Wednesday 13 December 2023

The Bride Wore Black [1968]

 While Truffaut loved making crime films as an expression of his love for classic noirs – albeit permeated with poetic sensibility that was distinctively French – The Bride Wore Black was arguably his most Hitchcockian work, and therefore his most direct ode to the iconic filmmaker who he deeply admired. Adapted from the fatalist roman noir of the same name by Cornell Woolrich, it was also a homage to the then-dying crime writer whose books he loved. This pulpy tale of a bride who exacts murderous revenge on the five people responsible for making her a widow on the day of her marriage, in turn, served as a direct reference to the premise, structure and devices of Tarantino’s absurdly entertaining Kill Bill. Though it arguably finds place as second-tier Truffaut – as much on account of the silly backstory and gaping plot holes, as for the differences that he had while shooting with his celebrated DOP Raoul Coutard, with whom he’d worked on three films in the past, that potentially impacted his direction – it nevertheless exuded captivating flavours, not least on account of its magnetic leading lady Jeanne Moreau, in her second collaboration with him. She was arresting as an icy-cold femme fatale who seductress and eliminates her victims in manners that were simultaneously outrageous and deadpan – pushing a lascivious ladies’ man (Claude Rich) off the balcony; poisoning a lonely middle-aged bachelor (Michel Bouquet); leading a cocky politician (Daniel Boulanger) to suffocation; piercing a smitten painter with an arrow while luridly posing for her; and getting herself arrested to finish off a corrupt scoundrel. Coutard’s dazzling cinematography – with its sunny, colourful visuals – imbued the film with a cool, modernist and detached flavour.

Director: Francois Truffaut

Genre: Thriller/Crime Thriller/Post-Noir

Language: French

Country: France

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