Repulsion (1965)

Part of the Madness on Film

Director: Roman Polanski
Certificate: Unknown
Format: 35mm
Language: English


Seen as a masterpiece of the psychological thriller, the film won the Silver Bear at the International Berlin Film Festival.

French Star Catherine Deneuve plays a sexually repressed girl who gradually goes insane.

Slow, gripping and madly scary, this is one of Roman Polanski’s best films.


"Still perhaps Polanski's most perfectly realised film, a stunning portrait of the disintegration, mental and emotional, of a shy young Belgian girl (Deneuve) living in London." - TIME OUT

"An intense psychological thriller from the master of the genre." - CHANNEL 4 FILM

"It is a Gothic horror story, a classic chiller of the Psycho school and approximately twice as persuasive." - TIME MAGAZINE

"Repulsion is a classy, truly horrific psychological drama in which Polish director Roman Polanski draws out a remarkable performance from young French thesp, Catherine Deneuve." - VARIETY

"The credits of Polanski's first British film evoke both Buñuel's Un Chien Andalou and Hitchcock's Vertigo, and it fully merits the comparison." - BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE


Polanski’s films side with black humour, ‘momentary desires’ and studies of anger, humiliation, fear, and sexuality. He often shoots from the protagonist's perspective and slowly pans around a room to points of interest as the character notices them.

Some of his most well known films are: Knife in the Water (1962), Repulsion (1965), Cul-de-Sac (1966), Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and Chinatown (1974). They are all amazing thrillers exposing the darker side of human nature . 


Nominated for 4 Oscars and has won 1 for Best Director of The Pianist.

Won 2 Berlin Bears, 1 for Repulsion (silver) and 1 for Cul-de-Sac (gold).

Won 56 international awards, including 9 lifetime/honorary awards.

Oon the jury for the 1976 Miss Universe in pageant.

Holocaust survivor

In 1969, his second wife Sharon Tate, then 8 months pregnant, was brutally murdered by the Charles Manson ‘family’.

In 1977, he was convicted of statutory rape of a 13 year old girl; went on the run to Europe to avoid imprisonment in the US; he hasn’t returned to the US since 1978

After 4 shorts and 1 feature (Knife in the Water) made in Poland, Polanksi made Repulsion and Cul-de-Sac in England.

He once said, on violence in movies: ‘You have to show violence the way it is. If you don't show it realistically, then that's immoral and harmful. If you don't upset people, then that's obscenity.’

MADNESS ON FILM (12 Feb - 1 March)

REPULSION is being shown as part of a MADNESS ON FILM season.

4 nights to explore representations of madness/insanity/instability/obscurities of the mind.

Films followed by discussions with members of Institute of Psychoanalysis and the Newcastle Philosophy Society.

The other films of the season include:

Thu 12 Feb, A Woman Under the Influence (1974)  - Very cult film from the American genius J. Cassavetes

Thu 26 Feb, Madness Open Film Night - for films made by your gandad, your neighbourand you

Sun 1 March, Naked (1993) - Multi-awarded film from one of the best British directors M.Leigh

Other films in the Madness on Film:


Film: A Woman Under The Influence (1974)

12 Feb 2009, 7:30 p.m.

Cult - from American genius John Cassavetes, and with an incredible performance from Gena Rowlands. Film followed by a discussion with a members of the Institute of Psychoanalysis.


Film: Eyes Wide Open Night Special - Madness On Film Season

26 Feb 2009, 7:30 p.m.

Open film night: Make a film on madness under 10 minutes and come and show it at the cinema. Or just come and watch what these unknown filmmakers have produced…


Film: Naked (1993)

1 Mar 2009, 7:30 p.m.

Excellent and surprising film from one of the best UK directors: Mike Leigh. Film followed by a discussion with members of the Newcastle Philosophy Society.