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Malpertuis (1971)

A young sailor finds himself trapped in the labyrinthine mansion of his occultist uncle, along with a number of eccentric and mysterious relatives who all seem to be harboring a dark secret.

Director:

Harry Kümel

Writers:

Jean Ferry (screenplay and dialogue), Jean Ray (novel)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Orson Welles ... Cassavius
Susan Hampshire ... Nancy / Euryale / Alice / Nurse / Charlotte
Michel Bouquet ... Charles Dideloo
Mathieu Carrière ... Jan
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Lampernisse
Daniel Pilon ... Mathias Crook
Walter Rilla ... Eisengott
Dora van der Groen Dora van der Groen ... Sylvie Dideloo
Charles Janssens Charles Janssens ... Philarette
Sylvie Vartan ... Bets
Jet Naessens Jet Naessens ... Eleonora
Cara Van Wersch Cara Van Wersch ... Rosalie
Jenny Van Santvoort Jenny Van Santvoort ... Elodie
Fanny Winkler Fanny Winkler ... Mother Griboin
Robert Lussac Robert Lussac ... Griboin (as Bob Storm)
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Storyline

Malpertuis is a labyrinth where characters issued from the Greek mythology are made prisoners by Cassavius. He manages to keep them (as well as his nephew and niece) as prisoners even after his death, through a binding testament. As the nephew unravels the mystery, we find out he cannot escape the house because Malpertuis is far more significant than we were led to believe. Written by Flávia Dietrich

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Belgium | France | West Germany

Language:

Dutch

Release Date:

1971 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

The Legend of Doom House See more »

Filming Locations:

Gent, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Gevacolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Susan Hampshire's nude scenes as "Alice" and "Euryale" used a body double. See more »

Alternate Versions

First screened at Cannes at 99 minutes. The Director's Cut runs 119 minutes. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Disturbing yet wonderful. Unforgettable
25 March 1999 | by Eponine-6See all my reviews

Based on a novel by Jean Ray, Malpertuis is a "haunted" house, unescapable by those who live in it. Characters hiding their true nature, disguised as a "family" to which sailor Jean-Jacques returns unwillingly. Susan Hampshire plays 3 different characters beautifully, and Orson Welles is the perfect actor to play the dominating shadow. The film has an unreal, nightmarish atmosphere, and goes far beyond the scope of the book. Malpertuis is a labyrinth whose secrets are kept behind locked doors, and reveals itself as the film reaches its climax. We come to realize that the mind has as many labyrinths as the house itself. Full of mythology, dimly lit and spooky as dreams use to be ("what is life but a dream?"), Malpertuis is a cult. Jung would have loved it.


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