Claude Chabrol and Alfred Hitchcock had a lot in common. They were both worried about the morality of their characters, obsessed by murder and the many different ways it could be executed and cared mostly about the audience being rapt with attention to their feats on screen. Plus they look like they could be brothers…
A Double Tour is a great example of the immense influence Hitchcock had on Chabrol as an auteur. About a family torn apart by the father’s affair with the woman in the next yard, the film twists and turns until you wonder why Hitchcock made a film in French. When the final reveal comes to light, the film feels let down by the inevitable outcome.
This film is a little uneven in it’s performances and in its plot points. The first mistake that Chabrol made when casting the film was to cast Jean-Paul Belmondo. He acts circles around everyone else and the action seems to stop once he enters the room so the camera can stare longingly at him for a few moments. He being in love with the daughter was completely unbelievable, but I think that was probably the point. He is a suave man who loves to talk about ladies and his inevitable downfall. But he is not one to fall in love. Probably the second mistake Chabrol committed was the son. He never really seemed to love his mother very much at all, until about half way through the film and he seemed to have turned on a dime. There was a scene early on in the film where he is making fun of her mother’s need to keep up appearances at church. A mama’s boy like he is painted in the latter half would never have said that, but instead would have been at her side during the mass.
This film is pretty enjoyable if you are looking for a cheap version of Hitchcock. Wow that was harsh, but that is some what how it feels. Hopefully I will like his next film more.