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I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

Approved | | Fantasy, Horror | 30 April 1943 (USA)
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A Canadian nurse is hired to care for the wife of a sugar plantation owner, who has been acting strangely, on a Caribbean island.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Ellison ...
...
...
Edith Barrett ...
James Bell ...
Christine Gordon ...
Theresa Harris ...
Alma - Maid (as Teresa Harris)
Sir Lancelot ...
Calypso Singer
Darby Jones ...
Carrefour
Jeni Le Gon ...
Dancer (as Jeni LeGon)
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Storyline

A young Canadian nurse (Betsy) comes to the West Indies to care for Jessica, the wife of a plantation manager (Paul Holland). Jessica seems to be suffering from a kind of mental paralysis as a result of fever. When she falls in love with Paul, Betsy determines to cure Jessica even if she needs to use a voodoo ceremony, to give Paul what she thinks he wants. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

the blackest magic of voodoo keeps this beautiful woman alive...yet DEAD! See more »

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 April 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Yo dormí con un fantasma  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the script, the fictitious island is very explicitly identified as being owned by the United States. None of these items (such as a prominent American flag flying at the harbor) made it into the film, and items like the island's association with Ontario (where Betsy is from) suggest that it might instead be a current or former British colony. See more »

Quotes

Paul Holland: It's easy enough to read the thoughts of a newcomer. Everything seems beautiful because you don't understand. Those flying fish, they're not leaping for joy, they're jumping in terror. Bigger fish want to eat them. That luminous water, it takes its gleam from millions of tiny dead bodies. The glitter of putrescence. There is no beauty here, only death and decay.
Betsy Connell: You can't really believe that.
Paul Holland: Everything good dies here. Even the stars.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning, in small letters at the bottom of the screen is this disclaimer: The characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictional. Any similarity to any persons, living, dead, OR POSSESSED, is entirely coincidental. See more »

Connections

References Black Moon (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

The British Grenadiers
(uncredited)
Music: 18th century or earlier
Lyrics anonymous
Played on guitar and Sung by Sir Lancelot
See more »

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User Reviews

Moody, Creepy Masterpiece
16 April 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"I Walked With A Zombie" is a brilliant bit of film making. Based somewhat on the classic story of "Jane Eyre," "Zombie" takes us to the South Seas, where Nurse Betsy Connell arrives on a remote sugar plantation owned by the mysterious and reclusive Paul Holland. Betsy has been hired to care for Paul's wife Jessica, a catatonic beauty who wanders around in her nightgown a lot, looking (as the Sex Pistols once put it) Pretty Vacant. The locals whisper about zombies, believing that Jessica has been cursed and is now one of the living, walking dead. A calypso singer follows Nurse Betsy around a lot, providing her with clues in his catchy songs. Nurse Betsy, far from being a close-minded Westerner, becomes intrigued by the tales of zombies and is determined to learn the truth about Jessica's condition in hopes of curing the woman. She even bravely ventures into the cane fields in the dead of night, following the worlds creepiest looking native (a golf-ball eyed zombie-like man) to a voodoo ceremony with Jessica at her side.

Fans of Fulci zombies may be disappointed by the lack of gut-munching gore here. These zombies are not cadavers returned from the grave, half-rotted horrors shambling about looking for flesh to feast upon. These are traditional, mind-erased zombies, unfeeling, unthinking and unresponsive to anything. The atmosphere is wonderful, filled with great music, strong women and natives who look like the real thing. The love triangle quickly becomes a love square and the haunting conclusion is both shocking and grimly satisfying. Fans of the brilliant Tourneur won't be disappointed - his mark is all over this beautiful film, from beginning to end. It is one of his very best.


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