A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
Serbian national Irena Dubrovna, a fashion sketch artist, has recently arrived in New York for work. The first person who she makes a personal connection with there is marine engineer Oliver Reed. The two fall in love and get married despite Irena's reservations, not about Oliver but about herself. She has always felt different than other people, but has never been sure why. She lives close to the zoo, and unlike many of her neighbors is comforted by the sounds of the big cats emanating from the zoo. And although many see it purely as an old wives' tale, she believes the story from her village of ancient residents being driven into witchcraft and evil doing, those who managed to survive by escaping into the mountains. After seeing her emotional pain, Oliver arranges for her to see a psychiatrist to understand why she believes what she does. In therapy, Dr. Judd, the psychiatrist, learns that she also believes, out of that villagers' tale, that she has descended from this evil - women ...Written by
When the shepherd arrives and finds the dead sheep, there's a live sheep sitting behind him. After a brief shot of the footprints that he's examining, the film returns to a shot of the shepherd, and the sheep is gone. See more »
Oliver, how can you discuss such things? Such intimate things about me. How much did you tell her?
Oliver 'Ollie' Reed:
Oh, you can tell Alice anything, she's such a good egg she can understand anything.
There are some things a woman doesn't want other women to understand.
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[From the opening credits] "Even as fog continues to lie in the valleys, so does ancient sin cling to the low places, the depression in the world consciousness."- "The Anatomy of Atavism"- Dr. Louis Judd See more »
This film hits me on the most personal level of any film I've ever seen. This tale about a young, beautiful, Serbian immigrant named Irena, who marries a man named Oliver, but can't have sex with him because she believes she'll kill him, is a movie that speaks to me every time I watch it. I see so much of myself in the character of Irena, and I connect so much with her tortured psyche. The way she is afraid of hurting those she cares about, the way no one can understand her, and the way she's her own other worldly being are aspects that I can identify with, and make me look at Irena as a kindred spirit for me. But aside from relating to the lead character, I also adore Jacque Tourneur's artistic direction, the story, the lighting, the music, the dialogue, and the overall poetic, and darkly romantic feel to this movie. This film is a true work of art, I've watched it millions of times, and I'm still not done with it. Val Lewton, I love you!
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