Semi-good, The 500 Film Challenge, Uncategorized

#433: The Bride Who Wore Black

2 may 2011

Chris Fajardo tells me that this film inspired a couple of movies including Lino Brocka’s Angela Markado which starred Hilda Koronel and a couple of blood spattering victims. This movie allegedly inspired the two movies Kill Bill in which Quentin Tarantino, the said films’ director, allegedly denies.

These allegations have given me the inspiration to not only find out if it is in the same respect as Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2 has give me, but also to find out if there are ninjas or women garbed in blood, sweat, and swords.


If it weren’t for Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill films, I might’ve thought that this movie was something I’ve never seen before. But thank goodness that it was quite a long time ago and I sort of  set aside my memory of that blockbuster into some part of my brain to understand Francois Truffaut’s The Bride Who Wore Black starring a bodacious Jeanne Moreau as the main bride set out for revenge against the five men who shot her newly wed groom.



Francois Truffaut has mentioned in some interviews that this film is a homage to Alfred Hitchcock films. A thought that has never crossed my mind. In the lines of it being a suspense thriller that would be deemed controversial during those days would be a much better description of what this film is. It stars one of the 60’s french new wave cinema’s most talented actress Jeanne Moreau whom I can say is amazing in carrying out the character of the widowed and pained bride. This film begins in a confusing state: Julie Kohler is about to jump off the window up until her mother stops her. She then decides to leave town and track five men whom she is determined to charm and kill. We are also lead into a confusing state as we try to understand why she kills, who these men are and what her purpose is on killing them.

The answer to these questions are shown after the first two men on her list are dead. A smart flashback brings us to the part where five drunken men are happily playing in an apartment across a church. As the wedding bells ring to greet the newly wed, one of the five drunken men place a bet to shoot outside of their window. We hear a single gun shot, and guess who ends up dead.

As she moves on to her next victim, she is seen crossing out a name on her little book. She follows her next victim Morane and his kid from school. She pretends to be his son’ s school teacher and waits for Morane’s arrival from work. She cooks them dinner, plays hide and seek, and puts Morane’s son to bed. As she is about to go home, she claims to have lost her ring. Morane offers to look for the ring and ends up in the crawlspace under the staircase. Julie then locks the crawlspace and reveals to him (with finesse) her true identity. Morane pleads for his life and admits that the gun shot was an accidental shot made by his friends, adding that they were all horrified for what they’ve done and have lost communication with each other for the guilt and fear of being able to do such terrible thing ever again. However, Julie seems determined to continue on with her revenge ducts tape the crawlspace door and leaves Morane suffocated.

The fourth man ends up being arrested by the police (which seems to make her job much easier), and the fifth man named Fergus, an artist is killed by her by shooting him with an arrow as she poses for him as Diana the Huntress. She plans to cover her tracks by cutting out her face from the portrait, but leaves it. On Fergus’ funeral, she allows to get caught and admits to the murder of all four men.. but she never reveals why she did it.

The difference between this and Tarantino’s Kill Bill is that in the end Kohler remains as the psychopathic bitch that she’s become after losing the only “reason” for her existence. Since Kill Bill ends as Thurman kills Bill. This film ends as Kohler kills a random person in prison. I may have liked this film better than Tarantino’s if I saw this first. But I wouldn’t regard it in a Hitchcockian fashion.


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