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THE BRIDE WORE BLACK (1968), Francois Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock – Probably the only cinematic example of its kind. - By Bobby Sing (Movies To See Before You Die – Suspense)
24 Jul, 2018 | Movies To See Before You Die / Suspense

THE BRIDE WORE BLACK is a French film (La mariée était en noir) made in 1968 that has been the inspiration for many filmmakers and their revenge based thrillers made in the later years. However the film itself has an interesting story of inspiration behind its own conception as well as execution connecting two master directors.

Talking about the creation first, it is based on a crime novel by William Irish (real name Cornell Woolrich), whose works were repeatedly adapted in films of this specific genre since the 1940s. It’s a focused revenge drama in which we as the viewers follow a widowed woman killing the five men responsible for her husband’s murder on the wedding day itself while coming out of the church. The narration reveals how it actually happened toward the middle of its duration along with showcasing the woman methodically going for her chosen victims one after another. And she performs the acts wearing just while, black or both.

Released in the late 60s, THE BRIDE WORE BLACK offers an unusual kind of quality entertainment that might appear too simple in the present, but was nothing short of a brave attempt in those times offering a different and unique kind of thrilling experience. Though not unanimously praised by all, the film successfully entertains progressing at a fine pace and remains a perfect example of how treatment wins over the viewers despite becoming completely predictable after a point. One of those films, where you find yourself rooting for the killer going for her planned murders, subtly portrayed by the master storyteller on screen. 
 
With a brilliant performance of Jeanne Moreau playing the complex character of victim Julie along with a superb supporting cast, THE BRIDE WORE BLACK excels when the narration comes to the painter-artist and his relationship with his new model. And then the ending reminds you of only one name…. which incidentally also happens to be the basic inspiration behind the film too…. as Alfred Hitchcock.
 
Coming to the highly intriguing inspirational story behind its making, Truffaut, as a true admirer of Hitchcock, took a nearly 50 hours long interview of the director talking about all his films, that thankfully was also documented as an outstanding book titled “Hitchcock/Truffaut", a must read by all students of cinema, especially the Hitchcock fans. Now THE BRIDE WORE BLACK is reportedly a respectful homage to Hitchcock, consciously made by Truffaut (post that interview), following the director’s impeccable style.
 
Whether Truffaut succeeded in his task or not, is a completely different subject of discussion. But as a homage, he certainly does a fine job, as the film has a lot of Hitchcock elements coming at regular intervals apart from the distinctive Hitchcock climax. 
 
For instance, THE BRIDE WORE BLACK is entirely based on a happening that neither can be described as a murder nor an accident. So whether the five men should be considered as murderers or victims remains a debatable question. In other words, who was the actual victim here remains a thought in your mind in the end, similar to the experience of watching an Alfred Hitchcock film. 
 
On the other hand, the execution misses the detailing of a Hitchcock film, as Truffaut never mentions how Julie found the actual culprits and the identities of the five men. However that doesn’t really hamper the overall impact of the film, which still remains a worth watching classic for all, particularly after the following important as well as exciting mentions.
 
Conceived as a homage, Traffaut intentionally chose a book written by Cornell Wookrich, the man behind the actual short story of Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW (1954) and several episodes of the famous TV program Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
 
He then also collaborated with Bernard Herrman, the composer of many cult Hitchcock films such as VERTIGO, NORTH BY NORTHWEST and PSYCHO.
 
Though the new-age master filmmaker Quentin Tarantino denied, but his KILL BILL series also had a ‘Bride’ going for the kill following her quest for revenge of her husband’s murder on their wedding day itself. Moreover KILL BILL Vol.1 also had Bernard Herrman associated with one of its songs in the soundtrack.
 
Apart from the west THE BRIDE WORE BLACK has a strong influence on Hindi filmmakers and their films too wherein the lead actress decides to play it tough, killing her rapists or murderers of her husband and family members. Several Hindi films have the same premise from NAGIN released in 1976 to the recent releases MAATR, MOM and more.
 
So it’s actually not the question of liking, praising or hating this movie for a change. The point is that this essentially needs to be seen, especially if you are fan of Alfred Hitchcock or Francois Truffaut or both, since here Truffaut has intentionally tried to make a film in the famous Hitchcock style, whom he professionally admired the most. Probably the only cinematic example of its kind in the history of world cinema.
 
Cheers!

Tags : THE BRIDE WORE BLACK (1968) Francois Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Must Watch Films list by Bobby Sing, Movies To See Before You Die List by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com
24 Jul 2018 / Comment ( 0 )
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