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I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

 -  Horror  -  30 April 1943 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 6,401 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 70 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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Ellison ...
Frances Dee ...
Tom Conway ...
Edith Barrett ...
James Bell ...
Dr. Maxwell
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 This strange and startling story of a woman to whom it all happened! 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:

 »
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

Edith Barrett, who played the mother, was only 3 years older than James Ellison, who played her younger son, Wesley. She actually was 2 years younger than Tom Conway, who played her older son, Paul. See more »

Quotes

Betsy Connell: Frankly, it was something of a shock to see my patient that way for the first time. Nobody had told me Mrs. Holland was a... mental case.
Paul Holland: A "mental case"?
Betsy Connell: I'm sorry...
Paul Holland: Why should you be? My wife IS a mental case. Please remember that, Miss Connell. Particularly when some of the foolish people on the island start regaling you with the local legends. You'll find superstition a contagious thing. Some people let it get the better of them. I don't think you will.
Betsy Connell: No.
Paul Holland: Come along. I'll introduce you ...
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

Referenced in A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Fort Holland Calypso Song
(1943)
Music and Lyrics by Sir Lancelot
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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