The Butcher (1970)

Genres - Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller  |   Run Time - 94 min.  |   Countries - France, Italy  |   MPAA Rating - R
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One of the fundamental influences of the French New Wave filmmakers -- most were also critics for the legendary Cahiers du Cinéma -- was to re-introduce the world to films that had been dismissed as "mere entertainment." Among their favorite subjects were the westerns of John Ford, the garish melodramas of Samuel Fuller and the comedies and genre films of Howard Hawks. Claude Chabrol, one of the leading voices of the movement, was an early champion of Alfred Hitchcock's thrillers. It's fitting then, that Chabrol has persistently paid homage to Hitchcock in his films. While not as fixated on the psychological-thriller genre as Hitchcock, Chabrol frequently revisits the sort of detached, murky morality and violence that characterized the best of Hitchcock. Perhaps his best film, Le Boucher has few twists in its plot, but relies on a very Hitchcockian blend of suspense and character. Stéphane Audran (Chabrol's wife and frequent collaborator) and Jean Yanne (who starred in another quality Chabrol effort, This Man Must Die, from the same year) both perform admirably in the difficult roles the director has devised for them.