This Man Must Die (Que la bête meure) (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes

This Man Must Die (Que la bête meure)1970

This Man Must Die (Que la bête meure) (1970)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

This Man Must Die (Que la bête meure) Photos

Movie Info

Claude Chabrol directs the tense psychological thriller Que la Bête Meure (This Man Must Die). When his young son is the victim of a hit-and-run car accident, writer Charles Thenier (Michel Duchaussoy) is determined to find the killer. Obsessed with avenging his son's death, he carefully records his thoughts in a diary. He travels to Paris and meets actress Helene Lanson (Caroline Cellier), who is a prime witness to the accident. After they start up a love affair, he discovers that the driver of the car was her brother-in-law, Paul Decourt (Jean Yanne). Paul also owns the auto repair shop that fixed up the car after the accident. Believing Paul is the killer, Charles befriends his son Phillipe Decourt (Marc Di Napoli). As it happens, Phillipe also wants Paul dead for his own reasons. Charles manages to get invited to the family's seaside home in Brittany in order to finally get his revenge, but things don't work out according to plan.


Michel Duchaussoy
as Charles Thenier
Caroline Cellier
as Helene Lanson
Jean Yanne
as Paul Decourt
Anouk Ferjac
as Jeanne Decourt
Marc Di Napoli
as Philippe Decourt
Maurice Pialat
as Police Inspector
Guy Marly
as Jacques Ferrand
Lorraine Rainer
as Anna Ferrand
Stephane Di Napoli
as Michel Thenier
Louise Chevalier
as Mme. Levenes
Dominique Zardi
as Policewoman
Jean-Louis Maury
as Peasant/Charles' Friend
Raymone Falla
as Paul's mother
Robert Rondo
as The Mechanic
Jacques Masson
as Farmer's Son
Georges Charrier
as The Taxi Driver
View All

Critic Reviews for This Man Must Die (Que la bête meure)

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (2)

This Man Must Die is as full of intelligence as a seminar and as suspenseful as a series of passes at Monte Carlo.

February 7, 2018 | Full Review…

It is a macabre, bizarre study of the hazards of revenge, and it thrills us not with chases or cliff-hangers but with the relationship between good and evil people.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

A dour thriller slowly becomes a showcase for Chabrol's perverse humanism

January 31, 2010 | Full Review…

A great villain performance by Jean Yanne.

January 26, 2004 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Psychological suspense movies are rare and this one is a fairly good example of the type, good enough to overlook the flaws.

November 20, 2003 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for This Man Must Die (Que la bête meure)

After several attempts I finally managed to complete this film, I like the plot of this film very much, but it really drags in the middle of this movie, making it feel like a long watch.

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

For such a quiet, clam movie it packs a ver heavy emotional punch by the end and the performance by Michel Duchaussoy is nearly flawless.

Quinto Wallight
Quinto Wallight

Super Reviewer


Given that Nicholas Blake's "The Beast Must Die" is one of my favourite crime novels, I was looking forward to this adaptation by Claude Chabrol, though I suspected beforehand that it might be slightly disappointing. Essentially a bereaved father's diary, recording a vengeful scheme to find and punish the man who killed his son in a hit-and-run accident, the book contains a stunning surprise that only really works properly on the page. The film works best as a touching, gradually developed love story between the father (Michel Duchaussoy) and the woman (Caroline Cellier) he uses as an unwitting pawn in his game of retribution. The final scene, in which our hero finds redemption in a fatherly act of self-sacrifice for a substitute son, is absolutely lovely. Jean Yanne is terrific as the villain.

Stephen M
Stephen M

Super Reviewer

This Man Must Die (Que la bête meure) Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features