Cul-de-sac (1966 film)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Cul-de-Sac is a 1966 British psychological thriller directed by the Polish director Roman Polański. It was Polański's second film in English, written by himself and Gérard Brach.

The cast includes Donald Pleasence, Françoise Dorléac, Lionel Stander, Jack MacGowran, Iain Quarrier, Geoffrey Sumner, Renee Houston, William Franklyn, Trevor Delaney, Marie Kean. It also features Jacqueline Bisset in a small role, in her second film appearance. The black and white cinematography is by Gil Taylor.


The film begins with gangster Richard pushing his broken-down car through rising seawater while his companion Albert lies inside, bleeding from a gunshot wound after a bungled robbery. Cut off by the unexpected rising tide, they are on the only road to a bleak and remote tidal island where, in a dark castle on a hilltop, the effeminate and neurotic George lives with his pretty young wife Teresa. Richard then proceeds to hold the two hostage while awaiting rescue by his boss, the mysterious Katelbach.

When Albert dies from his injuries, Richard decides to take over the castle as George grows increasingly paranoid and hysterical, Teresa increasingly flirtatious, and Richard more violent. George shortly throws a party for some of his friends, leading Richard to pose as a servant while Teresa begins to flirt with one of the guests, Cecil.

Richard realizes that his boss Katelbach is not going to come, so he demands George drive him to the mainland by causeway. George, who has had enough of Richard's orders, goes berserk and shoots Richard. Teresa, meanwhile, abandons George for Cecil. Abandoned, George walks to the beach and sits down as the tide rises while weeping at the departure of his wife.

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