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Release Date:
1 October 1976 (Netherlands) See more »
A doctor trying to develop a serum to lengthen life tries his formula out on the unsuspecting residents of an old-age home. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
LIFESPAN (Alexander Whitelaw, 1974) *** See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Hiram Keller ... Dr. Ben Land
Tina Aumont ... Anna

Klaus Kinski ... Nicholas Ulrich
Fons Rademakers ... Prof. van Arp
Eric Schneider ... Dr. Linden
Frans Mulder ... Pim Henke (as Franz Mulder)
Lyda Polak ... Lydia
Joan Remmelts ... Family doctor
André van den Heuvel ... Felix Dolda
Onno Molenkamp ... Director of old age home
Dick Scheffer ... Official from ministry of science (as Dick Schefer)
Albert Van Doorn ... Emile van der Lutte
Adrian Brine ... Dr. Winston
Helen van Meurs ... Psychiatrist
Sacco van der Made ... Animal feeder
Rudi Falkenhagen ... Police Inspector
Paul Melton ... Journalist
Rudolf Lucieer ... Journalist

Directed by
Sandy Whitelaw  (as Alexander Whitelaw)
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Judith Rascoe 
Alva Ruben 
Sandy Whitelaw  (as Alexander Whitelaw)

Produced by
Sandy Whitelaw .... producer (as Alexander Whitelaw)
Original Music by
Terry Riley 
Cinematography by
Eduard van der Enden 
Film Editing by
Jan Dop 
Hetty Konink 
August Verschueren 
Casting by
Hans Kemna 
Production Design by
Benedict Schillemans 
Set Decoration by
Herman de Vries 
Makeup Department
Ulli Ullrich .... makeup artist (as Ulli Ulrich)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Olga Madsen .... assistant director
Eva van der Voort .... assistant director
Sound Department
Jacques Eippers .... sound recordist (as Jaques Eippers)
Christian Le Duc .... boom operator
Doug E. Turner .... dubbing mixer (as Doug Turner)
Camera and Electrical Department
Pieter De Vos .... best boy
Eddy Holemans .... gaffer
Fitte Kouw .... best boy
André Olivier .... chief gaffer
Henk Risch .... assistant camera
Rick Roessems .... grip (as Rick Roesems)
Cons Tresfon .... second assistant camera (as Cons Trefons)
Casting Department
Leo Thonhauser .... extras casting (as Leon Thonhauser)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Carla Pluim .... wardrobe
Sjaak .... wardrobe assistant
Editorial Department
Wouter Snip .... assistant editor
Other crew
Helen Belien .... production secretary
Nicole Eippers .... caterer
Titia Jaarsveld .... script girl
Steve Jaffe .... assistant to director
Remmelt Remmelts .... production assistant
Ronald van Paare .... production accountant
Cedric Vonk .... production assistant
Marianne Willems .... script girl
James Wyatt .... production assistant

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
UK:77 min | USA:85 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Canada:(Banned) (Ontario) | UK:18

Did You Know?

At one point in the film, Tina Aumont is put into some "DNA helix" bondage as part of some consensual lovemaking with Dr. Land. Some bondage fans believe this is the first appearance of Japanese shibari bondage in a mainstream Western film.See more »


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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
LIFESPAN (Alexander Whitelaw, 1974) ***, 19 June 2006
Author: MARIO GAUCI ( from Naxxar, Malta

Despite the rather lethargic pace, this is an absorbing conspiracy thriller on an existentialist theme. As it was shot in English, even if most of the voices were eventually re-dubbed at a later stage, Fons Rademakers' heavy accent makes his dialogue hard to understand at times!

Anyway, many have found Hiram Keller's inexpressive performance a detriment to the film but I rather liked it (and so, apparently, does director Whitelaw!); the fact that a lot of the exposition is imparted through narration has been criticized as well, but I also thought this worked very well for the film. Much has also been said about the notorious (and oft-censored) bondage scene involving Tina Aumont (well cast here): actually, it's very discreetly done and pretty short in itself! And though Klaus Kinski doesn't get to exert his acting muscles a great deal, his Mephistophelean presence adds to the film's uniquely disquieting aura. Besides, the Amsterdam setting (and Eddy van der Enden's lugubrious photography of it) is a big plus, as is Terry Riley's electronic score.

Whitelaw's rather choppily edited interview and full-length Audio Commentary (moderated by Mondo Macabro's Peter Tombs) are very interesting: the director explains several points which may not have been very clear and draws attention to the irony which is present in his script. Besides recounting many an amusing anecdote about the production (Kinski turning up on set dressed as a Mexican bandit and Whitelaw having to calmly persuade him that his role of "The Swiss Man" was somewhat different!; Kinski's minimal dialogue was also the result of his dislike of the script, whereupon whole chunks of lines he was supposed to say were unceremoniously thrown out!) and the censorship problems the film encountered (the director tried to convince the U.K. censors that the bondage scene was relevant to the main theme by arguing that this kinky act highlighted a woman's breasts which, by storing milk, are themselves a symbol of immortality!). Whitelaw also puts the unresolved and apparently downbeat ending in the context of the film's theme by saying that a picture about immortality, i.e. the desire that one's life doesn't come to an end, could never have a conventional finish as that would mean it was actually embracing death! Interestingly, he mentions too that Roman Polanski (who was a member of the jury where LIFESPAN won an award) had admired the picture a lot - and this was eventually reflected in his own next film, THE TENANT (1976), to which it bears a striking resemblance plot-wise (though itself based on a work of fiction by Roland Topor, of which Whitelaw was completely unaware at the time)!!

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