La Poison (1951)



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Movie Info

Sacha Guitry both wrote and directed the witty black comedy La Poison. This time, however, Guitry does not star in the film, relinquishing that honor to Michel Simon. Through a series of circumstances and plot twists too numerous to mention, an enterprising man (Simon) manages to get away with murdering his wife, even though he cheerfully admits his guilt in court. The murderer's defense strategy is targeted towards every man who has ever wished that his wife would simply disappear. If this notion seems familiar, it is because La Poison was loosely remade in 1966 as the Jack Lemmon comedy How to Murder Your Wife. While the original is more clever, the remake has more popular appeal. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for La Poison

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

A miniature masterwork in itself.

Jan 5, 2015 | Full Review…

The film is useful as a guide to Sacha Guitry's neuroses and charming for Michel Simon's thundering performance

Dec 27, 2018 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Guitry's cinematic invention is less visual than narrative. He has a flair of creative storytelling and verbal dexterity ...

Oct 5, 2017 | Full Review…

An eye-opener. It satirizes the technicalities and inconsistencies of the legal system, as well as society's fascination with crime, and maybe in a reveal of some of Guitry's personal obsessions, also pokes nasty fun at the institution of marriage itself.

Sep 9, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A delicious amoral black comedy.

Feb 12, 2014 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for La Poison


"Poison" is set in a small, provincial town in France. It is the kind of sleepy town where the townspeople complain about the lack of tourist business. Somewhat more atypical is Blandine(Germaine Reuver) buying rat poison at the local pharmacy, under the watchful eye of one of her fellow townspeople. So, even with him not knowing this, you maybe cannot blame her husband of thirty years, Paul(Michel Simon), from taking his time coming home for dinner, after talking to, if not exactly confessing to the local priest(Albert Duvaleix). With "Poison," Sacha Guitry takes a darkly entertaining look at the institution of marriage. While maybe Blandine and Paul might have once loved each other, what is important is where they are now(possibly also being the ugliest couple on record), using the radio to cover their lack of communication with each other at dinner, pretty much the only time they see each other during the day.(See, you can't blame everything on television.) So, while Guitry takes his time with such observant details, including his patented opening credits sequence where he introduces the cast and crew(but otherwise not appearing), through most of the movie's length, he rushes in madcap fashion through the movie's climax, only stopping long enough to deliver some funny laughs.

Walter M.
Walter M.

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