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Lucienne (Stéphane Audran) lives a loveless but conveniently comfortable marriage to a provincial town’s ambitious mayor Paul Delamare (Claude Piéplu), who seems more interested in a lucrative but corrupt land deal than he does in anything other than the most basic trappings of family life. Unsurprisingly, Lucienne spices things up with a passionate affair with Pierre Maury (Michel Piccoli), who needs a similar distraction from his bed-ridden wife. But when Delamare appoints Maury as his deputy, the latter’s relationship with Lucienne, already under constant threat of exposure thanks to the need to meet in semi-public places, becomes far more potentially damaging - especially when people start dying in mysterious and politically awkward circumstances. As ever with Claude Chabrol, it’s the complex psychological interplay between the three main characters (and Lucienne’s teenage daughter, a silent witness to more than she was supposed to see) that makes his film so riveting.
Running Time: 92 minutes
Production Year: 1973