6.6/10
4,905
65 user 62 critic

Spirits of the Dead (1968)

Histoires extraordinaires (original title)
Anthology film from three European directors based on stories by Edgar Allan Poe: a cruel princess haunted by a ghostly horse, a sadistic young man haunted by his double, and an alcoholic actor haunted by the Devil.

Writers:

Edgar Allan Poe (story "Metzengerstein") (as Edgar Allan Poë), Roger Vadim (adaptation) | 8 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Visions, memories, and mysticism all help a 40-something woman to find the strength to leave her cheating husband.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Giulietta Masina, Sandra Milo, Mario Pisu
Drama | Fantasy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A series of disjointed mythical tales set in first century Rome.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Martin Potter, Hiram Keller, Max Born
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Casanova is a libertine, performing seductions and sexual feats. But he is really interested in someone, and is he really an interesting person? Is he really alive?

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Tina Aumont, Cicely Browne
The Clowns (TV Movie 1970)
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A ragout of real memories and mockumentary, as Fellini explores a childhood obsession: circus clowns.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Riccardo Billi, Federico Fellini, Gigi Reder
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An orchestra assmbles for a rehearsal in an ancient chapel under the inquisive eyes of a TV documentary crew, but an uprising breaks out.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Balduin Baas, Clara Colosimo, Elizabeth Labi
Boccaccio '70 (1962)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Four directors tell tales of Eros fit for a 1970s Decameron. Working-class lovers, Renzo and Luciana, marry but must hide it from her employer; plus, they need a room of their own. A ... See full summary »

Directors: Vittorio De Sica, Federico Fellini, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Anita Ekberg, Sophia Loren, Romy Schneider
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A beautiful but ambitious young woman joins a traveling troupe of third-rate vaudevillians and inadvertently causes jealousy and emotional crises.

Directors: Federico Fellini, Alberto Lattuada
Stars: Peppino De Filippo, Carla Del Poggio, Giulietta Masina
Roma (1972)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A fluid, unconnected and sometimes chaotic procession of scenes detailing the various people and events of life in Italy's capital, most of it based on director Federico Fellini's life.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Britta Barnes, Peter Gonzales Falcon, Fiona Florence
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

During a day in their honeymoon, a couple is separated by the city's lust and the desires it produces.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Alberto Sordi, Giulietta Masina, Brunella Bovo
Intervista (1987)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Cinecitta, the huge movie studio outside Rome, is 50 years old and Fellini is interviewed by a Japanese TV crew about the films he has made there over the years as he begins production on ... See full summary »

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Sergio Rubini, Antonella Ponziani, Maurizio Mein
Il Bidone (1955)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A trio of con-men lead by a lonesome swindler must deal with their job and family pressures.

Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Broderick Crawford, Richard Basehart, Giulietta Masina
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An anthology of four short horror stories revolving around a British antique shop and its mysterious owner.

Director: Kevin Connor
Stars: Peter Cushing, Ian Bannen, Ian Carmichael
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brigitte Bardot ... Giuseppina (segment "William Wilson")
Alain Delon ... William Wilson (segment "William Wilson")
Jane Fonda ... Contessa Frederique de Metzengerstein (segment "Metzengerstein")
Terence Stamp ... Toby Dammit (segment "Toby Dammit")
James Robertson Justice ... Countess' Advisor (segment "Metzengerstein")
Salvo Randone ... Priest (segment "Toby Dammit")
Françoise Prévost ... Friend of Countess (segment "Metzengerstein") (as Francoise Prevost)
Peter Fonda ... Baron Wilhelm Berlifitzing (segment "Metzengerstein")
Marlène Alexandre Marlène Alexandre ... (segment "Metzengerstein")
David Bresson David Bresson
Katia Christine ... Young girl on the dissection table (segment "William Wilson") (as Katia Christina)
Peter Dane Peter Dane
Georges Douking ... Le licier (segment "Metzengerstein")
Philippe Lemaire ... Philippe (segment "Metzengerstein")
Carla Marlier ... Claude (segment "Metzengerstein")
Edit

Storyline

Three directors each adapt a Poe short story to the screen: "Toby Dammit" features a disheveled, drugged and drunk English movie star who nods acceptance in the Italian press and his producers fawn over him. "Metzengerstein" features a medieval countess who has a love-hate relationship with a black stallion - who, it turns out, is really her dead lover. "William Wilson" tells the story of a sadistic Austrian student with an exact double whom he later kills. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

the ultimate orgy of evil See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French | Italian | English

Release Date:

23 July 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Spirits of the Dead See more »

Filming Locations:

Bergamo, Lombardia, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Electric)

Color:

Color | Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In Federico Fellini's segment, Terence Stamp plays an actor arriving in Rome to do a film, and as they leave the airport to go into the city he suddenly sits up and asks where his Ferrari is; he was promised a Ferrari. This is a humorous reference to a behind the scenes situation on the film The Witches (1967) from the year before, when Clint Eastwood was enticed to play a small role in exchange for a Ferrari. See more »

Goofs

When young William Wilson splatters his fellow schoolmate with a tomato in class, the red stain on his victims face changes drastically from less to more after several moments. See more »

Quotes

Tonina: Is that Wilson?
Giuseppina (segment "William Wilson"): Be careful, Tonina. This Wilson is surely not the lover you dream of. He's made his reputation from men. He loves parades, the theater, dressing up. He needs an audience. But in private, he puts on a poor show.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The whipping of Giuseppina was cut in the original 1973 UK cinema release (titled "Tales of Mystery"), and subsequent releases were also edited. The 15-rated 1986 video (as "Powers of Evil") completely missed the entire 'William Wilson' story, and the 18-rated 1990 French Collection VHS (titled "Histoires Extraordinaires: Tales of Mystery and Imagination") received over a minute of cuts to the whipping scene and shots of Wilson caressing a girl with a scalpel. The Arrow blu-ray release (titled "Spirits of the Dead") is the full uncut version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinemacabre TV Trailers (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Ruby
Sung by Ray Charles
Lyrics by Mitchell Parish
Music by Heinz Roemheld
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
If only Toby Dammit was feature-length...
18 September 2011 | by tomgillespie2002See all my reviews

Also known as Histoires Extraordinaires, this film combines three short stories by Edgar Allen Poe, and has each segment directed by a different European director. The first, entitled Metzengerstein, is directed by the man that helmed Barbarella, Roger Vadim. It tells the story of a beautiful yet debauched countess Federica (Jane Fonda) who falls in love with her family rival, Baron Wilhelm (Peter Fonda - bit weird, them being real-life brother and sister), who frees her leg from a trap in the woods. After he rejects her, she orders the burning of one of his villages, and the Baron is killed when attempting a rescue of one of his horses. The horse is taken in by Federica, who becomes obsessed with it once she notices its resemblance to the one painted on a damaged tapestry.

The second story, William Wilson, is directed by French film-maker Louis Malle. It tells a familiar doppelgänger story of the wicked William Wilson (Alain Delon) who is also interrupted by his 'better half' who shares his name and his appearance, but none of his evil ways. After winning a card game against Giuseppina (Brigitte Bardot) through repeatedly cheating, his other half exposes him, and the two face a duel. The third, directed by Federico Fellini and entitled Toby Dammit, follows alcoholic Shakesperean actor Toby Dammit (Terence Stamp) who is brought to Rome to star in an adaptation of the story of Christ, re- imagined as a western. Haunted by visions of a blonde girl who has lost her ball, he goes on a drunken ride through Rome in a Ferrari.

The biggest problem with this film is the variations of quality in the different episodes. Vadim's opener is a pretty poor effort, with a strange storyline focusing on a woman's obsession with a horse. It seems to be nothing more than an excuse to get Jane Fonda into some skimpy medieval outfits. That is all well and good (it was one of the key reasons why I loved Barbarella!) but it's a silly story and a waste of some beautiful cinematography. Malle's second story is a big improvement, but it is clear that his heart is not really in it. Apparently he agreed to take on the job in order to raise money for Murmur of the Heart, and compromised to make the film more accessible to mainstream audiences. But the eroticism of the card game, and the strange atmosphere that is evident throughout make it an enjoyable 40 minutes.

Fellini's final segment is very much the director's own vision. It is so far gone from anything resembling Poe's original vision, it could be easily called Fellini's own. Thematically similar to most of his key works, Terence Stamp's crumbling lead character is the main focus, and his disintegrating sanity is laid out on the screen with a collection of flashing images, bizarre characters, and unconventional camera-work. It is also an attack on celebrity, as the characters that Dammit comes across don't react or flinch at his increasingly strange and unpredictable behaviour. It's a shame that Fellini is restricted to a 40 minute portion of a 2-hour film, as I would have quite happily watched Toby Dammit as a full-length feature. An enjoyable, if unspectacular overall film, with the stories getting notably better as the film goes on.

www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 65 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed