A young sailor finds himself trapped in the labyrinthine mansion of his occultist uncle, along with a number of eccentric and mysterious relatives who all seem to be harboring a dark secret.



(screenplay), (novel)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A newlywed couple are passing through a vacation resort. Their paths cross with a mysterious, strikingly beautiful countess and her aide.

Director: Harry Kümel
Stars: Delphine Seyrig, John Karlen, Danielle Ouimet
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Director: Harry Kümel
Stars: Hugo Metsers, Cox Habbema, Willeke van Ammelrooy
Eline Vere (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Eline Vere is a neurotic young woman with a turbulent family.

Director: Harry Kümel
Stars: Marianne Basler, Monique van de Ven, Johan Leysen
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Harry Kümel
Stars: Ellen Vogel, Hilde Uitterlinden, Joan Remmelts
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A writer accepts a bet that he cannot spend the night alone in a haunted castle on All Soul's Eve. Once night falls at the castle, several who had been murdered therein return to life, ... See full summary »

Directors: Sergio Corbucci, Antonio Margheriti
Stars: Barbara Steele, Georges Rivière, Margrete Robsahm
Morgiana (1972)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Klara and Viktoria are sisters. Their father dies, leaving most of his property to Klara. When Klara becomes involved with a man that her sister loves, Viktoria begins to plot her murder.

Director: Juraj Herz
Stars: Iva Janzurová, Josef Abrhám, Nina Divísková
Vedreba (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Brave sons of Khevsureti and Kisteti fight against each to protect their homelands. But, they confront faulty domestic traditions to respect enemy's true prowess and find themselves in conflict with own compatriots.

Director: Tengiz Abuladze
Stars: Spartak Bagashvili, Rusudan Kiknadze, Ramaz Chkhikvadze
Paradise Lost (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The Mayor of a small Flemish town is determined at all costs to save a unique bird sanctuary from a ruthless businessman who advocates a housing development on the site. The main story, ... See full summary »

Director: Harry Kümel
Stars: Willeke van Ammelrooy, Hugo Van Den Berghe, Bert André
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The year is 2163. Starship Ikaria XB 1 embarks on a long journey across the Universe, to search for life on the planets of Alpha Centauri.

Director: Jindrich Polák
Stars: Zdenek Stepánek, Frantisek Smolík, Dana Medrická
Nocturne 29 (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A woman walks by her home and finally takes a shower - She buy colored fabrics in a trade. A man visiting a post office - Succession of scenic pictures and semi-autonomous fading almost ... See full summary »

Director: Pere Portabella
Stars: Lucia Bosé, Mario Cabré, Ramón Julia
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A shadowy killer in black brutally murders fashion models.

Director: Mario Bava
Stars: Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

500 years after they were blinded and executed for committing human sacrifices, a band of Templar knights returns from the grave to terrorize a rural Portuguese village during it's ... See full summary »

Director: Amando de Ossorio
Stars: Tony Kendall, Fernando Sancho, Esperanza Roy


Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Hampshire ...
Nancy / Euryale / Alice / Nurse / Charlotte
Charles Dideloo
Daniel Pilon ...
Mathias Crook
Dora van der Groen ...
Sylvie Dideloo
Charles Janssens ...
Sylvie Vartan ...
Jet Naessens ...
Cara Van Wersch ...
Jenny Van Santvoort ...
Fanny Winkler ...
Mother Griboin
Robert Lussac ...
Griboin (as Bob Storm)


Malpertuis is a labyrinth where characters issued from the Greek mythology are made prisoners by Cassavius. He manages to keep them (as well as his nephew and niece) as prisoners even after his death, through a binding testament. As the nephew unravels the mystery, we find out he cannot escape the house because Malpertuis is far more significant than we were led to believe. Written by Flávia Dietrich

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi


See all certifications »



| |


Release Date:

1971 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

Malpertuis  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Susan Hampshire's nude scenes as "Alice" and "Euryale" used a body double. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Mesmerizing and Unique - A Masterpiece in all Regards!
28 February 2009 | by See all my reviews

Before seeing "Malpertuis" (1971), I was already a fan of Belgian director Harry Kümel for his mesmerizing Lesbian Vampire film "Les Lèvres Rouges" (Daughters of Darkness) from the same year, which, in my opinion, is the best film of its kind. I had great expectations for "Malpertuis", because of my admiration of Kümel as a true master of atmosphere, because I had heard the film was Kümel's greatest, and because of Orson Welles stared in it. Even so, this instant favorite of mine surpassed my greatest hopes and totally blew me away. "Malpertuis" is a bizarre and hypnotic mixture of surreal Gothic Horror, macabre family Drama, mad science and Mythological Fantasy, that no cineaste should allow himself (or herself) to miss. Actually, I'd like to correct myself. The film cannot really be narrowed down by attributing it to a particular Genre as such, as it is simply one of the most unique films ever made. In one sentence: The film has everything, and more than that. "Malpertuis" tells one of the most fascinating stories ever brought to screen, and does so in a brilliantly moody manner. The film maintains an incomparably rich, eerie and foreboding atmosphere that becomes more intense with each passing minute. The sublime atmosphere comes along with breathtaking settings, brilliant cinematography, complex and demented characters and fantastic acting performances. The most fascinating thing about "Malpertuis", however, is the story, which is one of the most incomparable and gripping I ever saw in a film. "Malpertuis" is not a film that can properly compared to anything else. It is like a macabre, haunting yet incredibly beautiful Fever Dream.

The film is an adaptation of a novel by Jean Ray, which I haven't yet read. I sure intend to, though, as the plot of "Malpertuis" is one of the most unique and fascinating stories that have ever been filmed. Great praise therefore also belongs to writer Jean Ferry. Jan (Mathieu Carrière), a young sailor, comes to his hometown and, without wanting to, visits the family mansion owned by his creepy and mysterious uncle Cassavius (Orson Welles). The mansion is named Malpertuis, its inhabitants are (equally creepy) relatives who hate Cassavius, but do everything to brown-nose him in desire of his inheritance. A mysterious palace of a mansion, bears fascinating and terrifying secrets... Though this is only a vague description of the film, I shall stop at this point. I do not want to give too much away, as the story is gripping and fascinating from the very beginning and should be experienced rather than read in a review. The sceneries are some of the greatest, most awe-inspiring I have ever seen. The house Malpertuis alone is one of the most fascinating settings ever in cinema. The atmosphere is overwhelming, rich and uncanny throughout the film. Each character is fascinating, most of them creepy and demented, the performances are sublime. Orson Welles is, of course, great as always, an I would personally even consider "Malpertuis" one of the greatest films this brilliant actor has been part of in his awe-inspiring career. The other performances are also magnificent. Mathieu Carriere is great as Jan, and other actors, such as Jean-Piere Cassel, Victor Rilla, Michel Bouquet and particularly Charles Jenssen are also brilliant in their roles. Particular praise has to go to the stunningly beautiful Susan Hampshire, who is wonderful in her triple role, playing three different female leads. The rich atmosphere profits from the Flamish (Dutch) language and an ingenious score. The film was once reportedly cut to shreds, watching the uncut 126 minute director's cut is absolutely essential. "Malpertuis" is a film that simply cannot be praised enough. This ingenious and absolutely unique masterpiece is one of the most fascinating cinematic experiences one can have, both atmospherically and story-wise, and must not be missed by anybody interested in cinema. As said above: It has everything, and a lot more. 10/10

5 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Difficult to expect a DVD for Zone 1 market wakedph
fantastic dvd region 2 release warp232
Why one actress for 3 characters? frequency-2
Double DVD edition - Region 0 kimbo-6
Influence on Wicker Man pkk-4
Differences between Region 0 and Region 1? weschingsdieder
Discuss Malpertuis (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: