Harriet Blossom, the lonely wife of a workaholic brassiere manufacturer, breaks her sewing machine and ends up in bed with the repairman, a mechanic from one of her husband's factories. The... See full summary »
Colonel Ryder, the publisher of a magazine, dies while on vacation. Tony, his swinging nephew, inherits the magazine and takes over. Presently, the magazine is planning to expand and to do ... See full summary »
Renowned Russian piano teacher Irina Sousatzka gets a new student - Bengali piano prodigy Manek. They are both immigrants in the UK and bond quickly. When Manek's single mother's business fails, he must make a career decision.
A former vaudevillian magician (MacLaine) moves her straight-laced niece (Garr) and her two mischievous children to a small town. When the two kids get in trouble with a neighbor for ... See full summary »
Jerry Ryan is wandering aimlessly around New York, having given up his law career in Nebraska when his wife asked for a divorce. He meets up with Gittel Mosca, an impoverished dancer from ... See full summary »
A housewife is doing her best to keep her family together as it's slowly falling apart, a fact she's trying to ignore. Her cheating husband's birthday party is approaching and many lines will be crossed after that event.
A stranger in a Western cattle-town behaves with remarkable self-assurance, establishing himself as a man to be reckoned with. The reason appears with his stock: a herd of sheep, which he ... See full summary »
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 »
A unique and chilling forerunner of the 'possession' sub-genre.
Manhattan socialite begins to fear for her troubled younger brother when he starts behaving bizarrely and he seems to have been friends with a backstreet murderer.
The Possession of Joel Delaney is a dark horror film with much going for it. For one, it's among the earliest horror films to deal with the theme of spiritual possession. Also, it's one of those horror gems that doesn't need to resort to special effects or overt gore and violence to be effectively unsettling. It's a thoroughly well-written film as it blends eerie supernatural horror with a strong social commentary. The plot is compelling and quite off-beat as it builds to some chilling peaks and a finale that's splendidly suspenseful. It's a truly disturbing tale.
The direction, cinematography, and urban locations are all good but the true highlight is the stars. Veteran actress Shirley MacLaine is great as her bewildered, yet unsympathetic character. However the show is truly stolen by young Perry King who puts on an excellent dynamic performance as his potentially unhinged character. It's easy to see why King went on to a notable career after this debut.
All around The Possession of Joel Delaney is one of the finer low-key horror films of the 70's. It's a film that wisely chooses the intelligent, non-camp approach to its subject matter and it comes off a solid effective chiller because of it.
*** 1/2 out of ****
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