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Dementia (1955)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 944 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 17 critic

This film, with no dialogue at all, follows a psychotic young woman's nightmarish experiences through one skid-row night.

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(uncredited)
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Title: Dementia (1955)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Adrienne Barrett ...
The Gamin
Bruno VeSota ...
Rich Man (as Bruno Ve Sota)
Ben Roseman ...
Law Enforcer / Father
Richard Barron ...
Evil One
Ed Hinkle ...
Butler (as Edward Hinkle)
Lucille Rowland ...
Mother (as Lucille Howland)
Jebbie VeSota ...
Flower Girl (as Jebbie Ve Sota)
Faith Parker ...
Nightclub Dancer
Gayne Sullivan ...
Wino
...
Himself (as Shorty Rogers and His Giants)
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Storyline

As the narrator invites us to explore the horrors of an insane mind, a young woman wakes from a nightmare in a cheap hotel room. We follow her through the skid-row night and encounters with an abusive husband; a wino; a pimp and the rich man he panders for; a flashback to her traumatic childhood; violence; pursuit through dark streets; dementia. Filmed in film-noir style throughout; only the narrator speaks. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Not ONE WORD is spoken on the screen! See more »


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 December 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Daughter of Horror  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was denied an exhibition seal by the New York censor board in 1953 but was finally passed with cuts and released in New York in late 1955. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: I have so much to show you. So much that you are afraid to see. Come, let me take you by the arm and show you the bed of evil you sprang from. Let me take you back, to when you were a little girl. Let me show you... your father.
[Flashback scene of The Gamine's father]
Narrator: Let me show you... your mother.
[Flashback scene of The Gamine's mother]
See more »


Soundtracks

Wig Alley
Music by Shorty Rogers
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User Reviews

 
Welles Meets Corman
4 December 2010 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Thanks be to TMC for reviving this curiosity for a popular audience. I can't imagine what the movie's producers foresaw in the way of audience potential. I gather the film was shot in 1953, certainly not a promising period for an experimental feature of any kind. I also gather the atrocious narrative was added later to maybe give the package commercial appeal. But not even a 50's drive-in farthest from town would book a weirdo like this. Perhaps college area theatres would have booked it as a midnight feature, playing up the sex angle. Anyway, to me, its origins appear puzzling, indeed.

All in all, the end result is about as schizoid as the lead female character, combining striking visuals and special effects with amateurish acting and brain-dead narration. Someone in production certainly had an artistic eye for visual composition—check out the long shot of the gamin entering and exiting the spacious hotel lobby. They're beautifully composed. Actually, the visuals suggest that perhaps Welles saw the production before filming Touch of Evil (1957), especially Dementia's skid-row area that resembles Evil's Venice beach locations.

Certainly the movie has its cheesy elements. But to call the movie itself cheesy is to miss the artistic undercurrent that kept me hooked.


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