Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Le scandale" )
France/USA 1967


Suffering from depression and blackouts since he was attacked in an incident that left a prostitute dead, alcoholic playboy Paul Wagner (Maurice Ronet, PURPLE NOON) is content to hold his family name over the head of Christine Belling (Yvonne Furneaux, REPULSION). The daughter of the business partner who swindled his father out of the "Wagner Champagne" empire - chateau, vineyards, and all - workaholic Christine needs the rights to Wagner's name in order to sell off the business to a pair of American buyers (TOPAZ's George Skaff and THE BAD SEED's Henry Jones). Paul's best friend and Christine's former gigolo husband Chris (Anthony Perkins, PSYCHO) is comfortably caught in the middle, aiding and abetting Paul's exploits and pretendng to side with his wife while angling for a yacht to call his own. Worrying about the brand's reputation with Paul jetting off to Hamburg outside of her surveillance, Christine sends her husband along to keep an eye on him. When Paul wakes up from a drunken stupor beside a strangled escort girl, he has no memory of what happened and tries to forget it until a newsclipping about the crime from a German newspaper comes across Christine's desk and she starts asking questions. Ostesibly believing his friend to be innocent, Chris tries to cheer Paul up by taking him to a party given by British abstract artist Evelyn (Suzanne Lloyd, THAT RIVIERA TOUCH) but Paul becomes paranoid when he catches a glimpse among the eccentric party guests of Lydia (Stéphane Audran, BABETTE'S FEAST), an actress who was with him and Chris in Hamburg the night before the murder. When Paul wakes up beside another dead woman, Christine sees providing Paul with alibi as leverage over him, but she may be playing fast and loose with her own life when she confronts him with a contract. A stylish and breezy sixties thriller from the great Claude Chabrol (MERCI POUR LE CHOCOLAT), THE CHAMPAGNE MURDERS has all the right elements, from leads Ronet, Perkins, Furneaux - along with a prominent supporting performance from Chabrol's wife Audran - a jangly score by Pierre Jansen (PLEASURE PARTY), and sleek photography by Jean Rabier (THIS MAN MUST DIE), but it feels the story feels as if it might have been compromised by the participation of Universal Pictures who not only shortened the English-language version by roughly seven minutes but also may have had a hand in blunting the story's sexual aspects, including a seemingly homoerotic underpinning to the friendship between Paul and Chris who antagonize the household's women like mischievous children.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 31 March 1967 (France)

Reviews                                                                    More Reviews                                                       DVD Reviews


DVD Review: Umbrella Entertainment - Region 2,4 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:



Umbrella Entertainment

Region 2,4 - NTSC

Runtime 1:38:24

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.73 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Umbrella Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
� none

DVD Release Date: February 7th, 2018

Chapters 15



Umbrella's single-layer, region 2/4-coded DVD presents an NTSC progressive, anamorphic widescreen master is derived from a good-looking standard definition master - which has thus far not popped up stateside as part of Universal's "Vault Series" line of manufactured-on-demand discs - that is clean and colorful but its lack of crispness is likely due to Universal utilizing the 2-perf Techniscope system for some scope productions (GAMES, BEAU GESTE, and DEADLIER THAN THE MALE among others) during the mid-sixties. The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track is in good condition as well (the film was acted in English and post-synchronized). The film reflects the American running time of 98 minutes while the French release reportedly ran about seven minutes longer. There are no extras or even menu screens.

  - Eric Cotenas


Screen Captures














DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:



Umbrella Entertainment

Region 2,4 - NTSC


Search DVDBeaver
S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r












DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!