120 user 119 critic

Possession (1981)

1:57 | Trailer
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.



(original screenplay), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
3,216 ( 198)
5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Margit Gluckmeister
Heinz Bennent ...
Johanna Hofer ...
Heinrich's mother
Carl Duering ...
Michael Hogben ...
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


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


Murder. Evil. Infidelity. Madness. See more »


Drama | Horror


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






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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


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie was a French-West German co-production shot in West Berlin, but it wasn't released in Germany until its DVD release in late 2009. See more »


Bob: Don't open! Don't open! Don't open! Don't open! Please don't open! Don't open it! Don't open! Don't open it! Don't open!
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User Reviews

A masterpiece!
30 January 2002 | by (Århus Denmark) – See all my reviews

This has become my favorite movie, but only after watching it 5 times, and a 6th with the commentary of the great Zulawski. I believe this is the greatest movie ever, because it is completely flawless in its depiction of dysfunctional marriage, insanity, and ultimately the end of the world. Despite it being shot in 3 weeks, it is so tightly structured, beautifully shot, and marvellously acted, that at simply blows me away. I can only feel sorry for the people who have only seen the American version. Cutting a single frame from this movie would be a crime, and cutting 45 minutes is a sin.

Another example of how the American movie censorships lack of understanding the art of cinema. Luckily the movie is now out on DVD,and any movie fan should pick this up.

Possesion is simply a masterpiece!

16 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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