Claude Chabrol


July 6, 2022

Claude Chabrol [klod šabrol] (24 June 1930 Paris – 12 September 2010 Paris) was a French film director and screenwriter and occasional actor. He belongs to the representatives of la nouvelle vague, i.e. the new wave.


The popularity of the first films

Chabrol already won the Jean Vigo award in 1959 with his early film Friends (Le Beau Serge, 1958). Friends is considered the first film of the French new wave. For his next film Brave Youth (1959), Chabrol received the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Thanks to the profits from Friends, Chabrol was able to film Brave Youth. He also helped other film directors, for example he financed Éric Rohmer's film The Mark of the Lion (1959), Philippe de Broca's Lemmenleikit (1960) and Leiki ja lemmi! (1961) and Jacques Rivette's film Paris belongs to us (1960). Chabrol was a technical advisor on Jean-Luc Godard's first film, Last Breath.

Fade and return

After the first films, Chabrol's popularity waned. Many of his films of the early and mid-1960s received little praise from critics or audiences. During that time, he directed, among other things, the art films Locked Door and Hot Relationships. Chabrol also made bilingual productions starring Hollywood stars. The champagne murders starred Anthony Perkins and Jean Seberg in The Mission Without Mercy. In 1968, Chabrol met producer André Génovès, who gave him free rein to make another film. Naarashirvet, which premiered in the same year, restored Chabrol's appreciation. Naarashirvet was a psychological film about sexual subjugation, starring his second wife, Stéphane Audran. Between 1967 and 1973, Chabrol produced several popular drama films starring Audran. These included Man, Woman, Lover, This Man Must Die and Heart Attack. However, Chabrol's most respected work from that period is The Butcher (1970), in which a teacher falls in love with a butcher from a small village who has a passion for killing young women.

The last decades

In his later years, Chabrol no longer achieved the consistency of his peak years. However, successful films include The Riddle of the Woman in Black (1978) and L'enfer (1994), which is based on a 30-year-old script that Henri-Georges Clouzot had abandoned after his heart attack in 1964. Chabrol continued to be active until his death. He made about 60 films in total. His last work was Bellamy, starring Gérard Depardieu.


On topic elsewhere

Pictures or other files about Claude Chabrol on Wikimedia CommonsYlen Living archive: Claude Chabrol in the village 1966


Bagh, Peter von: "Multitasker" - Claude Chabrol interview, Filmhullu 4/1992. Helander, Sakari: "Chabrol, Delannoy, Truffaut: examining relationships", Filmhullu 3/2010. Chabrol theme collection, Filmhullu 3/2014.