The Tenant


2h 5m 1976

Brief Synopsis

A quiet and inconspicuous man (Trelkovsky) rents an apartment in France where the previous tenant committed suicide, and begins to suspect his landlord and neighbors are trying to subtly change him into the last tenant so that he too will kill himself.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Also Known As
Le Locataire, Tenant, huurder, locataire
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1976
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 5m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)

Synopsis

A man named Trelkovsky rents an apartment in a creepy old building that is occupied by elderly recluses who watch him with suspicion. When he learns that the former tenant of his apartment was a beautiful woman who committed suicide by jumping out a window, Trelkovsky starts to obsess about her. He becomes more and more paranoid, finally believing that the neighbors are planning on murdering him, and that his girlfriend is in on the plot with them. Eventually, Trelkovsky takes on the identity of the former tenant, including her self-destructive inclination.

Photo Collections

The Tenant - Novelization
Here is the Bantam novelization of Roman Polanski's The Tenant (1976) by Roland Topor.

Film Details

Also Known As
Le Locataire, Tenant, huurder, locataire
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1976
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 5m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)

Articles

Roman Polanski's The Tenant - New 35mm Print


THE TENANT (1976), Roman Polanski's unnerving tale of a strange Parisian apartment and its stranger inhabitants, will play Friday, February 6 through Thursday, February 12 at Film Forum in a new 35mm print. Showtimes are daily at 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, and 9:30.

A very quiet building in Paris - just the location for nebbishy Trelkovsky (played by Polanski himself) to find that 2-room apartment. So the previous tenant threw herself out the window ("You can still see where she fell," chortles concierge Shelley Winters)... who cares, when there's the possibility of romance with her friend Isabelle Adjani (star of Truffaut's Story of Adele H)? But then people stand for hours staring out the window of the communal toilet across the courtyard; neighbors complain about noise from his apartment during hours when Trelkovsy hasn't been home; a petition circulates to evict another tenant and her appearing-and-disappearing crippled daughter; and in a hole behind his armoire he finds... a human tooth? And via friends, creepy books on ancient Egypt, even clothing of the dead woman, the tenant finds himself inexorably turning into...

In his immediate follow-up to the smash Chinatown, Polanski returned to the terrain of Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby, and to the actual locations of his post-Poland lean years in Paris, with Bergman's great cinematographer Sven Nykvist (Persona, Cries and Whispers, etc.) contributing appropriately creepy photography ("He gives the film the look of something by Dostoevsky." - Penelope Gilliatt, The New Yorker); and a bizarrely mixed Hollywood and French cast: Winters, Melvyn Douglas, Jo Van Fleet, and Gallic actors-writers-directors Michel Blanc (Monsieur Hire, Dead Tired) and Josiane Balasko (Too Beautiful for You, French Twist). But it's the director's own bizarro performance as the put-upon Trelkovsky that makes this deadpan journey into urban paranoia off-beat even by Polanskian standards.

"Somewhere between Franz Kafka and William Castle."
- Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Roman Polanski's The Tenant - New 35Mm Print

Roman Polanski's The Tenant - New 35mm Print

THE TENANT (1976), Roman Polanski's unnerving tale of a strange Parisian apartment and its stranger inhabitants, will play Friday, February 6 through Thursday, February 12 at Film Forum in a new 35mm print. Showtimes are daily at 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, and 9:30. A very quiet building in Paris - just the location for nebbishy Trelkovsky (played by Polanski himself) to find that 2-room apartment. So the previous tenant threw herself out the window ("You can still see where she fell," chortles concierge Shelley Winters)... who cares, when there's the possibility of romance with her friend Isabelle Adjani (star of Truffaut's Story of Adele H)? But then people stand for hours staring out the window of the communal toilet across the courtyard; neighbors complain about noise from his apartment during hours when Trelkovsy hasn't been home; a petition circulates to evict another tenant and her appearing-and-disappearing crippled daughter; and in a hole behind his armoire he finds... a human tooth? And via friends, creepy books on ancient Egypt, even clothing of the dead woman, the tenant finds himself inexorably turning into... In his immediate follow-up to the smash Chinatown, Polanski returned to the terrain of Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby, and to the actual locations of his post-Poland lean years in Paris, with Bergman's great cinematographer Sven Nykvist (Persona, Cries and Whispers, etc.) contributing appropriately creepy photography ("He gives the film the look of something by Dostoevsky." - Penelope Gilliatt, The New Yorker); and a bizarrely mixed Hollywood and French cast: Winters, Melvyn Douglas, Jo Van Fleet, and Gallic actors-writers-directors Michel Blanc (Monsieur Hire, Dead Tired) and Josiane Balasko (Too Beautiful for You, French Twist). But it's the director's own bizarro performance as the put-upon Trelkovsky that makes this deadpan journey into urban paranoia off-beat even by Polanskian standards. "Somewhere between Franz Kafka and William Castle." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

Quotes

Trivia

Along with Repulsion (1965) and Rosemary's Baby (1968) this film is part of a loose trilogy by Roman Polanski dealing with the horrors faced by apartment/city dwellers.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1976

Released in United States 1976