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Repulsion (1965)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 3 October 1965 (USA)
A sex-repulsed woman who disapproves of her sister's boyfriend sinks into depression and has horrific visions of rape and violence.

Director:

Roman Polanski

Writers:

Roman Polanski (original screenplay), Gérard Brach (original screenplay) (as Gerard Brach) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
4,608 ( 1,574)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Catherine Deneuve ... Carol
Ian Hendry ... Michael
John Fraser ... Colin
Yvonne Furneaux ... Helen
Patrick Wymark ... Landlord
Renee Houston ... Miss Balch
Valerie Taylor ... Madame Denise
James Villiers James Villiers ... John
Helen Fraser Helen Fraser ... Bridget
Hugh Futcher ... Reggie
Monica Merlin Monica Merlin ... Mrs. Rendlesham
Imogen Graham Imogen Graham ... Manicurist
Mike Pratt ... Workman
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Storyline

In London, Belgian immigrant Carol Ledoux shares an apartment with her older sister Helen, and works as a manicurist at a beauty salon. Helen uses the word "sensitive" to describe Carol's overall demeanor, which is almost like she walks around in a daze, rarely speaking up about anything. When she does speak up, it generally is about something against one of those few issues on which she obsesses, such as Helen's boyfriend Michael's invasion of her space at the apartment. That specific issue may be more about men in general than just Michael's actions, as witnessed by Carol being agitated by hearing Helen and Michael's lovemaking, and she not being able to rebuff the advances effectively of a male suitor, Colin, who is infatuated with her. One of those other obsessive issues is noticing cracks and always wanting to fix them. While Helen and Michael leave on a vacation to Pisa, Italy, Carol chooses largely to lock herself in the apartment, ditching work. There, she is almost hypnotized... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"A classic chiller of the 'Psycho' school!" See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Repulsión See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where Catherine Deneuve stumbles across the bridge and down the street was filmed at Hammersmith Bridge, London. See more »

Goofs

When Carol gets back home from work she takes off her shoes. A moment later, in the bathroom, she has them on her feet again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mrs. Rendlesham: Have you fallen asleep?
Carol: Oh, I'm sorry.
Mrs. Rendlesham: I think you must be in love or something.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Entertainment Programs Inc. DVD release only runs 100 minutes (despite the 105 minute running time listed on the package). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Schramm (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Polanski wields a surprisingly dull blade with "Repulsion"
18 June 2006 | by Jonny_NumbSee all my reviews

Recently, I viewed Roman Polanski's feature-film debut, "Knife in the Water," and found it to be a well-done effort that would foreshadow his later, better works. "Repulsion" came 3 years later, and while a fine film on a purely technical level, its psycho-mindf*ck ambitions are shredded to pulp by the time the film reaches its close, leaving the viewer cold and unfulfilled. While containing some incisive, veiled sentiments on how the male and female gender perceive each other, from aggression and fear, to promiscuity and perversion, "Repulsion" ultimately becomes overshadowed by artistic pretension and symbolism.

The surreal plot follows a remote young hairstylist (Catherine Deneuve) who doesn't say much, and finds herself in perpetual fear of the opposite sex (solidified in the presence of an inexplicable stranger who 'rapes' her in the middle of the night); her paranoia and insecurity only worsens when her sister takes a vacation with her lover, and things quite literally begin to fall apart.

What's unfortunate about "Repulsion" is that Polanski doesn't stick the knife in far enough...a few years later, he would do a superior study of patriarchal politics (with demonic overtones) in "Rosemary's Baby," and even later still, an impressive meditation on claustrophobic madness with "The Tenant". Both of these films combine the best elements of "Repulsion" into more satisfying wholes that one would be better off seeking them out instead.


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