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Claude Chabrol's richly ironic 1968 melodrama, in which it is shown that nothing revitalizes a dried-up marriage quite like murder. Not the least of the ironies is that the point is made sincerely and responsibly: when the film's smug, tubby hero kills his wife's lover, he genuinely becomes a richer, worthier individual. The observation of bourgeois life (as practiced in France, where it was perfected) is so sharp and funny that the film often feels like satire, yet its fundamental seriousness emerges in a magnificent last act, and an unforgettable last shot. With Michel Bouquet, Stephane Audran, and Maurice Ronet.

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