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Roman Polanski (1965)

18 Certificate


Our Score
Director Roman Polanski takes us on a deeply disturbing, hallucinatory trip into Catherine Deneuve's mental breakdown in this British psychological thriller, his first film in English. As Swinging London parties in the background, repressed Belgian manicurist Deneuve unsheathes her claws with deadly results. There are shades of Buñuel, Cocteau and Val Lewton, but Polanski puts his personal stamp on the violent visuals (the killing of a boyfriend and landlord) and the terrifying soundtrack (the buzzing of flies, a slashing knife). Filmed in stark black and white by Dr Strangelove's Gilbert Taylor, the final panning shot revealing a photograph of Deneuve as a young girl, even then withdrawn and apart, is a truly cathartic moment.


A sexually repressed Belgian woman is disturbed by her sister's affair with a married man. When she is left alone in their flat for a weekend, she begins to experience a series of strange hallucinations that drives her to the brink of madness, resulting in murder. Roman Polanski's psychological thriller, starring Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser and Patrick Wymark.

Cast & Crew

Carol Ledoux Catherine Deneuve
Michael Ian Hendry
Colin John Fraser
Landlord Patrick Wymark
Helen Ledoux Yvonne Furneaux
Miss Balch Renee Houston
Bridget Helen Fraser
Madame Denise Valerie Taylor
John James Villiers
Reggie Hugh Futcher
Spoons player Roman Polanski
Director Roman Polanski
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Other Information

Language: English Black and White Theatrical distributor: BFI Guidance: Contains violence. Available on: Available on video and DVD Released on: 21 Dec 2012


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