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

GP  |   |  Thriller  |  19 December 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 5,262 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 32 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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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Antonio Passalia ...
Pascal Ferone ...
Père Cahrpy / Uncle Cahrpy
Mario Beccara ...
Léon Hamel
William Guérault ...
Roger Rudel ...
Commissaire Grumbach / Inspector Grumbach


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




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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

19 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El carnicero  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


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 »


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.
See more »


References Strangers on a Train (1951) See more »


Plaisir D'Amour
Music by Johann Martini (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

A rather Special Pilgrimage
17 June 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Way back in the mid '80's we took a family holiday in the Dordogne where we devoted one day to a rather special pilgrimage. With the aid of a map the village of Tremolat was not difficult to find. Tremolat - the name evokes that most magical of village locations for probably our favourite and certainly most oft watched French film. On arrival what surprised us was an absence of tourists and coaches. Surely this would be like Oxford as it is now with its "Morse" tours; but with people discovering the location of the butcher's shop, the school with Madamoiselle Helene's little flat above, the church, the cemetery, the caves. But fifteen years after Chabrol made his most unforgettable film there, no one had got round to organising a "Boucher" tour. It was a case of making one ourselves. We were excited and in no way disappointed. Everything was there and we were even able to retrace the exact walk that Popaul and Helene had taken in that memorable tracking shot from the wedding party to the school in the village square. The location of the butcher's shop, although a domestic dwelling was clearly identifiable as was the school which was in fact the Mairie. As the latter was a public building we were able to enter and even mount those very same stairs only stopping when we reached the door. Beyond, an office perhaps, so we didn't break the spell by trying to enter.

Claude Chabrol died last year so this reminiscence is by way of being a belated tribute to the French director who, with the possible exception of Francois Truffaut, has given me the most pleasure over the years. I have caught up with much of his late oeuvre only in the past few months and have to confess to being often disappointed. He made far too many so there are quite a few potboilers. But way back in the crossover period between the late'60's and early '70's he made those three extraordinary psychological thrillers that are among the glories of French cinema - "La Femme Infidele", "Que La Bete Meure" and finest of all "Le Boucher". The sound of Popaul's soft cries of "Madamoiselle Helene" coming out of the darkness and the image of Helene standing alone by the river and silently staring ahead are unforgettable moments among so many. Thank you, Claude Chabrol, for the lasting pleasure of your three greatest films and for "Le Boucher" in particular.

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