La Biennale di Venezia

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Claude Chabrol - L’oeil du malin (The Third Lover)

Venice Classics

France, Italy (1962) / 91’
language French
cast Jacques Charrier, Stéphane Audran, Walther Reyer, Erika Tweer, Michael Munzer, Daniel Boulanger, Claude Romet, Louis Le Pin, Jean Davis Badin
screenplay Claude Chabrol

cinematographer Jean Rabier
editor Jacques Gaillard
music Pierre Jansen

sound Jean-Claude Marchetti
restoration curated by Studiocanal
with the support of Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée
film laboratory Hiventy



Albin Mercier, a failed journalist, is writing an article in Germany. When he meets a couple who seems very close, he is jealous and sets out to destroy their relationship. He discovers that the young woman has a lover and blackmails her emotionally.


L’oeil du malin will be seen, I hope, as a crime movie. It will be the first time I have made a film in a particular genre and respected the rules throughout. (...) But beside its genre, this film has another facet: it is a pathological study of envy. The whole film is told by the character played by Charrier (...) In this film, whose plot is quite simple and lends to suspense, I have tried to bring out ideas by the use of objects, the elements, lighting, faces, voices, the actors’ movements, the camera’s movements, their immobility, lenses and point of view shots.

L’ago nel pagliaio, conversation with Claude Chabrol in Stefano Francia di Celle, Enrico Ghezzi and Roberto Turigliatto (eds.), L’œil du malin. Claude Chabrol. Scritti e interviste (Turin: Museo Nazionale del Cinema, 2006).

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