Whilst out on a rowboat with his wife Louise, John Haloran has a heart attack and dies. She casts his body overboard and hides his death telling the family he left on an urgent business ... See full summary »
Francis Ford Coppola
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France, 18th century. Lieutenant Andre Duvalier (Jack Nicholson) has been accidentally separated from his regiment. He is wandering near the coast when he sees a young woman (Sandra Knight) and asks her for directions to Coldon, where he hopes to rejoin his regiment. But the woman doesn't answer, doesn't even greet him and walks away. Eventually she takes him towards the sea, where she disappears in rough water. Andre loses consciousness while trying to follow her, and is attacked by a bird and awakes in a house where an old woman (Dorothy Neumann) claims never to have seen the woman. After he leaves, he sees the woman again, and while trying to follow her, is saved by a man from certain death. Andre learns that in order to help the girl, he must go to castle of Baron Von Leppe (Boris Karloff), and when he arrives, Andre sees the woman looking out of a window. However, Baron Von Leppe is old and seems reluctant to let Andre in. He claims there's no woman in the castle, but shows Andre... Written by
Arnoud Tiele (firstname.lastname@example.org) and subs111
This is quite a Gothic tale of horror, including sundry gory bits. The castle is expectedly dark and brooding, and Corman creates an eerie atmosphere very well.
I spotted two directional errors. The handguns are revolver like, and I do not think such guns were used in Europe in the early years of the nineteenth century. Also, the servant Stefan often stands too close to the Baron, and to Lieutenant Duvalier. For reasons that become clear later, he could assume such familiarity with the Baron. However no nineteenth century officer of the French army, especially one of aristocratic lineage, would tolerate such behaviour from a minion.
Jack Nicholson said of the film, 'This is the only Hollywood film with a complete script that has absolutely no story.' This about sums it up. It should be watched for the camera-work and the ambiance.
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