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France, 1997 (MIFF 1998, International Panorama)

Director: Claude Chabrol

Victor and Betty - masterfully played by French screen mainstays Michel Serrault and Isabelle Huppert - are an odd couple peddling one of the oldest scams in the con artist's manual. Checking into luxury hotels, the alluring Betty cosies up to a wealthy looking mark, accompanies him to his room and then slips him a mickey. After robbing their dupe they continue on their criminal journey across France by caravan.

One of Victor's rules of thumb is not to fleece a victim of too much, the reasoning being that suitably affluent prey will be more embarrassed than outraged and not pursue the thieves or notify the police. During a brief holiday Maurice enters the picture and it is debatable whether Betty is still playing by Victor's rules or looking for greener pastures. When it is revealed that Maurice is involved in a scheme to net five million francs, a fresh adventure leads the unlikely trio to the Caribbean.

The precise relationship between these two strange frauds is, purposely, never clarified throughout the film. This is part of the game that a director as skilled as Chabrol can play with a script. In addition to the highly proficient performances it is the pleasure that the two leads take in the sharp dialogue as well as Chabrol's impish and playfully nasty, Hitchcock-style tone that make the film such a delight.

Colourful, energetic, both comic and suspenseful, Rien Ne Va Plus is the work of a seasoned director who can still muster the vigour and imagination to create fine cinema after more than 40 years in the game.

French cinema veteran Claude Chabrol was born in Paris, 1930. Initially working as a writer and critic for Cahiers du Cinema, Chabrol has been incredibly prolific since his 1958 debut with Le Beau Serge. He has in excess of 50 features to his credit as well as television films and mini series. Amongst the director's more prominent and celebrated works are Les Cousins (1959), Bluebeard (1963), Le Scandal (1967), Les Biches (1968), Wedding in Blood (1973), Docteur M (1989) and Madam Bovary (1991).

See also...


“You can sense [Claude] Chabrol's wicked grin behind the camera in every sense… the master shows that he has lost none of his youthful energy.” - Toronto International Film Festival ... More »


An adaptation of the novel by Georges Simenon, the film is set in La Rochelle, an ancient township in France, where ... you have to pass through narrow, ill-lit streets to get from one shopping area ... More »


A kind of confessional realism is bound up with a fictional form in this latest film from Claude Chabrol. His regular scriptwriter, Paul Gegauff, based the story on the break-up of his own common-law ... More »


Claude Chabrol's Le Boucher was shown at last year's Melbourne Festival, and he is represented again this year by Les Noces Rouges, (Blood Wedding). According to Chabrol, this is the last film of his ... More »


Claude Chabrol describes Just Before Night as "the story of a man who kills someone, and then finds out he himself is dead". In it, he created a psychological drama which begins when Charles, the ... More »


Claude Chabrol, one of the original members of the French New wave, here turns his attention to a story situated in the middle of the Second World war. Set in Vichy France, that part of the country ... More »

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