Clouzot, Henri-Georges [key], 1907–77, French film director, master of the Gallic noir cinema. His career spanned 40 years, but he was plagued by ill health and completed only 11 feature films, beginning with L'Assassin Habite au 21 (The Murderer Lives at Number 21, 1942). The bleak pessimism that marks most of his work characterizes the two fine thrillers that brought him international acclaim: La Salaire de la Peur (Wages of Fear, 1953), in which four men drive trucks loaded with nitroglycerin over terrifying roads in the Andes, and Diabolique (1955), a tale of murder that contains one of the most horrifying scenes in cinematic history. Clouzot is often compared to Alfred Hitchcock, whom he influenced. His other films include Le Corbeau (The Raven, 1943), Quai des Orfèvres (Jenny Lamour, 1947), the documentary Le Mystère Picasso (The Mystery of Picasso, 1956), Les Espions [the spies] (1957), and La Vérité (The Truth, 1965).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Film and Television: Biographies