The Champagne Murders

The Champagne Murders
Directed by Claude Chabrol
Written by William Benjamin
Claude Brulé
Derek Prouse
Paul Gégauff
Starring Anthony Perkins
Stéphane Audran
Cinematography Jean Rabier
Release dates
Running time
105 minutes
Country France
Language French

Le scandale (The Champagne Murders) is a 1967 French suspense thriller mystery film directed by Claude Chabrol and starring Anthony Perkins. It was the first of two films that Chabrol made with Perkins, who is most famous for his role in Psycho directed by Alfred Hitchcock, whom Chabrol admires above all other directors.

For his role in the film, Maurice Ronet won the Best Actor award at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.


Following a car accident, Paul Wagner suffers a head injury he is struggling to recover fully and can not manage his business of trading of champagne. Christine Belling takes advantage of the situation to try to sell the company, which Paul refuses to accept. Murders are committed: it is likely that Paul is the culprit. He then approaches Christine for her support. But she uses the situation to make Paul agree to the sale. Paul is the prime suspect in the eyes of investigators (who never actually make an appearance), due to brain damage suffered in an earlier accident and assault. Jacqueline, Christine Belling's secretary, is at the heart of this case, observing everything. Jacqueline is related to Christopher, husband of Christine. The dénouement is slightly Hitchcok-like, but the film's humour is meaner, and the view of humanity it fosters is bleaker.


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