Descente aux enfers

Descente aux enfers (Descent into Hell) is a 1986 French film directed by Francis Girod. Based on the 1955 novel 'The Wounded and the Slain' by David Goodis, it is a psychological thriller set under the sun and heat of the Caribbean. A married couple, she (Sophie Marceau) with a dark secret in her past and he (Claude Brasseur), an author suffering from both writer's block and alcoholism, undergo experiences which strain their relationship to breaking point but in the end, though each will have to live with the consequences, they are reunited.

Descente aux enfers
(Descent into Hell)
Directed byFrancis Girod
Produced byAriel Zeitoun
Written byJean-Loup Dabadie
Francis Girod
David Goodis (novel)
StarringClaude Brasseur
Sophie Marceau
Music byGeorges Delerue
CinematographyCharles Van Damme
Edited byGenevieve Winding
Release date
  • 5 November 1986 (1986-11-05)
Running time
88 minutes


Staying in a luxurious hotel in Port-au-Prince are the beautiful and sensual Lola, aged about 20, and her husband Alan, a pulp writer some thirty years older. Though meant to be starting a new book, he spends much of the time drinking. Frustrated at his behaviour, she starts an affair with a French fellow guest. Drunk in an empty street, Alan is attacked but, defending himself with an empty bottle, leaves his assailant dead. A witness, Théophile, offers to keep quiet for a huge sum in cash, upon which he will return the bottle. Selling her jewels, Lola raises the money and throws the bottle into the sea. Not satisfied that this is the end of the story, Alan confesses to the police, who do not believe him because he can produce no proof of the killing and they have already locked up a suspect. Alan then goes to Théophile to urge him to testify, but the man attacks him and in the ensuing struggle is left nearly dead. The film ends with Alan in hospital and Lola, whose deep bond with him has been renewed, at his bedside.



The CD soundtrack was composed by Georges Delerue.

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