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Someone Behind the Door (1971)

Quelqu'un derrière la porte (original title)
GP | | Crime, Drama | 28 July 1971 (France)
A neurosurgeon with a cheating wife takes an amnesiac into his home and conditions him to believe that the cheating wife is his own and to take the "appropriate" action.


Nicolas Gessner


Marc Behm (adaptation), Nicolas Gessner (adaptation) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview:
Charles Bronson ... The Stranger
Anthony Perkins ... Laurence Jeffries
Jill Ireland ... Frances Jeffries
Henri Garcin Henri Garcin ... Paul Damien
Adriano Magistretti Adriano Magistretti ... Andrew
Agathe Natanson Agathe Natanson ... Lucy
Viviane Villamont Viviane Villamont ... Young Girl on Beach (as Viviane Everly)
André Penvern ... Intern
Carl Studer Carl Studer ... Fisherman (as Carl J. Studer)
Denise Péronne Denise Péronne ... Nurse
Isabelle Del Rio Isabelle Del Rio ... Nurse
Silvana Blasi Silvana Blasi ... Mrs. Evans
Colin Mann Colin Mann ... Sgt. Gordon
Yves Elliot Yves Elliot ... Policeman
Learn more

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Dr. Laurence Jeffries, a neurosurgeon, intent on his research, neglects his wife Frances. The frustrated woman accordingly takes a lover, Paul Damien, a French journalist. When he realizes what is going on, Laurence has only one thing in mind, vengeance. A diabolical idea comes to him: why not use one of his patients, an amnesiac, as his instrument of revenge? He soon implements his plan, taking the amnesiac into his home and making him believe that Frances is HIS wife, that she cheats on him and that he has to eliminate her... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No Memory, No Name, No Conscience! See more »


Crime | Drama


GP | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Althoough this is a French film, all three lead actors are actually American. The rest of the cast is European. In addition, the film was shot in English. See more »


The Stranger: How long am I gonna stay here?
Laurence Jeffries: Well, that depends.
The Stranger: It's, uh, considerate of you.
Laurence Jeffries: Not at all, it's my job.
The Stranger: Uh, what was in that, uh, shot you gave me?
Laurence Jeffries: Are you feeling sleepy?
The Stranger: Yeah...
Laurence Jeffries: Good.
See more »


Referenced in The Big Box: Christmas Evil (2011) See more »


Symphony No. 9: Largo
Written by Antonín Dvorák (as A. Dvorak)
See more »

User Reviews

I'm keeping my hands clean.
9 November 2007 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

A man is brought to a hospital with a severe case of amnesia and neurosurgeon Laurence Jeffries takes it upon himself to help out the patient. He dismisses it as intoxication, and pretends to take him to the station. However he brings him back to his home, but the motivation for this is unclear, and everything he's doing to supposedly treat him is done in secrecy. The identity of the stranger is becoming clearer, but so are the doctor's true intentions as he begins to manipulate the situation.

Confined, low-key low-budget French/Italian psychological drama with commendable performances by Charles Bronson and Anthony Perkins. The whole-set-up is like a stage show, were it lies heavily upon the expressively versatile performances and ambitiously novel material. The layer-bound premise is totally illogical, but strangely absorbing with its unforeseeable offbeat nature of offering up numerous surprises, and interestingly unlikely developments. However there are some questionable, teething problems involving the scheming, and its possible outcome. There's just too many cracks, to make it bullet proof that you just wonder if there was much thought put in behind it. Still there are elements that are smartly conceived, and this can be contributed to the manipulative tension (where the repressed anger, and violence is played out through a human tool) and mind-messing that director Nicolas Gessner (the man behind the superb 'The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)') ably works in. As well the believably committed turns of the two leads. Bronson and Perkins worked off each other magnificently. Perkins' cold, planned performance with Bronson's disorientated, assailable figure is sincerely pre-figured. There's no doubt this is one of Bronson's best acting turns. Jill Ireland is adequate in her small role. Gessner's sure-footed direction subtly paints a glum, intrusive puzzle with unique filming techniques that slowly strings you along to a powerfully bitter climax, which finally concludes on an inspired final shot of possible sickening regret. Sometimes it loses out by ponderously stretching it out too much with some raggedy editing, and another weak spot was the playful, but unremarkable misplaced music score by Georges Garvarentz. It just didn't add any sort of punch, or feel. Pierre Lhomme's slick cinematography is steadily framed.

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France | UK



Release Date:

28 July 1971 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Someone Behind the Door See more »

Filming Locations:

Folkestone, Kent, England, UK

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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