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Murder (1957)

Morderstwo (original title)

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The camera shows us a door handle and the door's striker plate; from this angle, they form a cross. The door opens and in steps someone in a dark trench coat. He approaches a bed in the ... See full summary »

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The camera shows us a door handle and the door's striker plate; from this angle, they form a cross. The door opens and in steps someone in a dark trench coat. He approaches a bed in the room, where a shirtless man sleeps. The intruder takes out a knife. His movements are without haste, but deliberate and efficient. Will his sleeping victim awake in time to offer resistance? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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November 1988 (Italy)  »

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Murder  »

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This was Roman Polanski's first completed student short at the State Film School in Lodz, Poland. A story told in almost total darkness and in one room, the film introduces themes he revisited throughout his career. See more »

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User Reviews

A murder - the title says it all
8 April 2004 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Man enters room, stabs sleeping man, walks out. The end.

Roman Polanski devotes no more than one sentence to this short in his autobiography, & refers to it as a "preliminary exercise".

That's all it really is, just a simple exercise with a camera, & a grand total of two edits, not counting the titles (which, I suspect, were added years later).

However, it has an eerie quality about it not usually found in simple film-school exercises. The murder itself is committed in such a matter-of-fact fashion that it has an almost documentary sense of realism about it. It's not done with waving arms, bizarre camera angles or splashing blood - it's done with a pocketknife, positioned above a man's chest & pushed firmly downwards. Can't say I've ever seen a murder done like that on film before, & that's what's so nasty about it - it's so bland it feels as if it must be real.

The lack of any soundtrack just makes this minor entry in Polanski's filmography seem even creepier. A disturbing hint of things to come.


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