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

GP  |   |  Thriller  |  19 December 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 5,212 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




GP | See all certifications »

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
See  »

Did You Know?


Filmed at Tremolat, Perigord, in October 1969. 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: [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 »


Referenced in Le boucher: intervista a Claude Chabrol (2005) See more »


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User Reviews

A Dark, Intriguing and Suspenseful Love Story
15 February 2009 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In the village of Tremolat, Périgord, the lonely headmistress Helene Daville (Stéphane Audran) befriends the local butcher Paul Thomas (Jean Yanne), who has a trauma of war, in the wedding party of her colleague Leon Hamel (Mario Beccara). In spite of their friendship, they do not become lovers since Helene is still recovering from the disillusion of her last relationship. In Paul's birthday, Helene gives a lighter to him as a gift. During the excursion with her class to a cave in the woods, Helene finds the last victim of a serial killer that is stabbing young women in the area. She realizes that the woman is Leon's wife and she finds Paul's lighter in the crime scene but she hides the evidence from the police. When Paul visits her, she discovers that he still has the lighter and she feels relieved. However, when Paul paints the ceiling of her house, she makes a discovery that affects her sense of security.

The unknown gem "Le Boucher" is a dark, intriguing and suspenseful love story by Claude Chabrol. The plot is completely unusual and very simple, it is not tagged by an specific genre and can be resumed in the storyline; however, the screenplay, direction, performances and camera work make the difference. The opening scene shows a beautiful area in the countryside of France where the plot takes place. Helene is a fascinating character with her contradictory and ambiguous behavior and relationship with Popaul. Their chemistry is also perfect. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O Açougueiro" ("The Butcher")

Note: On 06 February 2011 I saw this film again on DVD.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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