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Cul-De-Sac (1966)

Cul-de-sac (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Thriller | 7 November 1966 (USA)
Two wounded gangsters on the run find refuge in the secluded castle of a feeble man and his wife in search of help, however, under the point of a gun nothing is what it seems.

Director:

Writers:

(as Gerard Brach),
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
George
...
Teresa
...
Richard
...
Albie
...
Christopher
Geoffrey Sumner ...
Christopher's Father
...
Christopher's Mother
Robert Dorning ...
Philip Fairweather
Marie Kean ...
Marion Fairweather
William Franklyn ...
Cecil
...
Jacqueline (as Jackie Bisset)
Trevor Delaney ...
Nicholas
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Storyline

A wounded criminal and his dying partner take refuge at a beachfront castle. The owners of the castle, a meek Englishman and his willful French wife, are initially the unwilling hosts to the criminals. Quickly, however, the relationships between the criminal, the wife, and the Englishman begin to shift in humorous and bizarre fashion. Written by Sean Taylor <Taylor@org.chem.ethz.ch>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

L'Humour, L'Amour, La Mort. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 November 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cul-De-Sac  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Has one of the longest continuous sequences in cinematic history (at the time of release) at 7 mins 28 secs (the beach scene). See more »

Goofs

The position of the mattress on the patio changes position between scenes, especially when Teresa places the paper between Dickie's toes and lights them. See more »

Quotes

Albie: He's mad at us, isn't he?
Richard: He told me I was "mentally retiring", or something like that.
Albie: Yeah?
Richard: Yeah.
Albie: He's angry with us, isn't he?
Richard: He gave me Hell.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Grande Arte (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Polanski's Godot
19 August 2012 | by (Jerusalem, Israel) – See all my reviews

Samuel Beckett refused to give Polanski the rights to film Waiting for Godot and so the director created with Gerard Brach a script with strong echoes of the famous play (and some by Harold Pinter). A mixture of Gothic horror picture, black comedy, and classic gangsters American pictures, Cul-de-Sac is a parody of all these genres and also a tragedy. Hopelessness, humiliation, perversion - constant motifs of his films -, are presented here below a thick veil of grotesque. The arrival to the castle of a wounded gangster who tries to be rescued by his boss, and his immediate physical and mental domain of the hostages, untie openly the woman's despise of her husband, the cowardice and vulnerability of him and both dependence on the intruder. The couple breeds chicken and the chicken seem fulfill the function that had the chorus in the Greek tragedy, Polanski is mocking in this way the solemnity of the serious genre that notwithstanding has adopted. Like in others of his films, the director remits to scenes of his former works and make also homage to some admired creators - Hitchcock's The Birds, for instance (when some birds descend on the courtyard of the castle in the manner of the mentioned picture, but without the expected consequences (another game of Polanski). The Godot of this story, Katelbach, like that of Beckett, will never appear and, in this case, shall leave a message exempting himself of any responsibility. Nobody expected shall come to rescue, the woman will escape with a new lover, the gangster is murdered by the landlord and the landlord will lament, sitting on a rock in the sea, his infinite misery. Counting with a suggestive photography by Gil Taylor, who plays smartly with shadows and lights, Polanski likes to pursue the spectators with sudden movements of the camera that show the characters withdrawing from or running over the spectators, who sometimes serve as the supposed mirror where the fictional creatures are looking at themselves. The formal perfection of many scenes could not dissimulate some serious downfall of rhythm and excessive stereotype of characters and not few dialogs. The film is perhaps too much long and repetitive, but this apparent fault contributes to intensify the atmosphere of obsession and dismay, which are considered principal marks of the director's pessimist vision of world.


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