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La Rupture (The Breach) (1970)
Rating:
Starring: Stephane Audran, Michel Bouquet, Jean-Pierre Cassel
Director: Claude Chabrol
Category: Avant Garde, Foreign
Studio: Pathfinder Home Entertainment
Subtitles:
Length:
120 mins

 
 

 

"Never has Chabrol's elegant style been so bravura...nor his insight into...human nature so profound." -Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

Helene (Stephane Audran) is a good mother with a checkered past as a stripper and barmaid. She divorces her ne'er-do-well husband and her in-laws blame her for causing her husband's addiction and set out to remove their grandchild from Helene's custody. Thwarted by the courts, they hire a seedy penniless operative, Paul (Jean Pierre Cassel), to destroy her reputation.

Paul moves into her rooming house and begins to insinuate himself into her life, hatching darker and more convoluted plots to implicate Helene in everything from drugs to a bizarre kidnapping plot.

A harrowing thriller from France's master of suspense, La Rupture ranks among Chabrol's finest works. Stephane Audran's taut performance is sleek and mesmerizing, while Jean Pierre Cassel's villain is a stand-out, the precursor of the comically evil villains of contemporary film.