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Malpertuis (1971)

 |  Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  1971 (Belgium)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 860 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 38 critic

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... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Malpertuis (1971)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Cassavius
Susan Hampshire ...
Nancy / Euryale / Alice / Nurse / Charlotte
...
Charles Dideloo
Mathieu Carrière ...
Jan
...
Lampernisse
Daniel Pilon ...
Mathias Crook
Walter Rilla ...
Eisengott
Dora van der Groen ...
Sylvie Dideloo
Charles Janssens ...
Philarette
Sylvie Vartan ...
Bets
Jet Naessens ...
Eleonora
Cara Van Wersch ...
Rosalie
Jenny Van Santvoort ...
Elodie
Fanny Winkler ...
Mother Griboin
Robert Lussac ...
Griboin (as Bob Storm)
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

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Details

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Release Date:

1971 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

Malpertuis  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Gevacolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Harry Kümel was a passionate admirer of Orson Welles and had him in mind for the role of Cassavius right from the beginning. According to him, it was pretty easy to convince Welles to take the part, once they assured to pay him the salary he asked for. Looking forward to meet and direct his idol, Kümel was pretty nervous when walking onto the set - just to find out that Welles was in a bad mood and drunk. He later stated in interviews that he personally got along well with Welles during the rest of the shoot but the majority of the crew didn't and tried to get out the grumbling Welles' way most of the time. See more »

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User Reviews

Wrong way.
5 November 2001 | by See all my reviews

That's what the title means;or at least,that's what the priest explains to Matthieu Carrière.The subtitle is overkill and was added for commercial reasons,probably unbeknownst to the director."Doomed house" is a stupid title:are we so sure it's the story of a house? Isn't it rather the story of a mind? of a fantasy? of a folly?

This poesque subtitle is not suitable for Jean Ray's world,who keeps a certain logic inside a nightmarish swarming of monsters,werewolves,Gorgons and mad scientists.Some of his obsessions surface here:the Gorgon,turning mortals into stone,the taxidermist working on alive bodies,are topics we find not only in "Malpertuis" but also in "the adventures of Harry Dickson" ,his favorite hero (he wrote dozens of stories of this detective and his pupil Tom wills)Prometheus recalls here how suffering and sadism were haunting the Belgian writer.Because Belgian,this definitely is.Kummel's closest relative is none other than his compatriot André Delvaux who quoted Jean Ray in his masterwork "un soir,un train".I urge the users who have liked "Malpertuis" to try "Un soir ,un train".It's the same kind of atmosphere,simply it's more mastered,the emotional power -cruelly lacking in Kummel's work- is increased tenfold .

"Malpertuis" has a dream of a cast:Orson Welles-in a short part,but he makes every of his word count-,Matthieu Carrière ,"Der Junge Törless" wunderkind,Susan Hampshire,Two Chabrol favorites (Michel Bouquet and Jean-Pierre Cassel,both in "la rupture" some months before),and,most amazing thing,French singer Sylvie Vartan and in a cameo(uncredited) her then-husband ,Johnny Hallyday.

The plot may be hard to swallow for horror buffs.It's a film "à tiroirs",and the ending has in store at least three unexpected twists.The last picture leaves the spectator bewildered.Hampshire and Carrière seem unreal,and the world that surrounds them is no longer a world in ruins,but a world that forgot he's in ruins.And what kind of world is it?


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