Death Rite

Death Rite (French: Les Magiciens) is a 1976 psychological thriller film co-written and directed by Claude Chabrol, and based on the novel Initiation au meurtre by Frédéric Dard.

Death Rite
French theatrical release poster
Directed byClaude Chabrol
Produced byTarak Ben Ammar
Jean Boujnah
Tablouti Temini
Screenplay byClaude Chabrol
Paul Gégauff
Based onInitiation au meurtre by Frédéric Dard
StarringFranco Nero
Stefania Sandrelli
CinematographyJean Rabier
Edited byMonique Fardoulis
Carthago Films S.a.r.l.
Maran Film
Mondial Televisione Film
Distributed byS.N. Prodis
Release date
  • 12 May 1976 (1976-05-12)
Running time
94 minutes
West Germany


At a luxury hotel in Djerba, Tunisia, psychic magician Vestar (Fröbe) meets the dark Edouard (Rochefort). Heading to the hotel, Vestar has a vision of a woman being murdered in the desert. Edouard, a member of the leisure class, decides to use his influence to make the dream become a reality. Also staying at the resort are Sadry, returning (Nero) who has come home to visit his dying mother, and his annoying wife Sylvia (Sandrelli). Also there is Martine (von Weitershausen), an ex-lover of Sadry who would like to get back together with him. The marriage is further strained when Sylvia finds the two of them together. It appears that the prophesied murder has something to do with Sylvia. Specific details from Vestar's prediction about her death are used by Edouard to make it happen, although in fact his interference alters the results. Sadry comes to terms with her tensions and anger as events build toward the inevitable.

Principal cast

Franco NeroSadry
Stefania SandrelliSylvia
Jean RochefortEdouard
Gert FröbeVestar
Gila von WeitershausenMartine


The film was a commercial failure, with only 51,682 tickets sold in France.[1]


  1. "Les Magiciens (1976) - JPBox-Office". Retrieved 2019-09-09.
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