Repulsion | Chicago Reader


Rated NR 105 minutes 1965

Roman Polanski's first film in English (1965) is still his scariest and most disturbing—not only for its evocations of sexual panic, but also because his masterful employment of sound puts the audience's imagination to work in numerous ways. Catherine Deneuve gives an impressive performance as a quiet and quietly mad beautician living with her older sister in London and terrified of men. When the sister and her boyfriend take off on a holiday, her fears and her isolation in the apartment are allowed to fester along with the uncooked food, with increasingly violent and macabre results. As narrative this works only part of the time, and as case study it may occasionally seem too pat, but as subjective nightmare it's a stunning piece of filmmaking.

Film Credits

Director: Roman Polanski

Producer: Gene Gutowski, Michael Klinger, Robert Sterne, Tony Tenser and Sam Waynberg

Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Yvonne Furneaux, Ian Hendry, John Fraser, Patrick Wymark, James Villiers, Renee Houston, Helen Fraser, Valerie Taylor, Hugh Futcher, Mike Pratt, Monica Merlin, Imogen Graham and Roman Polanski

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