Reportedly, writer-director Andrzej Zulawski has said that he penned the film's screenplay during a divorce he was going through at the time.
Isabelle Adjani is reported as saying: "'Possession' is only the type of film you can do when you are young. He [Zulawski] is a director that makes you sink into his world of darkness and his demons. It is okay when you are young, because you are excited to go there. His movies are very special, but they totally focus on women, as if they are lilies. It was quite an amazing film to do, but I got bruised, inside out. It was exciting to do. It was no bones broken, but it was like, 'How or why did I do that?' I don't think any other actress ever did two films with him."
Isabelle Adjani told a French magazine that it took her several years to get over playing Anna. She also said that she'd never take on a similar role.
Star Sam Neill once cited Possession as his personal favorite of all the films he'd ever been in.
The film was initially banned in the UK as a "Video Nasty" in the early 1980's. The BBFC later approved it in 1999.
Actor Mike Hogben acts out his exclusive role once a year, on the anniversary of its release.
There is wall graffiti reading "You're just another brick in the wall", with an Anarchy symbol for the last A.
The movie was a French-West German co-production shot in West Berlin, but it wasn't released in Germany until its DVD release in late 2009.
Isabelle Adjani won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1981 for her performances in both this picture and James Ivory's Merchant-Ivory Production of Quartet (1981).
This picture was very much a multi-cultural production and particularly a European one. It was a French-West German co-production filmed in English with a Polish director (Andrzej Zulawski), a Kiwi male lead actor from New Zealand (Sam Neill), mostly German actors in the supporting roles, and had a French female lead actress (Isabelle Adjani).
According to Halliwell's, "it was released in the US in a 97 minute version". As such, the film was cut by about half an hour from its full running time of about 127 minutes. According to Yuri German at Allmovie, "the version originally released in the U.S. had 45 minutes chopped out".
Mark has a book on his bookshelf on "The Religious life of the Japanese", and he finds Heinrich's postcard inside a German Book on the Tantra.
Recently Rosamund Pike re-enacted the infamous subway scene as a tribute to Issabel Adijan's role.