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The Tenant

  R Closed Captioning

Roman Polanski

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Plot Summary

Director Roman Polanski casts himself in the lead of the psychological thriller The Tenant. Trelkovsky (Polanski) rents an apartment in a spooky old residential building, where his neighbors — mostly old recluses — eye him with suspicious contempt. Upon discovering that the apartment's previous tenant, a beautiful young woman, jumped from the window in a suicide attempt, Trelkovsky begins obsessing over the dead woman. Growing increasingly paranoid, Trelkovsky convinces himself that his neighbors plan to kill him. He even comes to the conclusion that Stella (Isabel Adjani), the woman he has fallen in love with, is in on the "plot." Ultimately, Polanski assumes the identity of the suicide victim — and inherits her self-destructive urges. Some critics found the movie tedious and overdone; others compared it to Polanski's early breakthrough, Repulsion. The film was based on Le Locataire Chimerique, a novel by Roland Topor.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

90%
  • Reviews Counted: 30
  • Fresh: 27
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 7.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: The film is superbly acted by Mr. Polanski, Mr. Douglas and Miss Winters. – Vincent Canby, New York Times, Feb 18, 2010

Fresh: It has a humorous tang, underlying the macabre. – Variety Staff, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: It's an exercise in urban paranoia and mental disintegration that echoes or anticipates everything from Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby to Bitter Moon and The Pianist. – J. Hoberman, Village Voice, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: The end result is somewhere between Franz Kafka and William Castle, but still worth seeing. – Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

This Movie Will Freak You Inside Out!

Comparable to recent movies such as "The Machinist" or "Memento", "The Tenant" is another Identity Thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish!

One of my all-time favorites!

One of Polanski's best works, and certainly a movie that grows on you. The first time you watch it, you might not get it, or might not like it very much. But the second time you watch it, you'll like it more, and every time you watch it after that, you'll like it even more! This movie snuck up on me and became one of my favorite films of all time. Deeply disturbing and subversive, rich with character and subtext, brilliant script, acting, music, writing and of course directing, this is an absolute classic. But be warned: It moves at a slow pace and everything is very subtle - Nothing is laid out for you and explained. A must-own for any Polanski fan, and anyone else who appreciates good cinema!

The Tenant

By far, my favorite Polanski film. The soundtrack by Phillipe Sarde is superb, and what a cast! Melving Douglas as the Landlord, Shelley Winters(!) as the Concierge, and Isabelle Adjani as Stella... great turns all around. Is it a horror movie? Is it a comedy? Polanski himself stars as our hapless nebbishy hero who has a big problem with identity. Well worth the time to watch, I would say this movie is in my all time top 5. Sometimes it is even my number one.

I love this movie!!

Viewers Also Bought

The Tenant
View In iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Released: 2003

Customer Ratings

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