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I Spit on Your Grave (1959)

J'irai cracher sur vos tombes (original title)
Joe Grant, a light-skinned African-African, heads to a small Southern town to investigate the lynching death of his brother. He draws the attention of a gorgeous heiress, who he learns may have been involved in the killing.

Director:

Michel Gast

Writers:

Boris Vian (screenplay), Jacques Dopagne (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Marquand ... Joe Grant
Antonella Lualdi ... Lizbeth Shannon
Fernand Ledoux ... Horace Chandley
Renate Ewert ... Sylvia Shannon
Marina Petrova ... Sheila (as Marina Petrowa)
Daniel Cauchy ... Sonny
Catherine Fonteney Catherine Fonteney ... Virginia Shannon
Claude Berri ... David
Jean Droze Jean Droze ... Ted
Gisèle Gallois ... Mona
Lud Germain Lud Germain ... Harrison - Le serviteur des Shannon (as Ludovic Germain)
Monique Just Monique Just ... Jay
Jean Sorel ... Elmer
Marie-Blanche Vergnes Marie-Blanche Vergnes ... Janet
André Versini André Versini ... Lex
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Storyline

In the American south, light-skinned Afro-American Joe Grant leaves Memphis and moves to a small town after his 18-year-old brother Sonny is brutally lynched for attempting to marry a white woman. Joe's skin is so light that he is able to pass himself off as Caucasian and find work in a local bookstore. To get revenge on white society, Joe seduces a rich young white girl Lizbeth Shannon, and plots her death. Meanwhile, Joe discovers that the bookstore where he works is a front for an extortion ring, and the town's intolerant men make his life miserable. They wish to kill him, out of racism and jealousy, because the women are attracted by Joe's masculine charms. As time goes by, Joe falls in love with Lizbeth. She loves him back until she learns that he is of African descent. Besides, she is engaged to another young man, Elmer. She suggests they run away together to avoid the blackmailers and the marriage. Joe is beaten by the blackmailers, but the pair manages to run away. Elder ... Written by Artemis-9

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Film that defies every taboo!! He passed for white! ... and they loved it! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

26 June 1959 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

I Spit on Your Grave See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Poste Parisien)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Boris Vian, the author of the novel on which the movie was based, died during the preview of I Spit on Your Grave (1959). He disowned the adaptation of his novel. See more »

Connections

Featured in Drive-In Follies (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Thême De Liz
Composed and Conducted by Alain Goraguer
Performed by Alain Goraguer Et Son Ensemble
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User Reviews

 
Racism rewarded and turned on its head
3 April 2000 | by tfdillSee all my reviews

It may be that the nightmarish quality of my memory of this movie is caused by my having seen it at about 2 a.m. one night in New York at one of those very seedy all-night theaters on Times Square while I was waiting for a 6 a.m. train. The American "South" portrayed in the film was as phantasmagorical (and real, in its way) as the vision of the country in Kafka's _Amerika_. As I recall it, the screenplay was quite faithful to Boris Vian's original novel of the same name, and both developed from European stereotypes of American culture, with some probable input from Faulkner and Erskine Caldwell. The acting was barely tolerable, but the filming technique (again, as I remember it after almost 40 years) made it seem appropriate. Altogether this was a startling and powerful experience, obviously memorable, but I am sure that it was artistically very bad. Somehow that suggests that some examples of bad art can transcend their own badness, though the reasons are seldom clear.


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