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I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

Approved  |   |  Horror  |  30 April 1943 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 6,710 users  
Reviews: 80 user | 71 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Ellison ...
Frances Dee ...
Tom Conway ...
Edith Barrett ...
James Bell ...
Christine Gordon ...
Jessica Holland
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:

See it happen--right before your startled eyes...in the screen sensation that rips the mask from the darkest secrets of forbidden voodoo! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 April 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Morta-Viva  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Val Lewton did not like the article "I Walked With A Zombie" by Inez Wallace that had been optioned so he adapted the story to fit the novel "Jane Eyre" because he felt the article's plot was too clichéd. See more »

Quotes

Betsy Connell: [first lines, narration] I walked with a zombie... sounds strange to say.
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

Remade as Ritual (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Great horror film, almost a 10
27 October 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A nurse (Frances Dee) is assigned to the West Indies to care for the semi-comatose wife of a plantation owner (Tom Conway). Over there she becomes involved with a very dysfunctional family and the realization that her patient may be a zombie--one of the living dead.

Eerie, poetic horror film--one of the great ones producer Val Lewton made for RKO on no budget. There are many creepy sequences--the crying and first meeting of Dee with her patient; the constant pounding of the voodoo drums in the distance at night; Dee being awakened by shadows outside her bedroom window; the walk through the sugar cane field to the voodoo ritual and the guard they must pass. There's also a man with a guitar who pops up from time to time acting as a Greek chorus--always commenting on the action. The script is very good and literate and the acting is actually not bad--except for Conway (who's lousy). But Ellison and Dee are good.

I almost gave this a 10--but one thing kept me from doing that. The silly love story between Conway and Dee. It's not needed and is a great distraction from the plot. Also Conway's acting is so bad that it makes the scenes play even worse. Those aside though, it's a truly great horror film. A must see.

Cute little trivia note: Look closely for the "Any characters and events depicted in this photoplay..." etc. etc. under the opening credits. Especially note this line: "Any similarity to actual persons living, dead, OR POSSESSED is purely coincidental." Cute joke...wonder how many people caught it.


21 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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