A young American woman (Sydne Rome) traveling through Italy finds herself in a strange Mediterranean villa where nothing seems right. Her visit becomes an absurd, decadent, oversexed ... See full summary »
Gold bullion worth USD 1 billion has been stolen from a hijacked train in Denmark. The main suspect is Count Massimo Contini. The US government sends Matt Helm, one of its top agents, to investigate and recover the gold.
Young philanderer inherits 13 ratty antique chairs and decides to sell them off to get some money. Later he learns that one of them contains documents worth a lot of money, so he begins an ... See full summary »
The elderly bat researcher, professor Abronsius and his assistant, Alfred, go to a remote Transylvanian village looking for vampires. Alfred falls in love with the inn-keeper's young daughter Sarah. However, she has been spotted by the mysterious count Krolock who lives in a dark and creepy castle outside the village...Written by
The working title of this film was "Your Teeth in My Neck". See more »
After Alfred and the professor have escaped the tower, they walk down a hallway next to the ballroom and approach three vampires that are sitting with their backs to them. The left vampire is wearing a blue coat with spots. and the lady in the middle a cream colored dress. The next shot we get a good view of the dancing in the ballroom itself and the gentleman and the lady are both visible in the foreground of this shot. The lady sitting just in frame at total left, and the gentleman standing in the foreground totally right of the screen. The next shot we again see them sitting together with a third vampire in the hallway. See more »
The German version of this film has a different but similar version of the opening MGM lion turning into a green vampire (looking somewhat cruder). The credits are in German, directly translated from the English credits (with the same handmade lettering style and animated effects). See more »
what Poland once was, with a smile (revealing fangs)
Well, what is this movie about? To begin with: although the vampire was best popularized in the modern era by English writers, it is really a myth of Eastern European Roman Catholicism. (I could explain that better - and why the English so well co-opted it - but obviously not here.) This type of Catholicism (which finally produced a Pope in John Paul II) now only thrives (and none too well) in Poland - Polanski's home country. During the Second World War, Poland was utterly decimated. First, a large portion of its wealthiest citizens, who happened to be Jewish, were exterminated. The Polish catholics themselves were split radically between anti-semitic nationalists (who also, mistakenly, thought the Nazis would save them from the Russians) and pro-Communists who, mistakenly, thought the Russians would save them from the Nazis. Obviously, this was a no-win situation for the Poles. And yet the first cinematic impression of this disaster arrived in the form of - a comedy - Ernst Lubitsch's "To Be Or Not To Be" (later remade by Mel Brooks).
Does the reader really need to know all this to appreciate this movie? actually, yes. This film is laughter at death's door. The funniest and most memorable line in the film is from the Jewish vampire, responding to a threatened crucifix: "Oy vey, have you got the wrong vampire!" Funny? - Hilarious. Unfortunately, if this Vampire had any grandchildren, they all died in Auschwitz.
Why am I playing such a heavy hand here? Because this really is a great horror-comedy, far better and far more important than the studio hacks at MGM who released this film (after chopping it up) could ever have understood.
There is unfortunately no rumor that there's a director's cut in the vaults; it is well to remember that Polanski nearly disowned this film on release, and really only reclaimed it after the brutal slaying of his wife, who plays such an important role in the film.
But even as shredded as it is (pay especially close attention to the discontinuities involving the Professor), this is still marvelously written, directed, and photographed - truly frightening at moments, utterly hilarious at others, but always grounded in a particularly Polish sensibility which is now, alas, a thing of the past; - the preservation of a culture that, at its best, was among the best in Europe.
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