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The Tenant (1976)
"Le locataire" (original title)

R  |   |  Thriller  |  11 June 1976 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 25,173 users  
Reviews: 126 user | 80 critic

A bureaucrat rents a Paris apartment where he finds himself drawn into a rabbit hole of dangerous paranoia.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Tenant (1976)

The Tenant (1976) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Monsieur Zy
...
Madame Dioz
Bernard Fresson ...
Scope
...
Madame Gaderian
Claude Dauphin ...
Husband at the accident
Claude Piéplu ...
Neighbor (as Claude Pieplu)
Rufus ...
Georges Badar
Romain Bouteille ...
Simon
Jacques Monod ...
Cafe Owner
Patrice Alexsandre ...
Robert
Jean-Pierre Bagot ...
Policeman
...
Office Worker
Michel Blanc ...
Scope's Neighbor
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Storyline

In Paris, the shy bureaucrat Trelkovsky rents an old apartment without bathroom where the previous tenant, the Egyptologist Simone Choule, committed suicide. The unfriendly concierge (Shelley Winters) and the tough landlord Mr. Zy establish stringent rules of behavior and Trelkovsky feels ridden by his neighbors. Meanwhile he visits Simone in the hospital and befriends her girlfriend Stella. After the death of Simone, Trelkovsky feels obsessed for her and believes his landlord and neighbors are plotting a scheme to force him to also commit suicide. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No one does it to you like Roman Polanski. See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Tenant  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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 made and released about twelve years after its source French novel of the same name which has the French title of "Le Locataire chimérique" by French writer-artist-illustrator Roland Roland Topor had been first published in France 1964. See more »

Goofs

When Trelkovsky is unpacking as he moves into the apartment, a crew member is reflected in the small mirror adjacent to the kitchen sink. Two crew members are then reflected in the armoire's mirror as Trelkovsky opens it. See more »

Quotes

Trelkovsky: These days, relationships with neighbors can be... quite complicated. You know, little things that get blown up out of all proportion? You know what I mean?
Stella's Friend: No, no I don't. I mind my own business.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film has no end credits; only the Paramount logo. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Three Colors: Blue (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Front Window
19 September 2008 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I'm a pretty old dude, old enough to remember the taste of Oreos and Coke as they were 50-55 years ago, when every taste for a kid was fresh. I wish I have somehow set some aside then is some magical suspended locker, so that I could taste those things today. This magical locker might even have adjusted the fabric of the food to account for how I've drifted, physically and otherwise, a sort of dynamic chemistry of expectations. Over the half century, they would have had to adjust quite a bit, because you see I would have known that I set them aside. Eating one now would be a celebration of self and past, and story, and sense that would almost make the intervening years an anticipated reward.

I didn't have enough sense to do that with original Coke. And I couldn't have invented one of those magical psychic lockers — not then. But I did something almost as good. In the seventies, I really tuned into Roman Polanski. He was a strange and exotic pleasure — you know, movies smuggled out of the Soviet block. Movies so sensitive to beauty that you cry for weeks afterward. Movies that make you want to live with Polish women, one, and then deciding that they would be the last to get it.

Here's what I did. I took what I knew would be my favorite Polanski movie and set it aside. I did not watch it. I deferred until I thought I would be big enough to deserve it. Over the years, I would test myself, my ability to surround beauty and delineate it without occupying it. There probably are few Poles who have worked at this, practicing to deserve Chopin. Working to deserve womanness when I see it. Trying to get the inners from the edges.

Recently, I achieved something like assurance that it was time to pull this out. I already knew that I was already past the time when this would work optimally, because I had already seen and understood "9th Gate."

If you do not know this, it is about a man who innocently rents a room in which the previous tenant (about whom the story is named) jumped out the window, to die later after this man (played by Polanski) visits. What happens is that time folds and he becomes this woman. We are fooled into believing that he is merely mad. But the way we follow him, he is not. He merely has flashes that the world is normal, and that the surrounding people are not part of a coven warping his reality.

The story hardly matters. What matters is how Polanksi shapes this thing, both in the way he inhabits the eye that only makes edges and in inhabiting the body that only consists of confused flesh. The two never meet. There is a dissonance that may haunt me for the next 30 years. Its the idea about and inside and an outside with no edges at all — at all except a redhead wig.

I know of no one else that could do this, this sketch that remains a sketch, this horror that remains natural.

To understand the genius of this, you have to know one of the greatest films ever made; "Rear Window." The genius of that film is the post-noir notion that the camera shapes the world; that the viewer creates the story. What Roman does is take this movie and turn it inside out. In Rear Window, the idea was that the on-screen viewer (Jimmy Stewart) was the anchor and everything else was fiction, woven as we watched. Here, the on screen apartment dweller is the filmmaker. We know this. We know that everything we see is true because he is the narrator. We know it is true that bodies shift identity, that times shift, that causality is plastic. We know that the narrator will kill us. We know that the narrator will leave us in a perpetual horror, on that edge that he imputes but never shows us and lets us imagine.

Ted's Evaluation -- 4 of 3: Every cineliterate person should experience this.


37 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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