DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

THE CHAMPAGNE MURDERS (LE SCANDALE) (director: Claude Chabrol; screenwriters: story by William Benjamin/Claude Brule/Derek Prouse/Paul Gegauff; cinematographer: Jean Rabier; editor: Jacques Gaillard; music:  Pierre Jansen; cast: Anthony Perkins (Christopher Balling), Maurice Ronet (Paul Wagner), Stephane Audran (Jacqueline), Yvonne Furneaux (Christine Balling), Suzanne Lloyd (Evelyn); Runtime: 110; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Raymond Eger; Universal; 1967-France-dubbed in English)

"The more it advances its contrivances the more bubbly it becomes and the less sense it makes."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An uninvolving but stylish psychological thriller from Claude Chabrol ("Inspector Bellamy"/"The Flower of Evil"/"The Swindle") that is realized more for its satire than plot. The story is by William Benjamin. The lame script is by Claude Brule, Derek Prouse and Paul Gegauff.

The tale revolves around a greedy champagne millionaire (Yvonne Furneaux) whose partner refuses to sell the business to an American conglomerate for a large profit. The champagne factory owner gets her gigolo ex-husband (Anthony Perkins) and her secretary (Stephane Audran) to scheme to make her unstable eccentric alcoholic partner (Maurice Ronet), recently in a car accident, think he's a murderer and thereby hope this will stop him from screwing up the business deal.

The unpleasant thriller offensively comes with a rash of murders. The more it advances its contrivances the more bubbly it becomes and the less sense it makes. This is one of Chabrol's poorer efforts, and should be avoided if viewed when sober.

REVIEWED ON 10/10/2015       GRADE: C

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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