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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 »
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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

Features the first depiction of female orgasm (sound only) to be passed by the British Board of Film Censors. See more »

Goofs

The position between shots of the telephone and the envelope changes when Carol picks up the rabbit and goes to answer the phone. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Keep My Grave Open (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Genuinely Scary
14 December 1998 | by NJCondonSee all my reviews

"Repulsion" is a great example of how to make a truly scary movie: The trick is not to fill the screen with monsters or indestructible serial killers, it is to portray fear in a way that will be familiar to the audience. It is clear from early on in the film that the lead character, Carol, played brilliantly by an extremely young-looking Catherine Deneuve, is not exactly normal. When her sister leaves her alone in their shared London apartment for a few days, however, the things that scare Carol are the sorts of things that have scared a lot of people spending the night alone, such as hearing (imagined) footsteps in the hallway and the like. Of course, while normal people get a brief fright from such a thing, Carol descends into a madness of hallucinations. The movie is seen almost entirely from her point of view, using techniques borrowed by later directors such as Darren Aronofsky for his movie, "Pi", which gives the entire movie a claustrophobic feeling that enhances the impact of Carol's hallucinations.

There are no doubt people who would like to explicate this film as an exploration of sexual repression or the like, and perhaps they are indeed hitting the mark in doing so, but this film works brilliantly as pure cinema, with no metaphoric subtext needed.

Overall Rating: 4 stars (out of 4), or 9 (out of 10)


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