19 September 2014

The Night Visitor (1971)
102 min.
Directed by Laslo Benedek.
With Liv Ullman, Max von Sydow, Trevor Howard, Per Oscarsson, Rupert Davies, Andrew Keir.
Wonderfully tense thriller.

Salem (Max von Sydow) is a prisoner at a mental asylum, accused of brutally murdering a farmhand with an axe.

Did he do it?

Salem doesn't think so. He believes he's innocent. So he regularly escapes from his jail cell in order to dispose of the people responsible for his wrongful imprisonment.

High on Salem's list of revenge are his sister Ester (Ullman) and her doctor husband (Oscarsson), who had him committed to the loony bin.

But what's really the truth here? It's rather clear Salem isn't completely sane, but did he actually commit the murder? If he didn't, are his nightly journeys out of his cell justified? And what's the story behind Ester and her husband?

Filmed in Denmark and Sweden, this makes the most of it's lush, snow-filled setting. The European cast is great.

Adroitly acted, this thrilling and well-crafted story will have you on the edge of your seats!

The ending is an unexpected surprise in the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe.

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