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Maniac (1963)

5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 470 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 21 critic

An American painter has an affair with a bar owner is a French village and agrees to help her murderer husband escape from a prison for the criminally insane.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Jeff Farrell
Nadia Gray ...
Eve Beynat
...
Henri
Liliane Brousse ...
Annette Beynat
George Pastell ...
Inspector Etienne
Arnold Diamond ...
Janiello
Norman Bird ...
Salon
Justine Lord ...
Grace
Jerold Wells ...
Giles
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Storyline

Kerwin Matthews, playing a dissolute drifter down on his luck, Jeff Farrell, is stranded in a cheap bar in France where he falls for Annette, the proprietor's pretty stepdaughter, played by Liliane Brousse. Annette's stepmother Eve, played by Nadia Gray, gradually shifts the young man's attentions to herself, rather than her stepdaughter, and together Eve and Jeff concoct a plot to help free Eve's estranged husband from the institution in which he's been confined as a homicidal maniac these past four years after committing the so-called "Acetylene Murder", when he killed with a blowtorch the man who raped Annette. The idea is that Georges, the husband, will leave the country, but, unknown to Jeff, it's not Georges who escapes but Henri, the guard who has become Eve's lover . . . Written by Wheeler Winston Dixon

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

stalks his wife ... his daughter ... their lover!


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Details

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Release Date:

30 October 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Maniac  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Norman Bird is dubbed by André Maranne. See more »

Quotes

Inspector Etienne: Why do you Americans always answer questions with questions of their own?
See more »

Connections

References Psycho (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A gialloesque Hammer noir
1 March 2008 | by (NYC suburbs) – See all my reviews

American landscape painter Geoff Farrell (Kerwin Matthews), stranded in Europe, is attracted to Annette, a young French barmaid, but ends up falling for her seductive step-mother, Eve (Nadia Gray), instead. Four years earlier, the teen-aged Annette was raped on her way home from school and her father, Georges, institutionalized for taking an acetylene torch to her assailant. Eve soon convinces Geoff to help her husband, now a local hero, escape from the insane asylum but, once free, a frightening series of events makes it look like Georges was a homicidal maniac after all...

In the wake of PSYCHO, England's Hammer Studios made a few black and white "mini-Hitchcock" thrillers that tried to emulate the "Master of Suspense". PARANOIAC, MANIAC, and HYSTERIA all featured real or imagined madness, murder, sex, and deception -along with numerous plot twists- to keep viewers on the edge of their seats with varying degrees of success. There's a stark, creepy, noir-like quality to MANIAC and the unseen rape, torture and murder in the beginning is quite disturbing. The location shooting in the isolated region of the French Camargue is a decided asset and the compelling story, written by Jimmy Sangster, includes a number of suspenseful sequences before a surprise revelation that is near impossible to see coming. I've read complaints that this wasn't directed by Freddie Francis but Michael Carreras does just fine with the gialloesque material. Recommended.


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