Set in a beautiful vineyard in rural Provence, Claude Chabrol's (L'ENFER, LES BONNES FEMMES) first psychological thriller displays many of the concerns that would dominate his later work. Obsession, deception, and murder are the driving forces of this crime melodrama, at the center of which is patriarch Henri Marcoux (Jacques Dacqmine), who is having an affair with his gorgeous neighbor, Leda (Antonella Lualdi). His embittered wife, Thérèse (Madeleine Robinson, who won an Oscar for her performance), is well aware of his dalliance, as is his son, who is enjoying Leda's charms as well. Henri's daughter (Jeanne Valérie) has an admirer of her own in Hungarian layabout Laszlo Kovacs (Jean Paul Belmondo, in his last role before his breakout in BREATHLESS), while the maid, the aging gardener, and the milkman are not immune to the freely flowing passions. When Leda is murdered--her death a breathtaking, Hitchcockian scene composed in mirrors--the mystery begins in earnest, unfolding in flashbacks that destabilize the narrative, in much the same way that the lurid, Sirkian cinematography calls attention to the film's artifice.