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I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

Approved | | Drama, Fantasy, Horror | 30 April 1943 (USA)
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A Canadian nurse is hired to care for the wife of a sugar plantation owner, who has been acting strangely, on a Caribbean island.

Director:

Jacques Tourneur

Writers:

Curt Siodmak (screenplay), Ardel Wray (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Ellison ... Wesley Rand
Frances Dee ... Betsy Connell
Tom Conway ... Paul Holland
Edith Barrett ... Mrs. Rand
James Bell ... Dr. Maxwell
Christine Gordon Christine Gordon ... Jessica Holland
Theresa Harris ... Alma - Maid (as Teresa Harris)
Sir Lancelot Sir Lancelot ... Calypso Singer
Darby Jones ... Carrefour
Jeni Le Gon Jeni Le Gon ... Dancer (as Jeni LeGon)
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Storyline

Young Canadian nurse Betsy comes to the West Indies to care for Jessica, the wife of a plantation manager Paul Holland. Jessica seems to be suffering from a kind of mental paralysis as a result of fever. When she falls in love with Paul, Betsy determines to cure Jessica even if she needs to use a voodoo ceremony, to give Paul what she thinks he wants. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Who said the dead don't walk? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 April 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Yo dormí con un fantasma See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edith Barrett, who played the mother, was only 3 years older than James Ellison, who played her younger son, Wesley. She actually was 2 years younger than Tom Conway, who played her older son, Paul. See more »

Goofs

When Besty goes to talk with Wes on the porch about an hour into the film, they are both lit by light coming through the louvered door to the left. But, in the next closer shot, that striped lighting pattern disappears. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Rand: Don't worry about a sugar planter. Give him a horse and he'll ride to his own funeral.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning, in small letters at the bottom of the screen is this disclaimer: The characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictional. Any similarity to any persons, living, dead, OR POSSESSED, is entirely coincidental. See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Zombies (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

The British Grenadiers
(uncredited)
Music: 18th century or earlier
Lyrics anonymous
Played on guitar and Sung by Sir Lancelot
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Moody, Creepy Masterpiece
16 April 2004 | by GafkeSee all my reviews

"I Walked With A Zombie" is a brilliant bit of film making. Based somewhat on the classic story of "Jane Eyre," "Zombie" takes us to the South Seas, where Nurse Betsy Connell arrives on a remote sugar plantation owned by the mysterious and reclusive Paul Holland. Betsy has been hired to care for Paul's wife Jessica, a catatonic beauty who wanders around in her nightgown a lot, looking (as the Sex Pistols once put it) Pretty Vacant. The locals whisper about zombies, believing that Jessica has been cursed and is now one of the living, walking dead. A calypso singer follows Nurse Betsy around a lot, providing her with clues in his catchy songs. Nurse Betsy, far from being a close-minded Westerner, becomes intrigued by the tales of zombies and is determined to learn the truth about Jessica's condition in hopes of curing the woman. She even bravely ventures into the cane fields in the dead of night, following the worlds creepiest looking native (a golf-ball eyed zombie-like man) to a voodoo ceremony with Jessica at her side.

Fans of Fulci zombies may be disappointed by the lack of gut-munching gore here. These zombies are not cadavers returned from the grave, half-rotted horrors shambling about looking for flesh to feast upon. These are traditional, mind-erased zombies, unfeeling, unthinking and unresponsive to anything. The atmosphere is wonderful, filled with great music, strong women and natives who look like the real thing. The love triangle quickly becomes a love square and the haunting conclusion is both shocking and grimly satisfying. Fans of the brilliant Tourneur won't be disappointed - his mark is all over this beautiful film, from beginning to end. It is one of his very best.


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