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Possession (1981)

 -  Drama | Horror  -  28 October 1983 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 9,187 users  
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During a secretive business trip away, Mark learns that his wife Anna is growing restless in what he believed was their happy marriage. Upon his return home, he learns from her that she ... See full summary »

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Title: Possession (1981)

Possession (1981) on IMDb 7.3/10

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5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Anna / Helen
...
Mark
Margit Carstensen ...
Margit Gluckmeister
Heinz Bennent ...
Heinrich
Johanna Hofer ...
Heinrich's mother
Carl Duering ...
Detective
...
Zimmermann
Michael Hogben ...
Bob
Maximilian Rüthlein ...
Man with pink socks (as Maximilian Ruethlein)
Thomas Frey ...
Pink sock's acolyte
Leslie Malton ...
Sara, woman with club foot
Gerd Neubert ...
Subway drunk
Kerstin Wohlfahrt
Ilse Bahrs
Karin Mumm
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Storyline

During a secretive business trip away, Mark learns that his wife Anna is growing restless in what he believed was their happy marriage. Upon his return home, he learns from her that she wants a divorce. They both go through a series of different emotions related to their situation, Mark's which is generally obsessive about learning why Anna, who he still loves, wants the divorce, and Anna's which is generally increasingly histrionic in getting away from Mark. Caught in the middle is their infant son Bob, who Mark uses as a gage to Anna's mental state. Anna states that her want for the divorce is not because of another man, but Mark finds out that Anna has a lover named Heinrich. In the meantime, Mark also meets Bob's teacher Helen, who looks exactly like Anna, but is her polar opposite in temperament. Starting a relationship with Helen lessens his obsession with Anna. But as Mark and Anna's encounters together reach more emotional and violent levels, Mark, with help of a private ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She created a monster as her secret lover! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

28 October 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Night the Screaming Stops  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film originally appeared on the DPP 72 list of UK video nasties. It was banned but never prosecuted, and was eventually passed uncut by the BBFC in 1999. See more »

Quotes

Mark: You look ugly. You've hardened. For the first time, you look vulgar to me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Possession: Utterly Mad

Famously violent, bloody and brutal, Possession is a member of that most hallowed hall of "Video Nasties" we know and love. Boasting scenes of some noteworthy infamy, Andrzej Zulawski's complex allegorical explanation of marital disintegration is known for its thematic obscurity.

In Cold War Berlin, Mark returns home from unclear duties to a marriage which is on its last legs. His wife Anna, suffering from increasingly inclement behaviour and mood swings brought about by their ailing relationship, is revealed to be having an affair, leading Mark to investigate. What he discovers is more bizarre even than his wife's drug loving German lover.

The one feeling which appears to be universal in conjunction with Possession is that of helpless confusion. As the credits roll, the only thing we can justifiably think is "What just happened?!" The film is utterly mad; unendingly so. From start to finish, I struggled not to miss a beat amidst the mire. Difficult to follow and impossible to understand at first, Zulawski's frustrating work leaves us scratching our heads for the entirety of its running time. Possession's gradual descent from a Kramer Vs. Kramer-esquire marital drama to a bloody and supernatural allegory is as surprising as it is bizarre and mental. Thereafter, we are treated to a visual feast of harrowing images and strangely violent outbursts. The increasingly insane plot is marred by overeager performances, though it is considerably attention grabbing. The film is not at all a bad one, providing a deeply interesting message (which may take time and thought to fully comprehend) albeit through a hazy, complicated and apparently nonsensical narrative. Additionally, Heinz Bennent's Heinrich is a wonderful and whimsical character, bringing an element of farcical comedy to the plot.

Managing to shock and surprise as well as stupefy, Possession is a film well versed in oddity. Exploring an interesting topic with a veiled depth, it gives us a message in an unconventional way which is quite brilliant in itself.


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