The Night Visitor

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The Night Visitor
The Night Visitor 1971.jpg
Directed by László Benedek
Produced by Mel Ferrer
Written by Guy Elmes
Starring Max von Sydow
Liv Ullmann
Trevor Howard
Per Oscarsson
Rupert Davies
Andrew Keir
Music by Henry Mancini
Cinematography Henning Kristiansen
Edited by Bill Blunden
Release date
  • February 10, 1971 (1971-02-10)
Running time
106 mins.
Country Sweden
Language English

The Night Visitor (Swedish title: Papegojan) is a 1971 Swedish psychological thriller film in English, starring Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Trevor Howard, Per Oscarsson, Rupert Davies and Andrew Keir, and directed by Laslo Benedek.


An inmate named Salem (Max von Sydow) escapes from an insane asylum in the dead of winter. His destination is the house of his sister, Ester (Liv Ullmann), and her husband, Anton (Per Oscarsson). His quest is revenge as he sets about framing Anton because Salem feels he was set up for a horrendous axe murder two years previously. On the case is a police inspector (Trevor Howard) who must determine if Anton is really crazy for claiming he saw Salem outside of the asylum and discover if Salem was really framed.


Christopher Lee was first choice to play Salem but was not available.

The film is also notable for its unusual score by renowned Hollywood film and TV composer Henry Mancini. The music was arranged for synthesiser, 12 woodwinds, organ, two pianos and two harpsichords, and Mancini achieved an unsettling effect by having one of the harpsichords tuned a quarter-tone flat.


The film was released theatrically in North America in 1971 by Universal Marion Corporation (UMC). It was subsequently re-released in 1981 under the title Lunatic by 21st Century Film Corporation.[1]

The film was released on DVD by VCI Entertainment in February 2000. This version is currently out-of-print.[2]


  1. ^ "Company Credits for The Night Visitor". Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  2. ^ "The Night Visitor". Retrieved 2012-09-24. 

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