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Maniac

Maniac(1963)

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Innkeeper Georges Beynat is judged insane and sentenced to life imprisonment in a criminal asylum when he goes berserk and kills the man who raped his 15-year-old daughter, Annette. Four years later an American artist, Geoff Farrell, visits the small country inn operated by Annette and her attractive stepmother, Eve, in Provence, France. The older woman easily seduces Geoff, although he was interested in Annette, and involves him in a plan for helping her husband escape from the asylum. She tells Geoff that Beynat is now quite sane and that a male nurse at the asylum will help arrange the breakout. In return for his freedom, Beynat will disappear and allow Eve and Geoff to marry. On the night of the break they wait for Beynat to come over the wall. He fails to appear, and they return to their car to find him already awaiting them. After dropping him off at the Marseille docks, they find the body of a murdered man in the trunk of the car. Assuming that Beynat must still be insane and murdered the male nurse, Geoff tries, unsuccessfully, to dispose of the body. The next day he is confronted by Beynat, who ties him up and places him in an outbuilding along with the corpse of the male nurse. His plan is to burn both bodies beyond recognition, thereby leaving the police to conclude that the corpses are those of himself and the male nurse. But Geoff, aided by a handyman, escapes from the outbuilding just before the explosion. He joins Inspector Etienne in a plot for trapping Eve. It develops that the murdered man was actually Beynat, whom the male nurse, Eve's true lover, was impersonating. Eve also tries to arrange for Annette's death, but the attempt fails, and it is the male nurse who is killed as the police arrive to take Eve into custody.