L'Enfer (1994)



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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this French drama, Paul wants to buy the beautiful resort hotel he's worked at for 15 years. His spirited wife goes along with it. Incurring tremendous debts to get the hotel, Paul becomes stressed to the breaking point. After he suspects his wife of philandering, he slowly goes insane.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Henri-Georges Clouzot, Claude Chabrol
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 10, 1998



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Critic Reviews for L'Enfer

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (6)

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 11, 2006
Time Out
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Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
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Full Review… | April 15, 2002
Chicago Reader
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Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for L'Enfer


Seeing this makes me want to watch the available footage of Clouzot's Inferno and Schneider's interpretation of the role.

Stefanie C

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic]"La Belle Noiseuse" and "L'Enfer" are two French movies starring Emmanuelle Beart, directed by two very different directors who emerged from the French new wave, Jacques Rivette and Claude Chabrol, respectively.[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic][color=blue]"La Belle Noiseuse" starts out with a young artist and his wife, Marianne(Beart) visiting legendary artist, Frenhofer(Michel Piccoli), in the countryside. Frenhofer mentions a long abandoned project - La Belle Noiseuse, a painting of a 17th century courtesan. The young painter, Nicolas, offers his wife as a model without asking her. This of course angers her to no end but nonetheless she returns to pose the following morning. [/color][/font]
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[font=Century Gothic][color=blue]I liked "La Belle Noiseuse" in that it tries to convey the artist-model relationship and how it evolved as the painting continued. It is a beautiful looking film and I especially liked it when it got both artist and model in the same frame. It also examined the relationship of an artist to his/her spouse and how self-involved the artist can get. So much so, that the spouse needs to find an individual life. Frenhofer's wife(Jane Birkin) seems to have a thriving taxidermy hobby on the side and Marianne may have found a path by the end of the movie. Emmanuelle Beart gives a very courageous performance.[/color][/font]
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[font=Century Gothic][color=red]"L'Enfer" starts out with the marriage between a happy young couple, Paul(Francois Cluzet, who reminded me of a young Robert DeNiro) and Nelly(Emmanuelle Beart). Paul is the owner of a thriving resort hotel but the stress and lack of sleep is driving him to become very, very jealous of his wife. What we see is from Paul's point of view and thus we get to see his growing madness but I do not like the idea that madness can be used as an excuse for Paul's abusive behavior. By abusive, I mean that he tries to control Nelly's movements and I find that rather unpleasant. Plus, this is a shoddily shot movie.[/color][/font]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer


With the title L'Enfer (meaning Hell) and a story by famed French suspense master Henri-Georges Couzot, you cannot help but have some idea about what you're getting into. Paul works hard at managing his fledgling hotel and never gets enough sleep, and right at his side is his beautiful wife Nelly carrying her share of the load while raising their young son. Stress takes its toll on Paul as he begins hearing voices and suspects Nelly of straying into a young car mechanic's arms. And that's just for starters!

L'Enfer follows the one-track mind of Paul and never deviates from the theme of jealousy. Over time we see Paul transform from a pitiable figure into a despicable monster, and apart from a couple wobbles Francois Cluzet capably handles the task. Emmanuelle Beart is even better as Nelly as she deftly handles a wide range from the radiantly bouncy bride to the confused & frightened subject of scorn. The further the movie goes, the more we see slightly modified replays of earlier scenes because of the single-minded nature of the screenplay. Still, director Chabrol achieves his goal of depicting a marriage completely crumbling through one man's inability to accept the keystone building block of trust.

Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

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