This Man Must Die

Watch This Man Must Die

"The House of Hatred and Revenge"
  • GP
  • 1969
  • 1 hr 50 min
  • 7.6  (4,843)

This Man Must Die is a French suspense thriller film from 1969, directed by French director Claude Chabrol. It stars Michel Duchaussoy, Caroline Cellier and Jean Yanne in lead roles. The film is influenced by Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller, Strangers on a Train, but with a darker and more vengeful tone. The story of the movie is centered around Charles Thenier (Michel Duchaussoy), a mild-mannered man whose daughter is killed in a hit-and-run accident by an unknown driver. Charles learns from the police investigation that the driver is Paul Decourt (Jean Yanne), a wealthy novelist who lives in a small French village. Charles then decides to take revenge on Decourt by hunting him down and killing him.

As Charles sets out on his mission, he befriends Helene (Caroline Cellier), Decourt's mistress. She becomes the key to Charles' plan for revenge, and they both enter into a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with Decourt. Along the way, Charles finds out the truth about the accident and the relationship between Decourt and Helene, which complicates his plans.

The film's narrative is a psychological thriller, and therefore, the story's tension builds very slowly, with directors putting more emphasis on characterization and sensitive interpretations of daily life. The film is shot on location in rural France, which gives a rich and scenic backdrop to the story.

The movie is notable for its dramatic themes such as guilt, revenge, and justice. Charles' emotions drive the story, which is an exploration of his inner turmoil after losing his daughter. The film has a moral ambiguity that challenges viewers to question Charles' actions as he navigates the line between justice and revenge.

The acting performances in This Man Must Die are excellent. Michel Duchaussoy plays Charles Thenier's quiet anger and pain with an incredible intensity, making it effortless for viewers to empathize with him. Caroline Cellier's portrayal of Helene is complex and seductive, and Jean Yanne's portrayal of Decourt is chillingly cold, making the character a formidable villain.

Claude Chabrol's direction style is minimalist and allows the story to unfold in a natural and unpredictable manner. He captures the nuances of the French countryside and infuses the film with a brooding, atmospheric tension that accentuates the complexity of the story.

The film's title "This Man Must Die" is taken from the novel by British writer Nicholas Blake, and it accurately reflects the movie's themes. Revenge is at the core of the story, but the film's ultimate message is that revenge does not solve anything.

In conclusion, This Man Must Die is an intellectual thriller that explores themes such as revenge, guilt, and justice through the eyes of a bereaved father. It is an excellent example of French cinema in the late 1960s and demonstrates how powerful and effective storytelling is without relying on special effects to create drama.

This Man Must Die
This Man Must Die doesn't appear to be available from any streaming services.
Add this movie to your Watchlist to get notified when it's available.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 50 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (4,843)