Innocents with Dirty Hands

Innocents with Dirty Hands

Film poster
Directed by Claude Chabrol
Produced by André Génovès
Written by Claude Chabrol
Based on The Damned Innocents by Richard Neely
Starring Romy Schneider
Rod Steiger
Music by Pierre Jansen
Cinematography Jean Rabier
Edited by Jacques Gaillard
Jupiter Generale Cinematografica
Les Films de la Boétie
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
26 March 1975 (France)
3 November 1976 (USA)
Running time
121 minutes
Country France
West Germany

Innocents with Dirty Hands aka Dirty Hands. is a 1975 film written and directed by Claude Chabrol. Its title in French is Les innocents aux mains sales. The film was based on the novel The Damned Innocents by Richard Neely. The film had 553,910 admissions in France.[1]


Louis, a rich man who lives quietly with his beautiful young wife Julie at St Tropez, has a cardiac problem and an alcohol problem. She sleeps in another room and when she meets Jeff, a writer, starts an affair with him. The two decide that she will kill her husband and that Jeff, after dumping the body off a boat, will then lie low in Italy. To her dismay, Jeff disappears and with him all Louis' money. She is left without husband, lover or assets, under police surveillance. Then Louis reappears, alive, fit, alcohol-free and ready to forgive her …..

Principal cast

Actor Role
Romy Schneider Julie Wormser
Rod Steiger Louis Wormser
Jean Rochefort Maître Albert Légal
François Maistre Commissaire Lamy
Hans Christian Blech Le juge
François Perrot Georges Thorent
Paolo Giusti Jeff Marle
Henri Attal Police Officer #1
Dominique Zardi Police Officer #2

Critical reception

Vincent Canby of The New York Times did not care for the film:

The peculiar state in which its American distributor has seen fit to release Claude Chabrol's Dirty Hands in New York prompts me to wonder whether I should review it or search for its pulse.... When you watch Romy calmly (and idiotically, if you know your crime stories) bludgeon her husband's blanketed form in the bed, without checking to see if he's actually in the bed, you may correctly suspect that Mr. Chabrol is having an off-day and probably an off-picture.... I have no idea how much the English dubbing and editing have damaged the original, but the Dirty Hands that opened yesterday at the Forum and other theaters is a junk movie.[2]


  1. JP (1975-03-26). "Les Innocents aux mains sales (1975)". JPBox-Office. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
  2. Original New York Times review (subscription required)

External links

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