Full Circle (1977 film)
Full Circle (a.k.a. The Haunting of Julia) is a 1977 British-Canadian horror film directed by Richard Loncraine. Based on the novel Julia by Peter Straub, it is the first film realization of one of his books. In the movie, Mia Farrow plays a woman fleeing an unhappy marriage and her daughter's death, and being haunted by the ghost of a vengeful little girl.
Canadian poster for Full Circle
|Directed by||Richard Loncraine|
|Written by||Harry Bromley Davenport|
|Screenplay by||Dave Humphries|
by Peter Straub
|Music by||Colin Towns|
|Edited by||Ron Wisman|
The film opens with a young girl winding up a mechanical-clown toy in an upstairs window, then descending to a lower-floor window to greet her mother, Julia Lofting (Mia Farrow). During breakfast with her family, her daughter Kate (Sophie Ward) chokes on her food. Unable to dislodge the food, Julia attempts to save her by performing a tracheotomy, which results in the child's bleeding to death.
Julia leaves her husband Magnus (Keir Dullea) and moves to a new house with an upstairs room containing a child's possessions. In the park Julia sees a young girl that she believes is Kate but the child disappears. Unusual things take place in the house such as strange noises and appliances turning on by themselves. Later, Julia again sees the girl in the park and finds a mutilated turtle and knife where she stood.
Julia lets Magnus' sister Lily use her house to conduct a seance. Mrs. Flood, the medium, explains that spirits need to control someone to carry out physical acts. During the seance, the medium becomes frightened and tells Julia to leave the house immediately. Moments later, one of Lily's friends falls down the stairs before Mrs. Flood can explain what she saw. While Julia is out, Magnus breaks into her house. He sees something and follows it to the basement where he falls from the staircase, fatally cutting his throat on a broken mirror.
A neighbor tells Julia the house once belonged to Heather Rudge, who moved away after her daughter Olivia died. Julia visits Mrs. Flood who tells her that during the séance she had a vision of a boy bleeding to death in the park. Julia finds an article about Geoffrey Braden, a young boy who was murdered in the park. Julia visits Geoffrey's mother, Greta Braden, who says a vagrant was executed for the crime but other children in the park murdered her son. She says she and her companion have been following the lives of the children. She asks Julia to visit the remaining two, now adults: Captain Paul Winter and David Swift.
Julia visits Swift, an alcoholic who confesses that Olivia had power over him and the other children. She made them each kill an animal and watch as she murdered Geoffrey. He says he told only Mrs. Rudge. Later, as Swift leaves his apartment, he slips on a broken bottle in the stairwell and falls to his death.
Julia tells her friend Mark (Tom Conti) what she has discovered but he doesn't believe her. That evening, he is electrocuted by a lamp falling into his bath.
Julia visits Mrs. Rudge in a psychiatric home. Mrs. Rudge confesses that she killed Olivia after learning of the murder. As Julia leaves she looks over her shoulder at Mrs. Rudge, who sees Olivia's eyes and dies of a fright-induced heart attack.
At home Julia sees Olivia, first in the bathroom mirror and then in the living room playing with the clown toy. She takes it from her, offers her a hug, and asks her to stay. Julia is then seen bleeding to death, her throat apparently cut on the sharp edges of the clown's cymbals.
- Mia Farrow as Julia Lofting
- Keir Dullea as Magnus Lofting
- Tom Conti as Mark Berkeley
- Jill Bennett as Lily Lofting
- Robin Gammell as David Swift
- Cathleen Nesbitt as Heather Rudge
- Anna Wing as Rosa Flood
- Edward Hardwicke as Captain Paul Winter
- Mary Morris as Greta Braden
- Pauline Jameson as Claudia Branscombe
- Arthur Howard as Piggott
- Peter Sallis as Jeffrey Branscombe
- Damaris Hayman as Miss Pinner
- Sophie Ward as Kate Lofting
- Hilda Fenemore as Katherine
- Nigel Havers as Estate Agent
- Samantha Gates as Olivia Rudge
- Denis Lill as Doctor
- Julian Fellowes as Library Assistant
- Michael Bilton as Salesman
- Yvonne Edgell as Mrs. Flood's Niece
- Robert Farrant as Receptionist
- Oliver Maguire as Nurse
- Susan Porrett as Mrs. Ward
- John A. Tinn as Customer
- Elizabeth Weaver as Mother in Showroom
Release and reception
The film was originally released in the UK as Full Circle but fared poorly at the box office. It was released in the United States under the title The Haunting of Julia in 1981, but still failed to find an audience.
- "Full Circle". Library and Archives Canada. July 2, 2017. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
- Full Circle (1977) - Full cast and crew