Spirits of the Dead

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"The ultimate orgy of evil"
  • R
  • 1968
  • 2 hr 1 min
  • 6.4  (6,875)

Spirits of the Dead is a 1968 French-Italian anthology film, directed by Federico Fellini, Louis Malle, and Roger Vadim. The movie consists of three separate segments based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. The film's cast includes major international stars such as Jane Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, and Alain Delon. The first segment of the film is directed by Federico Fellini and tells the story of a young man named Toby Dammit (played by Terence Stamp), who is a successful British actor in Rome. Toby is invited to a ceremony where he is supposed to receive a prestigious award, but he is not interested in awards. He is only interested in obtaining a large sum of money that was promised to him. During the ceremony, Toby has a vision of a young girl who offers him a small bracelet in exchange for his soul. Toby becomes obsessed with finding the girl and the bracelet. He sinks deeper and deeper into his obsession as he drives through the dark streets of Rome, being pursued by demons and visions of death.

The second segment of Spirits of the Dead is directed by Louis Malle and follows a young woman named Countess Federica (played by Jane Fonda). She lives in an Italian villa with her husband and her lover, a poet named Christopher (played by Peter Fonda). Federica is bored with her life and is intrigued when Christopher tells her about a strange outdoor encounter he had with a beautiful and mysterious woman. Federica becomes obsessed with finding the woman, and her obsession pushes her to the brink of madness.

The final segment of the film is directed by Roger Vadim and stars Brigitte Bardot as a woman named Metzengerstein. Metzengerstein is a wealthy aristocrat who enjoys tormenting and killing her servants. She is haunted by the memory of a stallion from her childhood that she fears will one day return to exact revenge. When a handsome young cavalry officer by the name of Wilhelm (played by Alain Delon) enters her life, she becomes fixated on him, even though he seems to be the physical manifestation of her childhood nightmare.

Spirits of the Dead is a visually stunning film, with each director bringing their own unique style to their respective segments. Federico Fellini's segment is particularly noteworthy for its surreal and dreamlike quality, with the phantasmagorical vision of Toby's descent into madness. Louis Malle's segment is marked by its lush and picturesque setting, while Roger Vadim's segment is notable for its sexuality and eroticism.

Overall, Spirits of the Dead is an ambitious and innovative film that takes Edgar Allan Poe's classic stories and adapts them into a stunning visual experience. The three segments are tied together by a haunting and beautiful musical score, created by celebrated composer Bernard Herrmann. This film is a must-see for fans of classic horror and art cinema.

Spirits of the Dead
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 1 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (6,875)