7.6/10
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37 user 36 critic

Le Boucher (1970)

Le boucher (original title)
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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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
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:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

19 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le Boucher  »

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

Filmed at Tremolat, Perigord, in October 1969. 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: A crime is awful! Think of the poor girl!
Popaul: I've seen a corpse or two - their heads in the wind, cut in half, mouth open. I've seen three or four piled together. Kids with their eyes punctured. Indo-Chinese as old as Madame Tirrant completely torn to bits. I've seen pals of mine rotting in the sun, being eaten by maggots.
Butcher shop customer: Yes, war is a horrible thing. That's a fact, but murder like this - it's barbaric!
Popaul: We counted corpses by the truckload, so... I'm rambling.
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Connections

References Foreign Correspondent (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Capri Petite Île
by Dominique Zardi
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User Reviews

 
The horror of irresolution
20 July 2008 | by See all my reviews

is The Butcher a thriller? Yes. Is it a psychological drama? Yes. Is it an idyllic small town romance? Yes. Is it a horror film? Yes. Can all of these descriptions coexist? Yes. The Butcher is indeed all of those things. It's a film that deals with the greatest, most puzzling, and most disturbing mysteries of humanity, but it's also a small, simple film with a style so subtle it sometimes appears to be no style at all. Chabrol's French contemporaries are known for their flair- for their attention-grabbing camera work and editing. Hitchcock was known for his stylish set-pieces. But Chabrol has an amazing knack for convincing us that we're not watching a stylish film. The color scheme, the manipulation of light, and the stifling editing are as meticulous as in a Hitchcock film, or a Truffaut film, but are at the same time nearly invisible. His direction is heavily stylized but appears nearly accidental. Chabrol manages to transform picnics, schoolhouses and cobblestone streets into a landscape that is horrifying for its lack of apparent horror and for its incongruity with the horror being committed. The Butcher is also the story of two people who have adapted, in their own ways, to modern society. An uneducated, old-fashioned male war veteran adapts by becoming a killing machine, and an educated, stylish woman adapts by becoming a cold narcissist. Both were apparently functioning, normal human beings until they meet each other. But, when they meet each other, their neuroses come into the foreground: his animalistic passion and her ultra-civilized coolness nearly destroy each other. Some viewers say that the woman is the monster and some say it is the man. It is the man who commits truly monstrous acts, but it is the woman who, by way of her repressed attraction to such a monstrous man, sets his gears turning. The schoolteacher never could have foreseen the effect she would have on the butcher, but she is still responsible, and that is what is terrifying. The Butcher, however, is not a masterpiece because of its cynicism; it's a masterpiece because it manages to be cynical while having utmost respect for its characters. It's a great film because of the way it explores how hard its characters try and how pathetically they fail. It's a horror film about how impossible it can be for people to change.


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