Down 7,249 this week

The Balcony (1963)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.1/10 from 293 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 3 critic

In a fictional country, the Madam of a brothel satisfies the erotic fantasies of her customers, while a revolution is sweeping the nation.



0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Related News

Joe Melia obituary
| The Guardian - Film News
Joe Melia obituary
| The Guardian - TV News
Peter Falk obituary
| The Guardian - Film News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 160 titles
created 10 Nov 2012
a list of 464 titles
created 29 Nov 2012
a list of 3181 titles
created 16 Jan 2013
a list of 9983 titles
created 25 Jul 2013
a list of 395 titles
created 5 months ago

Related Items

Search for "The Balcony" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Balcony (1963)

The Balcony (1963) on IMDb 6.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Balcony.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Stephen Dedalus is a young man growing up in Ireland in the early part of the 20th century. His search for knowledge and undestanding, and the decline of his family's circumstances, lead ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Strick
Stars: Bosco Hogan, T.P. McKenna, John Gielgud
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A struggling author and his wife suddenly become wealthy and move to the suburbs. Divorced neighbor and "companion" aid marital misconstrual which almost culminates in a divorce.

Director: John Rich
Stars: Janet Leigh, Van Johnson, Shelley Winters
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Trying to shake his troubled past and start a new honest life, Floyd loses his job because of that past. With nowhere to go but back home in Oklahoma he gets news that his father's been ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert J. Leder
Stars: John Ericson, Barry Newman, Roy Fant
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In a small Russian town at the turn of the century, three sisters (Olga, Irina, and Masha) and their brother Andrei live but dream daily of their return to their former home in Moscow, ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Bogart
Stars: Geraldine Page, Shelley Winters, Kim Stanley
Road Movie (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Gil and Hank are two independent truckers who run into problems when they are forced to pay off traffic managers to get loads. They also have to pay off highway cops when their rigs are ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Strick
Stars: Robert Drivas, Regina Baff, Barry Bostwick
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Two beatniks get their kicks by dealing drugs and violence.

Director: Julian Roffman
Stars: Barbara Lord, Jack Betts, Peter Falk
Herostratus (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Max, a young poet hires a marketing company to turn his suicide-by-jumping into a mass-media spectacle, he finds that his subversive intentions are quickly diluted into a reactionary ... See full summary »

Director: Don Levy
Stars: Michael Gothard, Gabriella Licudi, Peter Stephens
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Gang of bikers try to save people in a mining disaster.

Director: Richard Compton
Stars: Tom Baker, William Smith, Carl Steppling
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

A satanic cult chooses an unwitting young girl as its new queen.

Director: Gerard Damiano
Stars: John Francis, Lisa Christian, Paul Barry
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Sexy young nurses apply special therapy in their daily rounds.

Director: Stephanie Rothman
Stars: Elaine Giftos, Karen Carlson, Brioni Farrell
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Director: Thanos Anastopoulos
Stars: Takis Asimakopoulos, Nikos Georgakis, Maria Zorba
The Big Break (1953)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

An independent film using the streets, buildings and parks of NYC as sets that was distributed by bottom-feeder Madison Pictures which means it was barely distributed at all, as Madison was... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Strick
Stars: James Lipton, Gaby Rodgers, Ellie Pine


Complete credited cast:
Madame Irma
Police Chief
Peter Brocco ...
Arnette Jens ...
Kent Smith ...


Shelley Winters is the madame of a house where customers play out their erotic fantasies, oblivious to a revolution which is sweeping the country. When her old friend, the chief of police (Peter Falk), asks her to impersonate the missing queen in order to reassure the people and halt the revolution, she offers instead three of her customers to play the general, bishop and chief justice, all of whom have died in the revolution. Written by bajac

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Meet Madam Irma and her girls from the House of Illusion ... they make men live their wildest dreams !







Release Date:

4 December 1963 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Balconul  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although initially refused a UK cinema certificate by censor John Trevelyan the film was passed uncut after successful showings by local council authorities. See more »


The Soldier's Tale
Composed by Igor Stravinsky
Conducted by Robert Craft
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

If you're up to it, close to a "must-see"
12 January 2010 | by (Bolton, Ct./Jersey City, NJ; United States) – See all my reviews

This is absolutely NOT a film for the theatrically illiterate or anyone who cannot accept a film which is less than realistic and into the exploration of the fantasies film is supposed to look at (dare we admit it is stage influenced - but not stage bound?). Those who simply want a mindless night at a "fun" film had best look elsewhere, but for anyone who has a mind and enjoys using it, who knows what Existentialism is, or who enjoys really good acting in demanding texts, the 1963 adaptation Ben Maddow made of Genet's 1959 draft of THE BALCONY in consultation with the original author is close to a "must see." Moving smoothly from the horrifying stock footage of the wartime rioting as the Germans were withdrawing from Paris and radicals were wreaking vengeance on "collaborators" (representing an unnamed country in revolution) through shots establishing a very young and handsome Leonard Nimoy as a revolutionary the film quickly settles into the studio produced isolation of a prominent brothel where clients can act out any fantasy and Genet can use these fantasies to examine the nature of power and relationships - even for a moment drawing back the tenuous curtain separating fantasy and reality.

Top billed Shelly Winters as the madame may never have given a better, subtler performance, and the later all to irritating (as television's Columbo) Peter Falk gives a performance of sustained intensity as a man who thinks he's in charge of his destiny - very reminiscent of the best Twilight Zone work.

All too often overlooked in the uniformly solid cast are Ruby Dee (between her stage triumphs in PURLIE VICTORIOUS and A RAISIN IN THE SUN and recreating them on film) as a woman on trial, Jeff Corey (a versatile character actor with over 200 movie and TV credits including everything from Perry Mason to Star Trek) as "the Bishop," Kent Smith (with a resume akin to Corey's but possibly best known as Peter Keating in the movie of THE FOUNTAINHEAD) as the "General" and famously Blacklisted Lee Grant (just coming off that painful period) as one of Ms. Winters' "girls." Despite the brilliance of all concerned, the film has had its problems It was made at a time when, even if independent films could get around the political bigotry of the previous decade, they were still not immune to the pressure of a sexual puritanism which had a major studio first force a damaging rewrite then refuse to issue an important Billy Wilder film (KISS ME STUPID) under its own name because it appeared to endorse infidelity. The screenplay of THE BALCONY is, on many levels, "tamer" than the stage version. The castration of a character is eliminated as are most homosexual references and exposed skin is kept to a minimum, and it may have been still further Bowdlerized in regional release, but the essential ideas are there for any with the wit to explore them.

If you're up to it (and many viewers will recognize that Rod Serling clearly was), this is a journey through time and space - and one's mind

  • well worth taking.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Interview with Shelley Winters nrobertb
Discuss The Balcony (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: