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Sinners Go to Hell (1962)
"No Exit" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  5 January 1963 (USA)
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Title: Sinners Go to Hell (1962)

Sinners Go to Hell (1962) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Complete credited cast:
Rita Gam ...
Morgan Sterne ...
Ben Piazza ...
Susana Mayo ...
Orlando Sacha ...
Manuel Rosón ...
Mirta Miller ...
Miguel A. Irarte ...
Robert Miguel
Elsa Dorian ...
Mario Horna ...
Carlos Brown ...
Roger Delaney III


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A shocking expose of sin.








Release Date:

5 January 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sinners Go to Hell  »

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User Reviews

There IS an exit. Take it!
16 January 2004 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

Jean-Paul Sartre's short drama 'Huis Clos' (usually translated as 'No Exit') is a hardy perennial of amateur-theatre groups. The play requires only a bare stage with a few simple pieces of furniture, and a cast of four players. This 1962 film attempts to open up the action, as well as to expand it to a feature-length running time. Both of those ploys are mistakes.

The plot of 'No Exit' is well known, but I'll briefly recap. A servant escorts a man and two women into a sparsely-furnished room, and it's understood that they'll be staying indefinitely. These three people don't know each other, and don't want to get to know each other, but circumstances require some acquaintance. Garcin is an intellectual who fancies himself a bold revolutionary, but he's really a coward and a selfish hypocrite. Estelle enjoys manipulating men sexually, even to the point of destroying them utterly. Inez is a neurotic lesbian.

SPOILERS COMING. Garcin, Inez and Estelle quickly rumble that all three of them are dead, and that now they are in Hell. And this room is no waiting room: Garcin, Inez and Estelle have been sentenced to eternal damnation in the form of being confined to this room, forced to keep each other's company for all eternity. The most famous line in 'No Exit', as rendered in most English translations, is the prisoners' final realisation: 'Hell is other people!'

This 1962 film version is faithful to Sartre's original script, but makes two fatal errors. The first is the decision to expand the short play to feature length. There just isn't enough plot here to sustain this decision. There are only two real events in the story: the first when we realise that these people are in Hell, and the other when we realise *why* this particular Hell is going to be so insufferable. Once it's obvious that these three people are just going to stay here forever in an unchanging suite, like an indoor version of 'Waiting for Godot', there's no point in prolonging the agony for the audience.

The other mistake - but a more interesting one - was the script adaptor George Tabori's decision to depict on screen the sins which led these three people to end up in Hell. While the three inmates speak lines that are basically translations of Sartre's original monologues, we see silent flashback enactments of these predatory people interacting with their victims. This is a very intriguing idea that doesn't quite work. The filmmakers understandably wanted to take us out of this hellish little room, and show us other characters in other settings ... but the whole point of Sartre's script is that these three sinners must remain in this room forever, with each other and nobody else.

Lindfors gives much the best performance in this movie. As the sole male inmate, Morgan Sterne (who?) plays the central role ... but his performance as Garcin is dull and unconvincing.

This movie isn't very good, but it takes a few risks ... and mostly fails, yet deserves some credit for taking them. Also, the source material is one of the most important stage plays of the 20th century. I'll rate 'No Exit' 5 points out of 10.

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