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Repulsion

1965 Drama

The first English-language film of director Roman Polanski is a psychological thriller in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) and his own later film Rosemary's Baby (1968). Catherine Deneuve stars as Carol Ledoux, a Belgian manicurist living with her sister, Helen (Yvonne Furneaux), in a London flat. Simultaneously attracted and repulsed by sex, Carol is a virgin who finds her sister's relationship with a married man, Michael (Ian Hendry), extremely disturbing. When her sister and Michael go on holiday, Carol begins to disintegrate mentally, hallucinating bizarre encounters, being forced into taking a sabbatical from her job and ultimately committing a pair of murders in her deranged state.

Director: Roman Polanski

Starring: Catherine Deneuve, John Fraser, Ian Hendry, Yvonne Furneaux, Patrick Wymark

Reviews

  • The cruelty of his methods aside -- and Polanski wasn't the first director to terrorize an actor for the sake of a performance -- Repulsion is a frightening, fiercely entertaining experience that holds up to time. (Review of May 1998 revival)

    Edward Guthmann - The San Francisco Chronicle

    27 April 2013

  • Repulsion's depiction of a young woman's dissolution into madness is one of the most harrowing mental descents ever depicted onscreen. (Reviewed 11/24/97)

    Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle

    27 April 2013

  • An absolute knockout of a movie in the psychological horror line has been accomplished by Roman Polanski in his first English-language film. (Review of Original Release)

    - The New York Times

    27 April 2013

  • Repulsion is a classy, truly horrific psychological drama in which Polish director Roman Polanski draws out a remarkable performance from young French thesp, Catherine Deneuve. (Review of Original Release)

    - Variety

    27 April 2013

  • Repulsion has often been compared to "Psycho," but Polanski's film, rather than presenting a portrait of a psychotic killer from outside, pulls the audience into the crazed individual's mind. (Review of Original Release)

    - TV Guide

    27 April 2013

Awards

  • Best British Cinematography (B/W)

    BAFTA Awards (1966)

     
  • Roman Polanski

    Berlin International Film Festival (1965)

  • Best Director

    New York Film Critics Circle Awards (1965)