IMDb > The Tenant (1976)
Le locataire
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The Tenant (1976) More at IMDbPro »Le locataire (original title)

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Roland Topor (novel)
Gérard Brach (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Tenant on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 June 1976 (USA) See more »
No one does it to you like Roman Polanski. See more »
A bureaucrat rents a Paris apartment where he finds himself drawn into a rabbit hole of dangerous paranoia. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 nominations See more »
(100 articles)
User Reviews:
"What right has my head to call itself me?" See more (123 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Roman Polanski ... Trelkovsky

Isabelle Adjani ... Stella

Melvyn Douglas ... Monsieur Zy

Jo Van Fleet ... Madame Dioz
Bernard Fresson ... Scope

Lila Kedrova ... 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

Josiane Balasko ... Office Worker
Michel Blanc ... Scope's Neighbor
Florence Blot ... Madame Zy
Louba Guertchikoff ... Wife at accident (as Louba Chazel)
Jacques Chevalier ... Patron
Jacky Cohen ... Stella's Friend
David Gabison ... Witness at accident (as Alain David)
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu ... Bar Waiter (as Bernard Donnadieu)
Alain Frérot ... Begger (as Alain Frerot)

Raoul Guylad ... Priest
Eva Ionesco ... Bettina - Madame Gaderian's daughter

Gérard Jugnot ... Office Clerk
Héléna Manson ... Head Nurse
Maïté Nahyr ... Lucille
André Penvern ... Cafe Waiter
Gérard Pereira ... Drunk
Dominique Poulange ... Simone Choule
Arlette Reinerg ... Tramp
Jacques Rosny ... Jean-Claude
Serge Spira ... Philippe
Vanessa Vaylord ... Martine
François Viaur ... Police Sergeant

Shelley Winters ... The Concierge
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Albert Delpy ... Neighbor (uncredited)

Bruce Lee ... Bruce Lee (archive footage) (uncredited)
Alain Sarde ... Peeping tom (uncredited)
Philippe Sarde ... Man staring at Trelkovsky in the movie theatre (uncredited)

Directed by
Roman Polanski 
Writing credits
Roland Topor (novel)

Gérard Brach (screenplay) &
Roman Polanski (screenplay)

Produced by
Hercules Bellville .... executive producer
Andrew Braunsberg .... producer
Alain Sarde .... associate producer
Original Music by
Philippe Sarde 
Cinematography by
Sven Nykvist (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Françoise Bonnot 
Casting by
Catherine Vernoux 
Production Design by
Pierre Guffroy 
Art Direction by
Claude Moesching 
Albert Rajau 
Costume Design by
Jacques Schmidt 
Makeup Department
Didier Lavergne .... makeup artist
Ludovic Paris .... hair stylist
Production Management
Alain Depardieu .... unit manager
Yves Marin .... unit manager
Marc Maurette .... production manager
Juliette Toutain .... unit manager
Lindsley Parsons Jr. .... executive production manager: Paramount (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jean-Jacques Aublanc .... second assistant director
Marc Grunebaum .... assistant director
Jean-Pierre Poussin .... second assistant director
Art Department
Raymond Lemoigne .... property master
Eric Simon .... set dresser
Sound Department
Michèle Boëhm .... sound editor (as Michèle Boehm)
Louis Gimel .... boom operator
Jean Nény .... sound re-recordist
Jean-Pierre Ruh .... sound mixer
Visual Effects by
Jean Fouchet .... optical effects
Camera and Electrical Department
François Catonné .... assistant camera (as François Catonne)
Bruno de Keyzer .... assistant camera (as Bruno de Keyser)
Jean Harnois .... camera operator
Bernard Prim .... still photographer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Mimi Gayo .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Jacques Audiard .... assistant editor
Music Department
Hubert Rostaing .... conductor
Carlo Savina .... conductor
William Flageollet .... score mixer (uncredited)
Other crew
Walter Alford .... unit publicist
Sylvette Baudrot .... continuity
Josée Bénabent-Loiseau .... press attache (as Josée Bénabent)
Simone Escoffier .... production secretary
Robert Rietty .... dialogue director
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le locataire" - France (original title)
See more »
126 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Cameo: [Philippe Sarde]the man that stares at Trelkovsky in the movie theatre.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: 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 »
Trelkovsky:You want me to do it again? I shall do it again! You did not like it the first time.
Trelkovsky:Simone Choule does not disappoint!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Eye 2 (2004)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
34 out of 40 people found the following review useful.
"What right has my head to call itself me?", 31 October 2007
Author: Steffi_P from Ruritania

After his classic film noir homage Chinatown Roman Polanski returned to the themes that had given him his greatest hits in the 60s with this creepy psychological horror which, like Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby, deals with the paranoia and claustrophobia generated by apartment living.

Claustrophobic environments are the ones which Polanski is best at creating, and this has to be the most suffocating and confined picture he ever created. The emphasis on side walls and distant vanishing points is greater than ever, and even in the small number of exterior scenes the sky is rarely glimpsed. But The Tenant is not just confined spatially, but also in the intensity with which it focuses on its protagonist. Trelkovsky, played by Polanski himself is not only in every scene, he is in virtually every shot. When he is not on screen more often than not the camera becomes Trelkovsky's point of view. And of course almost everywhere he looks he sees his own reflection staring back at him in a mirror.

I can't think of any film that is more about the internalisation and solitude of one character. Some psychological thrillers, like M or Peeping Tom, manipulate us into feeling sorry for the mentally ill protagonist. Others, like Psycho, attempt in-depth scientific analysis of his mental condition. The Tenant fits into neither of these categories – it simply immerses us completely inside Trelkovsky's experience without demanding we actually understand or appreciate what is going on inside his head. We feel his paranoia and obsession even though it is constantly revealed to us that they are irrational.

Polanski was also a master of the slowly unfolding horror film. Often in his horrors there is an ambiguity as to whether there is actually anything sinister going on, but they are among the most effective at frightening audiences. Why? Precisely because they unfold so slowly and invest so much time in painstakingly setting up situations that they immerse the viewer in paranoia. A much later Polanski horror, The Ninth Gate is a bit of a mess plot-wise but at least it still manages to achieve that creeping sense of dread.

This is a rare chance to see Polanski himself in a major role. His talent in front of the camera was as good as behind it, and he is absolutely perfect as the meek Trelkovsky. Another standout performance is that of the all-too-often overlooked Shelley Winters as the concierge. In actual fact it is rather a stellar cast, although many of the familiar faces look out of place in this strange, Gothic European movie. Also sadly many of the French actors in supporting roles are atrociously dubbed in the English language version.

The Tenant is more polished and less pretentious than Repulsion, but it lacks the suspense and the character that make Rosemary's Baby so engrossing and entertaining. The Tenant is good, with no major flaws, and Polanski was really on top form as a director, but it's not among his most gripping works.

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Kafka anyone? solidsnake25539
The ending SPOILERS mv_mc
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Polanski at his best. Nerve-racking, unsettling expereince. pras_iam
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