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The Possession of Joel Delaney (1972)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  24 May 1972 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 674 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 34 critic

A woman begins to suspect that her brother is possessed by a voodoo spirit.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Grimes Grice) , 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Norah Benson
...
Joel Delaney
...
Peter Benson
Lisa Kohane ...
Carrie Benson
Lovelady Powell ...
Erika
Barbara Trentham ...
Sherry
...
Veronica
Edmundo Rivera Álvarez ...
Don Pedro (as Edmundo Rivera Alvarez)
Teodorina Bello ...
Mrs. Perez
Robert Burr ...
Ted Benson
Ernesto Gonzalez ...
Young Man at Seance
Peter Turgeon ...
Detective Brady
William Hawley
Aukie Herger ...
Mr. Perez
...
Charles (as Earl Hyman)
Edit

Storyline

A woman begins to suspect that her brother is possessed by a voodoo spirit.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If you believe, no explanation is necessary. If you don't believe, no explanation is possible.

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 May 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Obsessão de Joel Delaney  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was bashed by critics upon release because of the disturbing scene where a young boy is forced to strip. In a 2004 Entertainment Weekly article author Stephen King cited the movie while addressing issues of censorship. King said had The Possession of Joel Delaney been released today it would be rated NC-17 for that scene alone. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinemacabre TV Trailers (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

Disturbing and effective
18 October 2003 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

The Possession of Joel Delaney has a strangeness to it from the opening scene where Nora (MacLaine) and Joel (King) attend a party together, seeming like lovers though they are brother and sister (to the point where other party goers who don't know her well comment on her young boyfriend). This sets the stage for a sort of incestuous undercurrent running through the movie, which is never fully explained or explored. Nora seems unnaturally possessive/protective as Joel and really doesn't know how to accept the changes which begin in him. At first it seems that she thinks he has been hanging around Spanish Harlem for kicks, which she is disapproving of...feeling that the influence is changing his personality when it is actually possession...as other reviewers have mentioned there is the contrast of rich/poor, especially her disdain for the poorer class/Hispanics (though her maid is Puerto Rican). Although slow moving at parts, it does have its shocking moments, which eventually lead up to the very disturbing ending where Nora and her children are trapped in a beach house with Joel/Tonio who terrorizes and humiliates them.... particularly, the children. I must echo the other reviewer with regards to what the 10 year old actor playing her son had to go through. I can't imagine ever happening in a movie today without some serious backlash...without going into detail, I just couldn't believe my eyes! All in all, this is a movie that has stuck with me for a long time...certain scenes replay themselves in my mind, and I would have to say that, despite some flaws, I do recommend it.


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