IMDb > Cul-De-Sac (1966)
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Cul-De-Sac (1966) More at IMDbPro »Cul-de-sac (original title)

Photos (See all 13 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Cul-De-Sac -- A hermit and his wife live in a dark castle on a small island off the coast of England.  Two escaped criminals make their way to the castle and terrorize the couple.
Cul-De-Sac -- Trailer for Cul-de-sac


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7.2/10   8,500 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Cul-De-Sac on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 November 1966 (USA) See more »
A wounded criminal and his dying partner take refuge at a beachfront castle. The owners of the castle... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Polanski's Godot See more (52 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Donald Pleasence ... George

Françoise Dorléac ... Teresa

Lionel Stander ... Richard

Jack MacGowran ... Albie
Iain Quarrier ... Christopher
Geoffrey Sumner ... Christopher's Father

Renee Houston ... Christopher's Mother
Robert Dorning ... Philip Fairweather
Marie Kean ... Marion Fairweather
William Franklyn ... Cecil

Jacqueline Bisset ... Jacqueline (as Jackie Bisset)
Trevor Delaney ... Nicholas

Directed by
Roman Polanski 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Gérard Brach  (as Gerard Brach)
Roman Polanski 

Produced by
Gene Gutowski .... producer
Michael Klinger .... producer
Tony Tenser .... producer
Sam Waynberg .... executive producer
Original Music by
Krzysztof Komeda  (as Komeda)
Cinematography by
Gilbert Taylor 
Film Editing by
Alastair McIntyre 
Casting by
Maude Spector 
Production Design by
Art Direction by
George Lack 
Makeup Department
Alan Brownie .... makeup artist
Joyce James .... hair stylist
Production Management
Robert Sterne .... production supervisor
Don Weeks .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Roger Simons .... first assistant director
Ted Sturgis .... first assistant director
Stuart Black .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Alf Pegley .... props
Gilbert Wood .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
David Campling .... sound editor
Stephen Dalby .... sound supervisor
Gerry Humphreys .... dubbing mixer
George Stephenson .... sound mixer
Robin O'Donoghue .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
Ken Reynolds .... boom operator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Les Bowie .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Roy Ford .... camera operator
Jeff Seaholme .... camera operator (as Geoffrey Seaholme)
Laurie Turner .... still photographer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Bridget Sellers .... wardrober
Editorial Department
Maxine Julius .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Barry McCormick .... assembly cutter (uncredited)
Other crew
Terry Glinwood .... production controller
Michael Klinger .... presenter
John Sutro .... translator
Tony Tenser .... presenter
Dee Vaughan .... continuity
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Cul-de-sac" - UK (original title)
See more »
113 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Did You Know?

Jack Nicholson claimed in an interview in 2007 that this is his favorite film.See more »
Continuity: The criminal's car (non-running) rolls down a hill into the home owner's Jaguar. Next day it's gone from the scene.See more »
George:Get the hell outta my fortress!See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Echelon Down (2014)See more »


Where was Cul-de-sac set?
What music did Teresa play on the record player?
See more »
Polanski's Godot, 19 August 2012
Author: Adam Gai from Jerusalem, Israel

Samuel Beckett refused to give Polanski the rights to film Waiting for Godot and so the director created with Gerard Brach a script with strong echoes of the famous play (and some by Harold Pinter). A mixture of Gothic horror picture, black comedy, and classic gangsters American pictures, Cul-de-Sac is a parody of all these genres and also a tragedy. Hopelessness, humiliation, perversion - constant motifs of his films -, are presented here below a thick veil of grotesque. The arrival to the castle of a wounded gangster who tries to be rescued by his boss, and his immediate physical and mental domain of the hostages, untie openly the woman's despise of her husband, the cowardice and vulnerability of him and both dependence on the intruder. The couple breeds chicken and the chicken seem fulfill the function that had the chorus in the Greek tragedy, Polanski is mocking in this way the solemnity of the serious genre that notwithstanding has adopted. Like in others of his films, the director remits to scenes of his former works and make also homage to some admired creators - Hitchcock's The Birds, for instance (when some birds descend on the courtyard of the castle in the manner of the mentioned picture, but without the expected consequences (another game of Polanski). The Godot of this story, Katelbach, like that of Beckett, will never appear and, in this case, shall leave a message exempting himself of any responsibility. Nobody expected shall come to rescue, the woman will escape with a new lover, the gangster is murdered by the landlord and the landlord will lament, sitting on a rock in the sea, his infinite misery. Counting with a suggestive photography by Gil Taylor, who plays smartly with shadows and lights, Polanski likes to pursue the spectators with sudden movements of the camera that show the characters withdrawing from or running over the spectators, who sometimes serve as the supposed mirror where the fictional creatures are looking at themselves. The formal perfection of many scenes could not dissimulate some serious downfall of rhythm and excessive stereotype of characters and not few dialogs. The film is perhaps too much long and repetitive, but this apparent fault contributes to intensify the atmosphere of obsession and dismay, which are considered principal marks of the director's pessimist vision of world.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Cul-De-Sac (1966)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Dicky's Pistol? groove420
Agnes? terao1002
'Wenn Katelbach kommt'? Jorn_Korben
How do two healthy people get "kidnapped" by a one-armed man? bookme120
Is the place identified? nevilley
Why The Title? Honkon
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