Murderous Maids

Murderous Maids (French: Les blessures assassines) is a French film directed by Jean-Pierre Denis, released in 2000, which tells the true story of two French maids, Christine and Lea Papin. The screenplay by Jean-Pierre Denis with Michèle Pétin, was based on the book L'affaire Papin by Paulette Houdyer. It told the story of the double murder committed by the maids, which made sensational headlines in France in 1933. The film had 360,846 admissions in France.[2]

Les Blessures assassines
Film poster
Directed byJean-Pierre Denis
Produced byLaurent Pétin
Michèle Pétin
Screenplay byJean-Pierre Denis
Michèle Pétin
Based onL'affaire Papin
by Paulette Houdyer
StarringSylvie Testud
Julie-Marie Parmentier
Isabelle Renauld
François Levantal
Dominique Labourier
Jean-Gabriel Nordmann
Marie Donnio
Nadia Barentin
CinematographyJean-Marc Fabre
Edited byMarie-Hélène Dozo
ARP Sélection
Distributed byARP Sélection
Release date
  • 22 November 2000 (2000-11-22)
Running time
94 minutes
Budget$4.1 million
Box office$2.9 million[1]


Christine Papin (Sylvie Testud), and Léa Papin (Julie-Marie Parmentier) are sisters with a troubled past, who work as maids in Le Mans, France. After a string of domestic jobs, they start working for the Lancelin family, which consists of Monsieur Lancelin, his wife and their adult daughter Genevieve. Christine sees in Madame Lancelin a mother figure, in spite of her severity. But their wretched background — an indifferent mother, a drunken, abusive father and time spent in orphanages — casts a shadow over the girls. Over time, their ill-fated situation darkens and they withdraw into themselves. Finally, after six years of service, they end up committing a particularly brutal crime on February 2, 1933: killing Madame Lancelin and her daughter after gouging their eyes out.


Awards and nominations

Sylvie Testud won the César Award for Most Promising Actress in 2001 for her performance as Christine Papin. The film was nominated for the César for best film, and Jean-Pierre Denis for best director.


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