The Third Lover

The Third Lover (original title: L'Œil du malin), also known as The Eye of Evil, is a 1962 drama directed by Claude Chabrol. It is one of Chabrol's first films to include social criticism on bourgeoisie lifestyles that would become one of his trademarks in later films. It tells the story of a journalist in southern Germany who is befriended by a novelist and his wife and gradually begins to destroy the couple's lives.

L'Œil du malin
French film poster
Directed byClaude Chabrol
Written byClaude Chabrol
Martial Matthieu
StarringJacques Charrier
Walter Reyer
Stéphane Audran
CinematographyJean Rabier
Release date
Running time
80 minutes


Albin, a solitary French journalist who knows little of women or of the world, rents a house in a village outside Munich that is home to the respected and rich writer Andreas. In the shop he meets Hélène, a beautiful Frenchwoman who is married to Andreas. She and her husband befriend their new neighbour, who becomes besotted with Hélène. When she tactfully fobs him off, he reasons that she already has a lover and follows her. His hunch proves right when at the Oktoberfest he sees her with another man and later, trailing the two, he takes compromising photographs. Confronting Hélène with the photographs, she tells him that Andreas knows already and begs him to stop. But he will not stop and takes the photographs to Andreas, who is devastated. When Hélène gets home, Andreas beats and kills her.


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