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Le locataire

Le locataire

Le locataire


Le locataire

1976 – color – 125’


Direction: Roman Polanski

Screenplay: Roman Polanski, Gérard Brach from the novel Le locataire chimérique by Roland Topor

Cinematography: Sven Nykvist

Editing: Françoise Bonnot

Set design: Pierre Guffroy

Musics: Philippe Sarde

Costumes: Jacques Schmidt

Cast: Roman Polanski (Trelkovsky), Isabelle Adjani (Stella), Melvyn Douglas (Monsieur Zy), Jo Van Fleet (Madame Dioz), Bernard Fresson (Scope), Lila Kedrova (Madame Gaderian), Claude Dauphin (husband at the accident), Claude Piéplu (neighbor), Rufus (Georges Badar), Romain Bouteille (Simon), Jacques Monod (cafe owner), Patrice Alexsandre (Robert), Jean-Pierre Bagot (policeman), Josiane Balasko (employee), Michel Blanc (Scope’s neighbor), Florence Blot (Madame Zy), Louba Guertchikoff (wife at the accident), Jacky Cohen (Stella’s friend), Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu (bartender), Héléna Manson (nurse), Shelley Winters (the concierge

Production: Marianne Productions



Trelkovsky, a modest Polish clerk recently naturalized as a Frenchman, visits an apartment he would like to rent. Guided suspiciously by the concierge, he finds the environment suitable and negotiates a lease with Mr. Zy, who provides a number of recommendations regarding the tenants’ tranquility and the building’s respectability. The signing, however, cannot be concluded as the previous tenant, a certain Simone Choule, who threw herself out of the window, is in the hospital. Going to the hospital to inquire, Trelkovsky befriends Stella, a young friend of the dying patient. When Simone dies, Trelkovsky takes over the apartment and becomes the center of a series of unjust and incomprehensible persecutions.

critical note

“Polanski delivers a masterpiece, poised between fantasy and reality while totally immersed in an alienating and disturbing atmosphere. The sliding of Trelkovsky’s mind into that of Simone Choule is slow and inexorable, filmed with sharp precision. “I’ll never understand suicide,” the meek and passive Trelkovsky confesses to Stella at the film’s opening, but his firm conviction is shaken day by day by the pressure he faces from neighbors who complain to the despotic Zy as they accuse him of making too much noise and receiving friends into his home.” (Ignazio Senatore,


1976 Cannes Film Festival – Competition