Shock Corridor

Shock Corridor

DVD - 2010
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A journalist fakes mental illness to get himself committed to a mental hospital for a story. Soon, he starts to lose his mind.
Publisher: [Irvington, N.Y.] : Criterion Collection, c2010
Edition: DVD ed
ISBN: 9781604653731
1604653736
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (101 min.) : sd., b&w with col. sequences ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (28 p. ; 18 cm.)

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josfana Aug 18, 2015

great psychological movie.

n
Nursebob
May 21, 2015

B-Movie icon Peter Breck gives "The Snake Pit’s" Olivia de Havilland a run for her money in this zero-budget noir about murder and insanity. He plays ace newspaper reporter Johnny Barrett who’s determined to win a Pulitzer Prize by going undercover at the local psychiatric hospital and solving a cold case murder that occurred there earlier. With the help of his editor and faithful stripper girlfriend Cathy (Constance Towers, who also treats us to a cheesy song and dance non-sequitur) Johnny poses as the asylum’s newest patient—a man with unhealthy, often violent appetites for his sister—in order to gain access to the three insane men who witnessed the murder: an army deserter who believes he is General E. Lee’s right hand man; a black man with a penchant for KKK drag; and a nuclear physicist who traded in atomic research for a box of crayons. But the closer Johnny gets to uncovering the truth the more his institutional surroundings take their toll on his own psyche until a series of involuntary shock treatments and an unfortunate gang-grope at the hands of a “nympho” gang from the women’s wing threaten to push him over the edge entirely… To be fair there are some novel effects to the flick (an indoor thunderstorm was inspired), the high contrast B&W is all shadows and nightmare, and a bit of deep thinking obviously went into a mostly hackneyed script as occasional periods of lucidity among the psychotic inmates reveal a surprising humanity—the former physicist waxes philosophical on paranoia in the atomic age while the black man’s affinity for the Klan makes discomfiting allusions to internalized racism. Unfortunately the film too often indulges in scenery-chewing campiness and cornball dialogue: “You think I like singing in that sewer with a hot light on my navel?” wails Cathy as she tries to talk Johnny out of his crazy plan, “I’m fed up with playing Greek chorus to your rehearsed nightmare!!” Oy! But Breck does bring an exaggerated intensity to the role as he emotes his way to a nervous breakdown and Towers is all nail-biting and running mascara as she looks on helplessly. However, the film ultimately belongs to Larry Tucker who, as the rotund aria-spouting Pagliacci, actually makes his madness believable. It ain’t art folks, but as an example of 60’s “transgressive cinema” it remains an entertaining curio.

kevfarley Jan 24, 2014

Yester-year's triumph,.. by grand master Sam Fuller (and on such a low budget !). This film didn't do it for me,.. but must have been a mind-blower in its time. However the 'extras' are excellent,.. "The Typewriter, the Rifle, and the Movie Camera" is a full-length biopic with Jim Jarmusche, Tim Robbins, Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scotsese, and features great footage of Sam Fuller himself growling out his commitment to making it real ! ...not to be missed ! (... and has inspired me to re-explore the rest of Fuller's box-breaking body of work.)

m
Monolith
Sep 11, 2013

Mostly absurd. Some yuks. The choreographed nympho attack was a howl. So, let's see... Shock therapy I was aware of. (*yikes*) Hydro (bathtub) therapy... okay, I can see that -- relaxing away the jitters after being partially electrocuted. Seems kinda counterproductive, though... ZAP! Then soak. ZAP! Then soak. But 'dance' therapy? What the huh? For a patient with deranged incestuous female issues? Hard to believe medical attitudes and treatments were so archaic only fifty years ago.

m
martyrofevil
Sep 10, 2013

I wasn't really digging it at first but it progressively gets better though the end could have been handled better. Overall it's a really fun watch that has some really well done scenes. Also, the black white supremest was amazing.

o
Onewhoissaved
Apr 13, 2013

"Shock Corridor", 1963, is one scary film with plenty of terror because it focuses on the use of electro-shock therapy for treating pyschiatric illnesses. Patients literally had their brains zapped with electricity under the belief by doctors that you kill the bad brain cells that carry the bad reactions to life and the patient will be just fine. It didn't work so well. Many people were irreparably harmed. Peter Breck is the star reporter who pretends mental illness to get committed to an asylum to solve a murder that took place among the patients. Notice in the movie credits that there is actually a role called "psycho".

j
Janice21383
Sep 13, 2011

America's own Abu Ghraib. Peter Breck gets himself tossed in the looney bin for the sake of a story, but he looks and acts so much like Charlie Sheen, it's hard to care. I forget now how he got over to the women's ward, but I guess it was inevitable.

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m
Monolith
Sep 11, 2013

Wilkes: "I used to work in the female wing. But the "Nympho Ward" got too dangerous for me."

m
Monolith
Sep 11, 2013

Johnny Barrett (scared sh*tless when he suddenly realizes he opened the door to...): "Nymphos!"

m
Monolith
Sep 11, 2013

Dr. L.G. Cristo: (pitifully shaking his head, to Cathy): "John is a catatonic schizophrenic. What a tragedy. An insane mute will win the Pulitzer Prize."

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