Bride Wore Black, The (1968)

The Bride Wore Black (1968), directed by François Truffaut.

The Bride dresses only in white (for her virginity) and black (for her mourning). She has a list of men to kill, checking them off systematically. We learn her story gradually, in flashbacks.

Her victims are unlovely, but don't seem particularly villainous. The exploitation of women is a continuing theme. We have:

She begins to show doubt with #4, the artist. He pretty clearly represents the director, a man obsessed both with women and with his work. He poses her as Diana, the virgin huntress.

This has a strain of quirky humor, and is in no way a pre-Death Wish revenge-porn story. Julie confesses to a priest who argues that her love and sorrow can in no way be reconciled with vengeance and killing. She has nothing to say to that, but continues with her mission.

It's often compared to a Hitchcock film, mostly for the director's idolatry of Hitchcock and published interviews with him, and for using Bernard Herrmann for the score.

I last saw haunted-eyed Jeanne Moreau in The Train (1964), Diary of a Chambermaid (1964), and Monte Walsh (1970). She's sexy at age 40, but stressed looking, which fits the story perfectly.

The production was unexpectedly troubled. Truffaut had worked well with Moreau and Herrmann and the cinematographer before, but this time wasn't getting what he wanted and seemed indecisive. He overruled Herrmann on choices of some of the musical cues, and the commentators think that was a mistake.

From a Cornell Woolrich story.

Twilight Time Blu-ray. Two versions: (1) English dub with selectable subtitles, and (2) French language with burned subtitles, commentary track and isolated score. The burned subtitles are good hidef quality, as for a Blu-ray disc.

Why the above two versions could not have been combined into one, I do not know. They seem to be the same cut, although with slightly different music cues.