,857 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 30 critic

An unlikely friendship between a dour, working class butcher and a repressed schoolteacher coincides with a grisly series of Ripper-type murders in a provincial French town.

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Title: Le Boucher (1970)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jean Yanne ...
Antonio Passalia ...
Angelo
Pascal Ferone ...
Père Cahrpy / Uncle Cahrpy
Mario Beccara ...
Léon Hamel
William Guérault ...
Charles
Roger Rudel ...
Commissaire Grumbach / Inspector Grumbach
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Storyline

Butcher Popaul meets schoolteacher Helene at a wedding in a small rural French village. They become friends. But girls are murdered in the area and Helene finds at the scene the lighter she gave Popaul... Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

19 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El carnicero  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The third film that Jean Yanne and Claude Chabrol worked on. See more »

Goofs

When the blood from a murder victim drips down onto a girl from a cliff above, the hand shown dripping the blood looks fake. See more »

Quotes

Hélène: [Walking through a cavern] You must understand that the instincts, the feelings, and even the intelligence of Cro-Magnon man was definitely human. The only differences to the problem were his needs to survive.
Student: What does "survive" mean?
Hélène: It means to stay alive. He began to draw. Do you know what we call desires when they lose their savage quality? Aspirations. If Cro-Magnon had not survived, the world in which we live wouldn't exist.
See more »

Connections

References Strangers on a Train (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Capri Petite Île
by Dominique Zardi
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User Reviews

Beyond suspense
21 August 2003 | by (Kansas City, Missouri, USA) – See all my reviews

In my ongoing program of finally seeing films I should have seen years ago, tonight I watched "Le Boucher" on VHS. After two minutes of it, I wasn't sure I could bear to watch any more. And there was no overt cause for my uneasiness! All that was being shown was a simple country wedding banquet--yet there was such a palpable sense of unrest and evil that I felt like crawling down into the sofa to escape from it. And this relentlessly oppressive atmosphere persisted through the entire film.

How Claude Chabrol managed this seeming magic is beyond my comprehension. He instantly draws the viewer into a world very similar to Hitchcock's, but without the comic relief that Hitchcock unfailingly put into his films. Without the relief of tension that comedy affords, the experience of the film becomes almost unbearable--but I managed to sit through this entire short masterpiece, marveling at how a skilled director can create so much nerve-wracking suspense with so few means.

I was especially impressed by the film's totally unpretentious nature. The lighting is downright amateurish (on purpose, I'm quite certain), there are no special effects whatever, the dialogue is simple and straightforward: and in a theatrical setting, I think I would have been about scared out of my pants.

I can see why Chabrol has been called "the French Hitchcock." The honor is well and truly deserved.


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