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Polanski's Pictures

November 22, 1987|Linden Gross

POLANSKI ESTABLISHED his reputation early on with such award-winning shorts as "Two Men and a Wardrobe" (1958) and "Mammals" (1962). The violence and sexual undercurrents in these would resurface in later full-length films.

"KNIFE IN THE WATER" (1962). His first feature, a psychological drama about a young couple who invite a hitchhiker aboard their yacht, established him as a gifted director, was screened at the first New York Film Festival, made the cover of Time magazine and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. Stars: Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka.

"REPULSION" (1965). A psychological shocker about a manicurist whose sexual repression leads to murder. Polanski's first English-language feature earned him a Silver Bear, the Berlin Film Festival's second-highest award. Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry.

"CUL-DE-SAC" (1966). A macabre comedy about a man and his promiscuous young wife terrorized by hoodlums. Stars: Donald Pleasence, Francoise Dorleac, Jacqueline Bisset.

"THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS" (1967). Humor and horror mix in this Gerard Brach-Polanski spoof about a vampire family. Stars: Jack MacGowran, Roman Polanski, Sharon Tate (in her first feature role).

"ROSEMARY'S BABY" (1968). Based on Ira Levin's thriller about a woman impregnated by the devil, the film, for which Polanski wrote the Academy Award-nominated screenplay, was a critical and commercial hit. Stars: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon (Oscar for best supporting actress).

"MACBETH" (1971). Violent and over-budget, Polanski's production of Shakespeare's play was poorly received. Stars: Jon Finch, Francesca Annis.

"CHINATOWN" (1974). In Polanski's second Hollywood success, a 1930s L.A. detective becomes involved in murder and public scandal. Nominated for seven Oscars, it won for best screenplay (by Robert Towne). Stars: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez, John Hillerman, Roman Polanski, Diane Ladd.

"THE TENANT" (1976). Polanski played the paranoid tenant of an apartment whose previous renter committed suicide. Considered morbid and tedious by some, unintentional self-parody by others. Stars: Roman Polanski, Melvyn Douglas, Isabelle Adjani. Lila Kedrova.

"TESS" (1979). Romantic epic based on "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" by Thomas Hardy received Academy Awards for cinematography, art direction and costume design. Stars: Nastassia Kinski, Peter Firth.

"PIRATES" (1985). Critics found Brach and Polanski's big-budget pirate comedy light on story, and the film failed at the box office. Stars: Walter Matthau, Damien Thomas.

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