7.4/10
17,062
133 user 122 critic

Possession (1981)

A woman starts exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior after asking her husband for a divorce. Suspicions of infidelity soon give way to something much more sinister.

Director:

Writers:

(original screenplay), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
3,664 ( 38)

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5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Johanna Hofer ...
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Detective
Shaun Lawton ...
Zimmermann
Michael Hogben ...
Bob
Maximilian Rüthlein ...
Man with Pink Socks (as Maximilian Ruethlein)
Thomas Frey ...
Pink Sock's Acolyte
Leslie Malton ...
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:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

28 October 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Night the Screaming Stops  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$234,258, 16 October 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,113,538
See more on IMDbPro »

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

Debut English language feature film of Polish director Andrzej Zulawski. See more »

Quotes

Helen: We are all the same. Different words, different bodies, different versions. Like insects! Meat!
[stabs Heinrich]
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Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Pure cinema
26 October 1999 | by See all my reviews

The very reason why this film was lambasted by so many people is because it requires the full use of imagination on the part of the viewer. Those who like films to be linear or over-explained (almost 90% of all films and almost 100% of all Hollywood films) will call this film confusing, baffling, hysterical, etc. However, very few directors are able to use cinematic space as Zulawski does in this film. This doesn't appeal to your rational part, it's supposed to connect with you on spiritual or deeply emotional level, it's supposed to appeal to something in you that can't be rationalized or explained verbally. Possession is a piece of pure cinema, no less.


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