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Cul-de-Sac

Critics' choice
Shot through with the same surreal, absurdist wit as Polanski's shorts, this bizarre variation on a classic theme - a couple who have withdrawn from the world (Pleasence and Dorléac) to live on an isolated island are visited by gangsters on the run (Stander and MacGowran) - centres around the director's abiding concerns: sexual perversity, insecurity and humiliation, the eruption of nightmarish chaos into a seemingly ordered world, human betrayal, corruptibility and self-destruction. If the subject matter is bleak and bitterly serious, the tone throughout is darkly comic, while the precise imagery effortlessly conveys the tension, the claustrophobia, and the madness of the situation.

Release details

Duration: 111 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Roman Polanski
Screenwriter: Roman Polanski, Gérard Brach
Cast: Donald Pleasence
Françoise Dorléac
Lionel Stander
Jack MacGowran
Robert Dorning
Iain Quarrier
Jacqueline Bisset
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