09 20 Oct '24
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Harry Kümel

Malpertuis (The Legend of Doom House)

Edition 1992
125' - 1971 - Mystery, Fantasy, Drama, Horror - Dialogue: Dutch
Director: Harry Kümel Composer: Georges Delerue, Pierre Levie, Paul Laffargue With: Orson Welles, Susan Hampshire, Michel Bouquet
A fresh-faced blond sailor is shanghaied from a '20s port full of sleazy bars and art-nouveau mansions, and held captive in the endless corridors of a crumbling Gothic pile called Malpertuis: we don't discover why until the end, in a denouement as outrageous and devastating as any ever filmed. Kümel elaborates the mystery like a master, drawing much of his design and composition from Surrealist painting (Magritte, de Chirico), and weaving serpentine patterns from the intrigues between the many characters. Welles is at his most mountainous as the house's patriarch; Hampshire is a revelation, playing three contrasted women. (Time Out, 1990)

Image gallery

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Harry Kümel


Georges Delerue, Pierre Levie, Paul Laffargue


Orson Welles, Susan Hampshire, Michel Bouquet


Jean Ferry

Director of Photography

Gerry Fisher


Harry Kümel, Richard Marden

More information



Countries of production

Belgium, France, West Germany

Screenplay based on

"Malpertuis" (Jean Ray)




Harry Kümel
Le gant (short, 1953), Een moederhart (short, 1954), Het meisje met de zwavelstokjes (short, 1956), Perette et le pot au lait (short 1958), Perpetuum mobile (short, 1958), Het gevecht aan de Chinese muur (short, 1958), Sintesis (short, 1959), Pandora (short, 1960), Aether (short 1960), Tous les parfums de l'Arabie (short, 1961), Uit glas en staal (short, 1962), Thamar en Amnon (1962), Hendrik Conscience (1963), Erasmus (1963), Waterloo (short 1965), De grafbewaker (short 1965), Claudia Cardinale (short, 1965), Monsieur Hawarden (1968), Lievevrouwbedstro (TV Movie, 1969), Josef von Sternberg, een retrospektieve (TV Movie, 1969), Censuur in België (TV Movie), Daughters of Darkness (1971), Avondspelen (TV Movie, 1971), The Legend of Doom House (1971), Repelsteeltje (1973), The Arrival of Joachim Stiller (1976), Paradise Lost (1978), Draadvariaties (1980), The Secrets of Love (1986), Een Dag in Vlaanderen (1986), Softly from Paris (TV Series), Elie Vere (1991), Europe - 99euro-films 2 (segment: Story of a Metamophosis, 2003)

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