Masks (1987 film)

Masks (French: Masques) is a 1987 French mystery thriller film directed by Claude Chabrol. It was entered into the 37th Berlin International Film Festival.[1]

Film poster
Directed byClaude Chabrol
Produced byMarin Karmitz
Written byOdile Barski
Claude Chabrol
StarringPhilippe Noiret
Robin Renucci
CinematographyJean Rabier
Edited byMonique Fardoulis
Release date
  • 11 February 1987 (1987-02-11)
Running time
100 minutes


Talent show host Christian Legagneur hires a young reporter, Roland Wolf, to write his biography. However, Wolf has ulterior motives - he is also investigating his sister's disappearance.



The film received mixed reviews. Time Out said "Chabrol frames the verbal sparring with characteristic precision, but the subtle plot suffers from a surfeit of politesse and a dearth of red-blooded passion."[2] The New York Times called it "something practically unheard of in the vast Chabrol filmography: a thriller that satisfies the audience's expectations of a thriller, even including the childlike hope that good will be rewarded and evil punished", and added "although the suspense is skillfully engineered, you can't help feeling Mr. Chabrol's boredom with it."[3] Jonathan Rosenbaum said it was "good, serviceable, quasi-Hitchcockian fun", but not especially memorable.[4] Craig Williams on the BFI site was more positive: "The idea of the bourgeois mask concealing murderous impulses is prevalent throughout the director’s work, but there’s a streak of self-awareness in Masques... that marks this as one of his best films of the 80s."[5]


  1. "Berlinale: 1987 Programme". Retrieved 28 February 2011.
  2. "Masques 1987, directed by Claude Chabrol | Film review". Time Out London. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  3. Rafferty, Terrence (30 July 2006). "Chabrol is a Master of the Thriller (Hold the Thrills)". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  4. Rosenbaum, Jonathan (25 May 1989). "French Provincial". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  5. "Claude Chabrol: 10 essential films". British Film Institute. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
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