Pssst, want to check out Bedlam in our new look?
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Very excellent movie! Although, the line at the end lauding the advancement for the care of the mentally ill is ridiculous considering in 1946 Dr. William Freeman was going hog wild with his psychological panacea, the transorbital lobotomy, the massively overrun Danvers State Hospital was at full capacity with over 2,000 patients being cared for by a very limited staff who would do ANYTHING necessary to subdue them, and homosexuality was considered a psychological disorder within the DSM and was treated with aversion therapy (a barbaric, debilitating procedure that is STILL legal in some states today), but I guess that's just medical advancement for ya.
Karloff gives one of his best performances here, and the film deserves a lot of credit for its thoughtful and humane handling of the subject of mental illness, but the most noteworthy aspect is Anna Lee - the film's true star. Not only does she do an excellent job in her role, but it's extremely refreshing to see such a strong, independent and intelligent female character in a horror film from this era. (There's also a terrific little twist near the movie's end.)
Very complicated characterization here, but the easily dismissed ending seems like a budget restraint than actual gravitas. Everything else is excellent though; shades of silence of the lambs and shutter island throughout.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!