A man named Salem escapes from an insane asylum where he was confined for an axe-murder. Falsely convicted under a plea of "guilty due to insanity", he does not plan to let his sister and ...
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A man named Salem escapes from an insane asylum where he was confined for an axe-murder. Falsely convicted under a plea of "guilty due to insanity", he does not plan to let his sister and her husband forget that they were responsible for the murder of a farmhand and for his cruel imprisonment in the asylum.Written by
This is what they call a sleeper but actually Von Sydow is an insomniac ! Very close to the Bergmanesque feelings of despair and anguish, with his actors, Max Vob Sydow and Liv Ulmann and a Colombo/esquire inspector by Trevor Howard. Closer to Bergman in any respect than it is to Hitchcock. It's in color but it feels like black and white, has a literary quality, some clumsiness (especially with the weird accents and the whole atmosphere of countryside way backwards in time and development) and a twist ending like the old Twilight Zone or Ray Bradbury mystery stories. Shot in the blazing winter in Sweden and Denmark, featuring a bravura physical performance from Sydow it's a rare and weird team up from director Benedek (veteran of The Wild One and a lot of TV), with a producing Mel Ferrer (!) and a haunting scary score who works a sound design by Henry Mancini (Mancini and Ferrer worked together on Wait Until Dark before, another creepy classic). Saw this almost 20 years ago on TV by chance, made an incredible impression that stayed with me, couldn't get hold of it but now I saw it again and was struck again. Creepy as hell and you can feel the freezing cold ! A gem waiting to be rediscovered and i have a feeling somehow that someone will mess with this in a shitty remake.
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