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Film / The Mephisto Waltz

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Yes, that Quinn Martin.

A 1971 American occult horror film directed by Paul Wendkos, starring Alan Alda, Jacqueline Bisset, Barbara Parkins, and Curd J├╝rgens.

Myles Clarkson (Alda) is a journalist and former musician who gets the chance to interview a famous pianist about to leave this mortal coil, Duncan Ely (Jurgens). But Ely's a Satanist, who would very much like to be young and tickling the ivories again. He also has a very unhealthy relationship with his adult daughter Roxanne (Parkins). Mr. Ely plans to make Myles a victim of Grand Theft Me when Ely's kicked it. But Myles's wife Paula (Bisset) is not going to give her up her man without a fight...

Tropes associated with this work:

  • Bed Trick: Courtesies of both Duncan possessing Myles's body when making love to Paula, and ultimately a Paula-possessed Roxanne seducing the Duncan-possessed Myles with the latter none the wiser.
  • Body Snatcher: Duncan possesses Myles with assistance from a Satanic ritual by his daughter Roxanne. By the end of the film, Paula possesses Roxanne after making her own Deal with the Devil.
  • Candlelit Ritual: Duncan's, Roxeanne's, and Paula's Satanic rituals involve lighting a candle within a pentagram and reciting French incantations from a book.
  • Deal with the Devil: Made by both Duncan and Roxanne before the film, and later Paula toward the end of the film.
  • Death of a Child: Myles and Paula's daughter Abby doesn't get out the movie alive as part of Duncan's deal with Satan.
  • Driven to Suicide: A subversion. Paula's corpse is her body, but Paula's possessed Roxanne...
  • Evil vs. Evil: Paula is initially just an affectionate (if Properly Paranoid) woman who grows despondent at the loss of her daughter and the original consciousness of her husband while burdened with the Cassandra Truth that Duncan and Roxanne are Satanists out to take over her family and eventually eliminate her when they know she realizes the truth, but the plot becomes this when Paula decides to make a pact of her own with the Devil against Roxanne.
  • The Film of the Book: Based on Fred Mustard Stewart's 1969 novel of the same name.
  • Villainous Incest: Duncan and his daughter Roxeanne passionately kiss during a party. In order to continue their relationship, Duncan steals Myles's body. Paula later learns that Duncan and Roxeanne have had a (miscarried) baby together.