The Possession of Joel Delaney

MacLaine plays a wealthy New York divorcée who is beastly to her Puerto Rican maid, and gets her comeuppance when her brother (King) - whom she dotes on with more than sisterly warmth - becomes possessed by the spirit of a Puerto Rican sex murderer. There is some slick racial moralising (rich white New Yorkers shouldn't be beastly to their less privileged neighbours). But stir in some mumbo-jumbo in which shrieking Puerto Ricans try to exorcise the devil, and a climax in which MacLaine and her children are tortured at knife-point by the spirit of racial vengeance, and what you come away with is an alarmist message saying 'Keep New York White'. Even as melodrama it's distinctly sluggish.

Release details

Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Waris Hussein
Screenwriter: Matt Robinson, Grimes Grice
Cast: Shirley MacLaine
Perry King
Michael Hordern
David Elliott
Lisa Kohane
Barbara Trentham
Lovelady Powell
Miriam Colon
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