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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 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:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Belgium | France | West Germany

Language:

Dutch

Release Date:

1971 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

Malpertuis 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

Orson Welles dubbed his own voice in the English Language version of the film. 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

 
Definitely a Horror
28 April 2000 | by eye3See all my reviews

Opening scenes that confuse instead of establish a story, followed by more obscure scenes and dialogue that go nowhere, topped off with an ending completely unrelated to the rest of the movie.

And all of it peopled by non-actors, save for Orson Welles with his usual gravitas (no pun intended), as the dying master of the house, and Susan Hampshire cutting loose in three different parts: a flighty, sheltered, and developmentally-arrested young girl; a repressed school-marm type who is a sex-maniac underneath; and a draped, firey-wigged ur-dame with the coolest set of eye-contacts this side of "Count Dracula" (1977) with Louis Jourdan.

The only evil in this picture was the wasting of these two Lights of Stage and Screen in this waste of film and time.

Yes, the movie could have been better if it had been made differently. VERY differently.


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