The Tenant

The Tenant

name = The Tenant (Le Locataire)

image_size = 200px
caption = original film poster
imdb_id = 0074811
writer = Roland Topor (novel)
Gérard Brach
Roman Polanski
starring = Roman Polanski
Isabelle Adjani
Melvyn Douglas
Jo Van Fleet
Bernard Fresson
Lila Kedrova
Claude Dauphin
director = Roman Polanski
cinematography = Sven Nykvist
music = Philippe Sarde
producer = Hercules Bellville
editing = Françoise Bonnot
distributor =
released = June 12, 1968
runtime = 125 min
released = May 26, 1976 (France)
June 11, 1976 (USA)
October 8, 1976 (Finland)
language = English/French
budget = |

"The Tenant" (French: "Le Locataire") is a 1976 psychological thriller/horror film directed by Roman Polanski based upon the 1964 novel "Le locataire chimérique" by Roland Topor. It is also known under the French title "Le Locataire". It co-stars actress Isabelle Adjani. It is the last film in Polanski's "Apartment Trilogy", following "Repulsion" and "Rosemary's Baby". Interestingly, the film has no end credits; only the Paramount logo.

Plot synopsis

Trelkovsky (Polanski), a quiet and inconspicuous man, 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.

Theories about the film

This film does not clearly say whether the main character is mad or not, contrary to the previous entries in Polanski's Apartment Trilogy. Therefore a lot of theories have been made about it.
*From the presence of Egyptian symbols displayed in props in many scenes, a reincarnation theory could be derived : Trelkovsky and Simone are in reality the same person, which would explain the scene where Trelkovsky sees himself in his apartment. It follows, that that the scene where Trelkovsky stares at Simone is the very same scene, subject to a curious time warp. The bathroom represents a funeral chamber (as denoted by the hieroglyphs), which places Simone in this scene as a mummy, because of her appearance.
*Trelkovsky is either a fictional character created by Simone, or a fantasy based upon the man visiting her at the hospital. Therefore most of the story line in the film is imaginary, except the first few scenes. Simone is schizophrenic and develops another personality in order to fulfill her homosexual desires upon her friend Stella.
*Trelkovsky is merely hallucinating (this is suggested by the "mise en scène").
*Trelkovsky was driven insane by his neighbors (as he claims to Stella). He is schizophrenic and thinks he is Simone, which ultimately leads to his suicide.
*The film is auto-biographical. Some potential proofs are : Polanski changing Trelkovsky's origins (in the book, he is of Russi extraction), the statements he made about how he used his experience to make the movie (the racist jokes, the cold neighbors).


* 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 (as Claude Pieplu)
* Rufus - Georges Badar
* Romain Bouteille - Simon
* Jacques Monod - Cafe Owner
* Patrice Alexsandre - Robert
* Jean-Pierre Bagot - Policeman
* Josiane Balasko - Office Worker
* Michel Blanc - Scope's Neighbor
* Shelley Winters - the Concierge

External links

*imdb title|id=0074811|title=Le Locataire
* [ The Tenant] , Millipede Press 2006


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