Vineyard owner marquis Philippe de Montfaucon is called back to his castle Bellenac because of another dry season. He asks his wife and children to remain in Paris, but they still come ... See full summary »
Prudence is on the pill; so is her sister-in-law, but someone has been swapping aspirin for their pills. Is it the teen-age niece, the maid, the chauffeur, a lover, Prudence's husband, or ... See full summary »
The count has stolen enough gold to cause a financial crisis in the world markets so I.C.E. sends in ace spy Matt Helm to stop him. As Matt works alone, the British send in Freya to aid ... See full summary »
A grandmother seeks a governess for her 16 year old granddaughter, Laurel, who manages to drive away each and every one so far by exposing their past, with a record of three in one week! ... See full summary »
Grace hastily marries a French aristocrat during WWII, but is separated by circumstance from him for almost nine years. And when reunited, Charles's philandering causes them to divorce and ... See full summary »
Stanislaus Pilgrin, a Polish chess master and handsome gigolo, marries wealthy Jewish widow, Dr. Michele Wolf, an X-ray technician and has an affair with her step-daughter, Fabienne and ... See full summary »
J. Lee Thompson
Ad-agency president Dan Edwards who, when he goes to Mexico to celebrate his nineteenth wedding anniversary, winds up getting divorced by mistake - whereupon his wife Valerie marries his ... See full summary »
Comedy set in a refugee camp in occupied Austria after World War II. A shrewd multi-lingual interpreter who mediates between Russian and British military brass enters into a friendly ... See full summary »
Alison Kirbe of London, receives a telegram from Texas, that she has inherited a livestock ranch. It is plastered throughout the London newspapers that Alison has become a rich heiress, and... See full summary »
Vineyard owner marquis Philippe de Montfaucon is called back to his castle Bellenac because of another dry season. He asks his wife and children to remain in Paris, but they still come after him. His wife Catherine de Montfaucon soon discovers that her husband is acting mysteriously and that his employees are following old pagan rituals that call for the life of the marquis himself to save the crops. Written by
Atmospheric horror dealt in a skillful and very sober way: this movie works more through suggestion, weaving its narrative through grand scenarios of uncanny intensity which is greatly enriched by the black and white colouring that casts a certain aura all over the action and sharpens the characters' peculiarities.
The plot revolves around an ancient curse that plagues a family, linked with a superstitious awe that borders on paranoia. In itself, it is nothing too original: the distraught mother observes with alarm the sudden changes that take place when her so far devoted husband returns to the family estate, a magnific medieval castle, and tries to unravel what is behind the revolution. Yet, its the subtlety with which the theme is approached that distinguish the movie as above average, and raise it to the standard of artistic endeavor as well as story-telling. I'd say that imagery, especially the vibrant contrast between dark areas of film to which correspond luminescent patches, is one of the most relevant and outstanding elements that craft this movie into looking like an animated painting of bizarre overtones.
With some hints of psychological drama that pervade the atmosphere (not the extent that is achieved with such movies as "The Haunting", 1963, but using the same basic approach) the tense environment is stressed and developed as a succession of drama-infused situations that escalate into a stunning climax.
The horror, something organic, in the old Gothic tradition, relies on the architecture to project its full impact upon a solid cast of actors, whose performances are perfectly in sync the overall attitude of uncomfortable beauty that sets the leitmotiv for the whole movie.
To this we add an ambiguous collection of character that hint at the possibility of the supernatural as well as providing enough dark innuendos to undercut the apparently peaceful family relations, a certain order of blood ties being shown and (potentially) unnatural; and an all encompassing narrative frame that is perfect enacted through the curse: not that in itself but the scenes that finally disclose the secrets pertaining said curse.
Overall, a very worthy effort that has aged well, and that actually be more enjoyable now, stripped of its more direct content and perceived more for the great art work that is the heart of the movie.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?