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1,733 Ratings


Directed by Roman Polanski
United Kingdom, 1966
Thriller, Comedy, Drama


When a wealthy couple is held captive in their castle home by a very old-school gangster, the three engage in a game of shifting identities and emotional humiliations.

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Cul-de-sac Directed by Roman Polanski

Awards & Festivals

Berlin International Film Festival

1966 | 2 wins including: Golden Bear

BAFTA Awards

1967 | Nominee: Best British Cinematography (B/W)

Critics reviews

Cul-de-sac (1966) is a batshit crazy precursor to themes he would continually study: tortured relationships, bizarre, often charming alarming blonde women, infidelity, cross-dressing, even a bit of film noir, aided by the stalwart, gravel-voiced Lionel Stander, Cul-de-sac is stunningly, at times, brilliantly unhinged with a Pinteresque touch while remaining pure Polanski.
March 07, 2016
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Polanski’s closing view of his protagonist finds the unshelled turtle weeping on top of a rock, a fair gesture in a world where God is a garbled capo on the phone (“You’re on your own”). Bergman has the artist in smeary makeup in Hour of the Wolf, Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs is a belligerent anagram.
November 18, 2013
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It’s a mean little absurdist comedy (1966) set on a remote Northumberland island; it’s also one of the best and purest of all his works… The ensuing standoffs are funny, cruel, disquieting, and unpredictable, especially after various other unwelcome guests turn up. Stander is especially good—this may be the definitive performance of the blacklisted gravel-voiced character actor, best known for his 30s and 40s work.
October 01, 1994
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