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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:

She's alive... yet dead! She's dead... yet alive! 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

The role played by Frances Dee was originally filled by Anna Lee. 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

Betsy Connell: Are you trying to tell me that the voodoo priest could cure Mrs. Holland?
Alma - Maid: Yes, Miss Betsy. I mean that.
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 »


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

 
Offbeat zombie plot set in the West Indies w/ great voodoo ceremony
6 October 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

This sounds like a creaker, and it's not. The biggest reason? My guess is the director Jacques Tourneur, who had just finished the terrific "The Cat People" and was going to soon do the near legendary "Out of the Past." For this odd and enchanting zombie movie, he takes very little and makes a lot out of it. The mood, the plot (with help from writer Curt Siodmak, brother of the famous director Robert Siodmak), and the settings are made more substantial than was likely given the budget.

Besides the Jane Eyre-ish plot, the huge role given black actors is a rare thrill (for 1943) and they have complex and reasonably convincing roles to fill out, including the voodoo religious culture. There is one great dancing and drum scene halfway through that struck me as honest and great to watch.

There is no one of any fame here, yet all the key actors (there are half a dozen with critical roles) are really strong, not hammy and not faltering. I guess I keep addressing the fear that this is a low-budget cult film, and it doesn't feel like one. It's easily as good as most of the monster and horror films Universal was cranking out a decade after "Dracula."


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