Running for a week in a new print at Film Forum, The Bride Wore Black appeared shortly after the publication of Truffaut’s book-length interview with Alfred Hitchcock and was understandably taken as a new wave director’s homage to an old master—a then-novel thought. In some senses it is that—a dryly comic thriller with a rapturously foreboding Bernard Herrmann score that seems designed to implicate the spectator in on-screen murder. But for all of Truffaut’s digressive asides, deadpan gags, and lyrical cinephiliac touches, his slow-starting movie is overly schematic, emotionally shallow, and not so much fun.

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Sometimes a Great Notion
Directed by Paul Newman
Universal Pictures
November 4 through 10, BAM

The Bride Wore Black
Directed by François Truffaut
Film Desk
November 4 through 10, Film Forum

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Rather than laboriously walk us through five killings, Hitchcock might have briskly dispatched the first few victims, the better to lavish more attention on the bride’s most smitten target: Charles Denner’s obnoxiously self-regarding artist, who insists on painting the bride as Diana the Huntress, thus allowing Truffaut to suggest that she is a virgin. Their perverse love scenes are Moreau’s best. For the rest of the movie, she basically functions as po-faced straight-woman to a bunch of clowns, adding a touch of gravitas to Truffaut’s sluggishly contrived satire on male vanity.

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2 comments
Sakara
Sakara

dario argento and mario bava made a lot of thrillers that were better than BRIDE WORE BLACK---but snoby critics still look down on them as mere thrillers not worthy of reviews.

R. McMurphy
R. McMurphy

And Jaeckel got a Best Supporting Actor nom out of it!

 

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