L'Enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot (Henri-George Clouzot's Inferno) (2010)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In the 1950s and '60s, Henri-Georges Clouzot was one of France's most acclaimed and successful filmmakers, a director who enjoyed massive international success with Le Salaire de la Peur (aka The Wages of Fear) and Les Diaboliques, and his gift for generating tension and suspense onscreen earned him the nickname "the French Hitchcock." In 1963, Clouzot began work on a project called "L'Enfer" (aka "The Inferno"), a tale of jealousy that leads to madness, and the filmmaker was promised all the … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Television, Art House & International
Directed By: ,
Written By: Serge Bromberg
In Theaters:
Box Office: $24.0k
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Critic Reviews for L'Enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot (Henri-George Clouzot's Inferno)

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (9)

The remains of an aborted movie can become a fascinating pastiche.

Full Review… | December 16, 2010
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The results are like nothing you've seen before: Clouzot seemed to be reinventing the medium itself.

Full Review… | September 16, 2010
Boston Globe
Top Critic

A fascinating exploration of artistic self-destruction and hubris...

Full Review… | July 23, 2010
Top Critic

It is, in effect, a making-of documentary about a movie that was never made -- a movie that was supposed to revolutionize the art form and that survives, in the limbo between intention and realization, as an intriguing possibility.

Full Review… | July 16, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic

Thankfully, the story -- and especially Clouzot's existing footage -- is fascinating enough to transcend the treatment.

Full Review… | July 15, 2010
AV Club
Top Critic

[A] frequently tantalizing, if featherweight, documentary reconstruction.

Full Review… | July 14, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for L'Enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot (Henri-George Clouzot's Inferno)

This is an intriguing documentary about "Inferno," a film that Henri-Georges Clouzot started directing but was not able to complete in 1964, starring Romy Schneider and Serge Reggiani in a tale of jealousy and madness at a resort hotel. Reality is shot in black and white while the hallucinations are shot in color, combined to form a hypnotic mix. Sadly, all that survives of this film are 185 film canisters comprising 13 hours of footage. What has not is a soundtrack and occasionally Berenice Bejo and Jacques Gamblin read some of the dialogue on a soundstage. This is supplemented by interviews with surviving crew members including Costa-Gavras who was an assistant on the project but I would have liked to have heard from Jean-Louis Trintignant who plays a cameo role in the drama.

On such an experimental project with American support and an international star, the documentary makes the case that Clouzot bit off more than he could chew.(The first sign that something may have been wrong was the 300 page script.) While the scale may have been larger than he was used to, Clouzot is also the same person who directed Simone Signoret in "Diabolique" and Yves Montand in "The Wages of Fear." Actually, the failure may have been one of nerve, as all the lengthy preparation and tests could have been procrastination(take it from somebody who knows). And I am wondering how much of the movie was meant to be autobiographical on a psychological level, as he had suffered previously from depression and this was his first film in four years.

While watching the clips in this documentary, I was struck by the notion, as I usually have while watching a Brian De Palma movie, that I have seen this movie before. And I had. Thirty years after Clouzot could not bring his movie to fruition, Claude Chabrol adapted his script with Emmanuelle Beart and Francois Cluzet starring which the documentary fails to mention, missing a valuable opportunity to compare and contrast. In any case, I recall not liking Chabrol's version, as his workmanlike approach was not quite right for Clouzot's heady vision.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

I'm surprised that there is an audience that appreciated this film. Upon finding a canister of an unfinished film. the film maker probably would have been better off just showing us what was within. Instead we have a meandering mess of images that confuses Clouzot's original intentions.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Intriguing doc about the legendary H.G Clouzot's unfinished film 'L'Enfer'. It has rare footage of dailies, cam/makeup tests and interviews with cast/crew.

Wu Chouin

Super Reviewer

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