As Good As It Gets (1997)
Jack Nicholson won his third Academy Award as Best Actor for this film, in which he portrays a homophobic, racist novelist with an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The Big Parade (1925)
Epic film about WWI gives the viewer a sense of the stress of combat and the trauma of returning to civilian life minus a leg or an arm.
Black Rain (1989)
Black-and-white film by Japanese filmmaker Shohei Imamura about the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima and its long-term psychological effects.
Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
Oliver Stone film about the anger, frustration, rage, and coping of paralyzed Vietnam Veteran Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise). Kovic was thrown out of the 1972 Republican convention, but went on to address the Democratic convention in 1976. The film has especially memorable VA hospital scenes.
Casualties of War (1989)
Brian DePalma film about five GIs who kidnap, rape, and murder a young Vietnamese girl. The film deals with themes of guilt, stress, violence, and most of all, the dehumanizing aspects of war.
Coming Home (1978)
Jon Voigt plays a paraplegic veteran who becomes Jane Fonda's lover in this sensitive antiwar film. Fonda's Marine Corps husband winds up committing suicide. Interesting analysis of the ways different people respond to the stress of war.
When police realize a copycat killer may be responsible for a series of murders, they turn to criminal psychologist Helen Hudson for help. Hudson, however, is confined to her apartment with severe panic attacks and agoraphobia resulting from a violent assault. In this intense thriller, a woman must explore her deepest fears in an attempt to stop a deadly killer.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Robert De Niro in an unforgettable film about how the Vietnam War affects three high school buddies. The Russian roulette sequences are among the most powerful scenes in film history. Psychopathology themes include drug abuse, PTSD, and depression. The movie won five Academy Awards, including one for best picture, and De Niro has described it as his finest film.
Jeff Bridges in an interesting film that portrays some of the symptoms of anxiety disorder in airline crash survivors. Interesting vignettes showing group therapy for PTSD victims.
The Fisher King (1991)
Jeff Bridges plays a former talk show personality who unwittingly encourages a listener to go on a shooting spree. Bridges' withdrawal, cynicism, and substance abuse can all be interpreted and understood in the context of a post-traumatic stress disorder.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Stanley Kubrick's Vietnam War film. The first half of the film is dedicated to life in a Marine boot camp, and it is a good illustration of the stress associated with military indoctrination. One of the recruits kills his drill instructor and then commits suicide in response to the pressure.
Hamburger Hill (1987)
A graphic presentation of the stress and horror of war.
Wonderfully funny Robert Altman film about military surgeons and nurses using alcohol, sex, and humor to cope with the stress of war. The portrayal of Hawkeye Pierce, half-drunk but always ready for surgery, is troubling.
Paths of Glory (1957)
Kirk Douglas in an early Stanley Kubrick film about the horrors and stupidity of WWI. There is a memorable scene in which a general repeatedly slaps a soldier, trying without success to bring him out of his shell-shocked state.
The Pawnbroker (1965)
Concentration camp survivor who watched his wife being raped and his children being murdered copes by becoming numb. Interesting flashback scenes. Rod Steiger lost the 1965 Academy Award to Lee Marvin in Cat Ballou.
George C. Scott is perfect in the role of the controversial general who was relieved of his command after slapping a crying soldier who had been hospitalized for combat fatigue, or what we would probably now call post-traumatic stress disorder. The film won an Academy Award as best picture, and George C. Scott won the Oscar for best actor.
San Francisco (1936)
This is one of the greatest disaster films ever made, and the special effects give the viewer some appreciation for the acute stress one would experience in a real earthquake. Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy are both marvelous in this film.
Widely praised nine-hour documentary about the Holocaust. The film offers some insight into the behavior of both the German officials and their victims and illustrates antisocial personalities and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Twelve O'Clock High (1949)
Gregory Peck in an interesting presentation of the stress of combat and the ways in which leaders can influence the behavior of those they lead.
An Unmarried Woman (1978)
Tender, sensitive, and funny film about Jill Clayburgh learning to cope with the stress of being a single parent after her husband abandons her. Her friends, a psychiatrist, and an affair with Alan Bates all help.
Wonderful Hitchcock film in which Jimmy Stewart plays a character whose life is dominated by his fear of heights. He attempts a self-styled behavior modification program early in the film without success.
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Dissociative and Somatoform Disorders
3 Women (1977)
Strange but engaging Robert Altman film about two California women who seem to exchange personalities.
Agnes of God (1985)
Good performances by Anne Bancroft, Meg Tilly, and Jane Fonda. Fonda plays a court-appointed psychologist who must make sense out of pregnancy and apparent infanticide in a local convent. Good examples of stigmata, an example of conversion.
Yul Brynner, Helen Hayes, and Ingrid Bergaman star in this film about an amnestic woman who is believed to be the lost princess Anastasia, daughter of the last czar of Russia.
Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)
Gerard Depardieu stars as the inimitable Cyrano, a man obsessed with the size of his nose and convinced it makes him forever unlovable.
Dead Again (1991)
Emma Thompson costars with her husband, Kenneth Branagh (who also directed the film). The movie illustrates traumatic amnesia and its treatment through hypnosis. The hypnotist, an antique dealer, is not the most professional of therapists!
Fassbinder film based on a novel by Vladimir Nabokov. A Russian Jew émigré in Germany runs a chocolate factory, kills another man who looks like him and tries to pass it off as his own suicide. When his plan fails, he becomes psychotic.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)
Frederick March in the best adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic story about the ultimate dissociative disorder. Stevenson was an alcoholic, and alcohol may be the model for the mysterious liquid that dramatically transforms Jekyll's personality.
Montgomery Clift in an interesting account of the early years of Freud's life. The film illustrates paralysis, false blindness, and a false pregnancy, all examples of somatization disorders.
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
Mickey (Woody Allen) is a hopeless hypochondriac who was formerly married to Hannah (Mia Farrow). Mickey spends his days worrying about brain tumors, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
Challenging and controversial Martin Scorsese film in which Jesus, while on the cross and in great pain, has a dissociative episode in which he imagines himself as an ordinary man who married Mary Magdalene and lived a normal life.
Complex, demanding, absolutely fascinating Bergman film starring Liv Ullmann as an actress who suddenly stops talking after one of her performances. Ulmann is treated by a nurse, and the two women appear to exchange "personas." Highly erotic description of a beach memory.
The Piano (1993)
Jane Campion film about a woman who had voluntarily stopped speaking as a child. She communicates through written notes and through playing the piano, a pleasure forbidden to her by her New Zealand husband. There are scenes of extraordinary sensuality between Harvey Keitel and Holly Hunter and a dramatic suicide attempt.
Primal Fear (1996)
Richard Gere stars in this suspenseful drama about a man who commits heinous crimes, ostensibly as a result of a dissociative disorder. The film raises useful questions about the problem of malingering and differential diagnosis.
Wonderful Hitchcock film starring Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, who vacillates between hi passive, morbid personality and his dead mother's alter ego. In the final minutes of the film, a psychiatrist offers a somewhat confused explanation for Bates' behavior. The shower scene is one of the most famous in film history.
The Return of Martin Guerre (1982)
Gerard Depardieu as a 16th century peasant who returns to his wife after a seven year absence. His true identity is never made clear. This film, the basis for the American movie Sommersby, is based on a true story.
Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck star in this Hitchcock thriller. Peck is an amnestic patient who believes he has committed a murder; Bergman is the psychiatrist who falls in love with him and helps him recall the childhood trauma responsible for his dissociative state.
Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
Adaptation of a Tennessee Williams story about an enmeshed and pathological relationship between a mother (Katherine Hepburn) and her homosexual son and a dissociative amnesia in a cousin who witnessed the son's death. Among its other virtues, the film includes a fascinating discussion of the benefits of lobotomy.
Sullivan's Travels (1941)
Joel McCrea plays a movie director who goes out to experience life as it is lived outside a Hollywood studio. He winds up getting a head injury, becoming amnestic, and being sentenced to six years on a chain gang.
The Three Faces of Eve (1957)
Joanne Woodward won an Academy Award for her portrayal of a woman with three personalities (Eve White, Eve Black, and Jane); based on the book by Thigpen and Cleckley.
Twelve O' Clock High (1949)
Gregory Peck plays the role of General Frank Savage, an effective leader who develops a conversion disorder (psychosomatic paralysis) in response to his role in the death of several of his subordinates.
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Psychological Stress and Physical Disorders
A Brief History of Time (1992)
A documentary about the life of Stephen Hawking, a theoretical physicist coping with amyotropic lateral sclerosis.
Children of a Lesser God (1986)
The film examines the complications involved in a love relationship between William Hurt, a teacher in a school for the deaf, and Marlee Matlin, a young deaf woman who works at the school. Much of the conflict in the film revolves around Matlin's refusal to learn to lip-read. Matlin won an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress for her role in this film.
Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989)
This HBO film examines the lives of five individuals linked by a single common denominator- AIDS. The movie won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1989.
The Doctor (1991)
William Hurt plays a cold and indifferent physician whose approach to treatment changes dramatically after he is diagnosed with throat cancer.
An extended conversation that examines the relationship among life, love, and food.
The Elephant Man (1980)
David Lynch film about the life of John Merrick, a hideously deformed man who is befriended by a London physician. The film is effective in forcing the viewer to examine his or her prejudices about appearance.
This Academy Award winning movie is a biography of artist Frida Kahlo, who channeled the pain of a crippling injury and her tempestuous marriage into her work.
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
A hard-hitting and powerful presentation of job-related stress and interpersonal conflict in the real estate business. Wonderful cast, with Jack Lemmon playing a figure whose despair with his job is reminiscent of Willy Lomax in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.
Existential Akira Kurosawa film about a man dying from cancer who finds meaning in the last days of his life by helping a group of mothers build a playground for their children.
In For Treatment (1979)
Dutch film about the indignities suffered by a cancer patient who has to deal with an impersonal health care system.
Longtime Companion (1990)
This films explores the ways which AIDS has affected a group of gay friends and traces the love and loss that is shared between two men as one of them dies from the disease.
Marvin's Room (1996)
A compelling examination of the way in which chronic illness affects caregivers and families.
Cher stars in this film about her character's son, Rocky Dennis, a spunky teenager whose life has been dramatically affected by craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, a disorder that distorts the shape of his skull and face. This is a feel good movie that succeeds. A thwarted love relationship between Rocky and a blind girlfriend underscores our tendency to judge people by their appearance.
The Men (1950)
Marlon Brando in his first film role plays a paralyzed WWII veteran full of rage about his injuries and his limitations.
My Left Foot (1989)
The inspiring life story of Christy Brown, an Irish writer who triumphs over cerebral palsy. Daniel Day-Lewis received a Best Actor Academy Award for his role as Brown.
Passion Fish (1992)
The stress of disability and the demands the disabled can make on caregivers are nicely chronicled in this film about a querulous paraplegic actress and her caretaker/companion.
Tom Hanks won an Academy Award for his portrayal of an AIDS-afflicted attorney who is fired from a prestigious law firm once his illness becomes known to the partners. There is a particularly moving scene in which Hanks plays an opera and explains to Denzel Washington why he loves music so passionately.
Wonderful Richard Attenborough film about the late-life romance of C.S. Lewis (Anthony Hopkins) and Joy Gresham (Debra Winger). Lewis must come to grips with the meaning of pain, suffering, and loss when Joy develops cancer.
Terms of Endearment (1983)
Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, and Jack Nicholson star in this poignant but funny movie about relationships, caring, and cancer.
The Waterdance (1992)
Realistic film about the way spinal cord injuries have changed the lives of three men who meet in a rehabilitation hospital.
The Whales of August (1987)
Remarkable film about what it means to grow old. Bette Davis plays the blind and embittered sister who is still loved by Lillian Gish.
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Mood Disorders and Suicide
Anna Karenina (1935)
Greta Garbo leaves her husband (Basil Rathbone) and son to follow new love (Fredric March); when she sees him kissing another woman, she commits suicide by stepping into the path of an oncoming train. Based on a Tolstoy novel.
Fox and His Friends (1975)
Werner Fassbinder's scathing indictment of capitalism revolves around the life of a poor gay circus performer who wins money, only to lose it through the exploitation of those he assumes are his friends. He responds by committing suicide.
The Hairdresser's Husband (1992)
A woman chooses to commit suicide rather than face the incremental loss of love that she believes will accompany aging. This is a beautiful movie, despite the somewhat grim ending.
The Hospital (1971)
George C. Scott is first rate as a disillusioned and suicidal physician despondent in part because of the ineptitude he sees everywhere about him. There is an especially memorable scene in which Scott is interrupted as he's about to commit suicide by injecting potassium into a vein.
The Hours (2002)
This highly acclaimed film tells the story of how the novel "Mrs. Dalloway" affects three generations of women, all of whom, in one way or another, have had to deal with suicide in their lives.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
A Christmas tradition. The film actually presents Jimmy Stewart as a fairly complex character who responds to the stress of life in Bedford Falls by attempting suicide.
Juliet of the Spirits (1965)
Fellini film about a bored, lonely, depressed, and menopausal housewife who hallucinates about the life of the exotic woman next door.
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Peter Bogdanovich adaptation of Larry McMurty's novel describing events- and personalities- involved in the closing of the town's only movie theater. There is a striking presentation of the symptoms of depression in the coach's wife.
Life Upside Down (1965)
French film about an ordinary young man who becomes increasingly detached from the world. He is eventually hospitalized and treated, but with little success.
A fascinating film about one of the most interesting figures in contemporary literature, Yukio Mishima. Mishima, a homosexual, traditionalist, and militarist, committed suicide (seppuku) before being beheaded by a companion.
Mommy Dearest (1981)
Biographical film based on the book by Joan Crawford's adopted daughter. Faye Dunaway plays Crawford. The film suggests the great star was tyrannical, narcissistic, and probably bipolar.
The Mosquito Coast (1986)
Harrison Ford is an eccentric American inventor who flees the US for Central America because of his paranoia. His diagnosis is never clearly stated, but Ford appears to be bipolar (although almost continually manic in the film).
My First Wife (1984)
A moving and well-directed Australian film about a man who falls to pieces after his wife decides to leave him.
A veteran anchorman who has just been told he is being fired announces on national TV that he will commit suicide on the air in two weeks. Ratings soar. He eventually reneges on his promise but becomes the leader of a national protest movement.
Ordinary People (1980)
This film was Robert Redford's debut as a director. It deals with depression, suicide, and family pathology and presents a sympathetic portrayal of a psychiatrist, played by Judd Hirsch. Conrad, the protagonist, would probably meet DSM-VI criteria for PTSD as well as depression.
The Outcry (1957)
Antonioni film about a man who becomes depressed and confused when he is rejected by his lover.
This is the story of the relationship between the poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. Plath experiences a deepening depression as a result of Hughes' extra-marital affairs. It is only during a separation that Plath is able to truly examine her inner feelings and express them brilliantly through her poetry.
The Tenant (1976)
Roman Polanski film in which a man rents an apartment previously owned by a woman who committed suicide. The man begins to assume the personality of the woman and becomes suicidal himself.
Umberto D. (1952)
Classic Vittorio De Sica film about an indigent old man in Rome who is being evicted and must face the prospects of homelessness and isolation. The old man fails in a suicide attempt and finds a reason for living in his need to continue to care for his dog.
An interesting examination of the life of Vincent van Gogh. The focus is on the artist's work rather than his mental illness.
Vincent & Theo (1990)
The Robert Altman film deals sensitively with van Gogh's troubled relationships with Gauguin and Theo, the incident with the prostitute and the ear, van Gogh's hospitalization, and finally his suicide.
Woman Under the Influence (1974)
A John Cassavetes film in which Gina Rowlands plays a housewife who has to be hospitalized because of a mental illness that appears to be bipolar disorder. Peter Falk plays her sympathetic but mystified husband.
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The Accidental Tourist (1988)
William Hurt plays a withdrawn, unemotional writer whose isolation is compounded when his 12-year-old son is senselessly murdered in a fast-food restaurant.
Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
Jimmy Stewart as an attorney defending a man accused of murder. His case rests on the contention that the defendant could not help behaving as he did because the man he murdered had allegedly raped his wife. The film raises interesting questions about the irresistible impulse defense.
The Aviator (2004)
This film depicts the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes. It addresses his bizarre habits and portrays his obsessive-compulsive tendencies.
Alan Bates in a Harold Pinter film adaptation of a London play about the life of a British university professor. Bates' wife and lover are both leaving him, and his colleagues are estranged. Bates seems to fail in every interpersonal encounter.
The Conversation (1974)
A Francis Ford Coppola film in which Gene Hackman plays a surveillance expert with a paranoid personality.
Fatal Attraction (1987)
Glenn Close displays classic characteristics of borderline personality disorder, including fears of abandonment, unstable interpersonal relationships, impulsivity, suicidal gestures, inappropriate and intense anger, and affective instability. This film is flawed by a contrived and artificial ending.
The Gambler (1974)
James Caan plays a university professor of literature who can't control his compulsive gambling. One of the best film portrayals of pathological gambling.
Le Boucher (1969)
Claude Chabrol film in which a butcher who is also a murderer commits suicide when the woman he loves realizes he is a criminal.
The Odd Couple (1968)
Jack Lemmon as the obsessive-compulsive Felix Unger, who uses air freshener and leaves notes on the pillow of housemate Walter Matthau.
A film that explores the insanity defense, sociopathy, and mass murder. Directed by William Friedkin, who was also the director for The Exorcist.
Remains of the Day (1994)
Sir Anthony Hopkins plays a butler whose rigid personality will not allow him to experience intimacy or genuine love. Few films have been more effective in presenting this reserved, over-controlling, and limiting personality type.
The Servant (1963)
Joseph Losey film in which a wealthy British gentleman and his manservant wind up switching roles. There are strong homosexual overtones in the relationship between the two men, and a complex relationship develops with two women. The film is an interesting examination of dominance and submission.
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Sir Anthony Hopkins plays one of film history's greatest antisocial personalities, psychiatrist and cannibal Hannibal Lector. Jodie Foster is the FBI agent.
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Classic Hitchcock film in which Farley Granger is unable to extricate himself from his involvement with sociopath Robert Walker.
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Eliah Kazan film starring Marlon Brando and Vivian Leigh. Blanche DuBois offers a striking example of a histrionic personality. Brando is unforgettable in the role of Stanley Kowalski.
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Billy Wilder film in which a narcissistic, histrionic, and delusional Gloria Swanson clings to the memories of her former greatness as a silent screen star. William Holden plays a young man who exchanges attention and sexual favors for security.
Taxi Driver (1976)
The premorbid personality of Travis Bickle illustrates delusional paranoid thinking. Bickle would probably meet the criteria for a diagnosis of schizotypal personality disorder.
The Thin Blue Line (1988)
Gripping documentary examining the unjust incarceration of a man accused of the murder of a Texas policeman.
Toto Le Heros (1991)
An old man in a nursing home reviews his life and his lifelong hatred for his next door neighbor, who appeared to have every advantage. Wonderful example of paranoid personality disorder.
Wild at Heart (1990)
David Lynch film with ex-con Nicholas Cage and his lover, Laura Dern, as two antisocial personalities (despite their apparent commitment to each other). Won the Palm d'Ore at Cannes, but not all critics were impressed. Too violent for some tastes.
Wise Blood (1979)
John Huston's adaptation of Flannery O'Connor's gothic Southern novel about an obsessed preacher.
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Faye Dunaway and Mickey Rourke play two alcoholics whose lives briefly touch. Good examination of skid row alcoholism; based on a story by cult poet Charles Bukowski.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, and Burl Ives in a subdued adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play about "mendacity." Alcohol plays a prominent role in the lives of almost all the characters.
Come Back, Little Sheeba (1952)
Burt Lancaster and Shirley Booth in a film about alcoholism and marriage. Booth won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role.
Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
Blake Edwards film starring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick. Lemmon teaches Remick how to drink. Lemmon is saved by AA; Remick is unable to stop drinking, despite the consequences.
This film is the best available introduction to Alcoholics Anonymous. It is highly recommended for any student who will be working with substance abuse issues.
The Fire Within (1963)
French filmmaker Louis Malle's remarkable account of alcoholism, suicide, and the existential choices that confront us all.
French film based on Emile Zola's story about a young Parisian woman with an alcoholic husband.
The Graduate (1967)
A telling indictment of the shallow values of the time (e.g. "plastics"). Mrs. Robinson's alcoholism impairs her judgement and ruins her life.
Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep in compelling roles as homeless alcoholics. The film, a very realistic portrayal of life on skid row, should be contrasted with another excellent film made the same year, Barfly.
Key Largo (1948)
Clair Trevor won Best Supporting Actress for her role as an alcoholic singer forced to beg gangster Edward G. Robinson for a drink during a hurricane in Key West.
Last Night at the Alamo (1983)
Fascinating examination of bar culture in a small Texas town. Unforgettable characters, most of whom are coping with alcoholism and adultery.
Long Day's Journey into Night (1962)
Alcohol is part of daily life for this deeply troubled family. Numerous examples of family pathology, conflict between fathers and sons, and denial.
The Lost Weekend (1945)
Billy Wilder classic starring Ray Milland as a writer struggling to overcome his alcoholism. Some scenes were filmed at Bellvue, and the examples of delirium tremens are very convincing. Polanski borrowed scenes from The Lost Weekend as models for his film Repulsion.
My Favorite Year (1982)
A great actor (modeled after John Barrymore and Errol Flynn) who has become a pathetic drunk must confront one of the greatest challenges of his career—a live television performance.
Robert Altman film about three soldiers waiting to go to Vietnam. The film deals with themes of homosexuality, violence and racism but also illustrates the alcoholism that is pervasive in military life.
Taxi Blues (1990)
Alcoholic jazz musician becomes friends with anti-Semetic taxi driver. This Russian film won the prize for Best Director at Cannes. Fascinating examination of the role of alcohol in the daily lives of the protagonists in Moscow society.
Tender Mercies (1983)
Sensitive and optimistic film in which Robert Duvall plays a successfully recovering alcoholic songwriter. Duvall won an Oscar for this almost perfect performance.
Trees Lounge (1996)
Steve Buscemi wrote and directed this compelling film; and he plays the lead character, a 31-year-old unemployed auto mechanic. Few contemporary films present a more vivid picture of the problems associated with alcoholism.
Under the Volcano (1984)
John Huston directing Albert Finney; excellent portrayal of chronic alcoholism.
The Verdict (1982)
Paul Newman in a wonderful role as a disillusioned alcoholic lawyer who becomes genuinely involved with a brain-injured client who is the victim of medical malpractice. He wins the case but continues to drink. Interesting analysis of codependency.
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Bad Lieutenant (1992)
Harvey Keitel stars in one of his most powerful roles as a police lieutenant addicted to cocaine, alcohol, and prostitutes. The film illustrates stark abuse of power and the deterioration of family life that accompanies addiction. Keitel's character at one point has a hallucination in which Jesus Christ comes to him.
Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
Antiwar film by Oliver Stone starring Tom Cruise as Ron Kovic, who uses alcohol and drugs to cope with the frustration of paralysis. One of the best of its genre.
Christiane F. (1981)
Powerful and frightening examination of the life of a teenage drug addict in West Berlin. Based on a true story, the film is still gripping almost two decades after it was made.
Clean and Sober (1988)
Good portrayal of AA, cocaine addiction, and alcoholism.
The Connection (1961)
Heroin addicts in New York wait for their pusher.
Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
Matt Dillon leads a group of junkies who rob pharmacies to support their habit. William Burroughs plays a junkie priest.
Easy Rider (1969)
Classic film of the late 1960s with Jack Nicholson as an alcoholic lawyer and Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper as marijuana-smoking, LSD-using free spirits. The film is dated but still worth seeing.
Jungle Fever (1991)
Interesting film about race relations and sexual stereotypes, with a subplot involving Gator, the crackhead brother of the protagonist, who is destroying his middle-class family.
Long Day's Journey into Night (1962)
Katherine Hepburn plays a morphine-addicted, histrionic mother with an alcoholic son (Jason Robards). One of O'Neill's greatest plays; one of Hepburn's greatest roles. Hepburn's character is a good illustration of a histrionic personality disorder.
Bogdanovich film with Cher as the mother of deformed but spunky teenager Rocky Dennis. Sympathetic portrayal of motorcycle gangs. Cher struggles with her angry father and her compulsive use of alcohol and drugs as she works to be a good mother.
The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
A good movie about a controversial figure, the film forces the viewer to confront his or her views on pornography and free speech. The film is included in this section because of the effects of drugs on the lives of Flynt and his wife, Althea (Courtney Love), after he is shot and becomes addicted to narcotics.
Vietnam veteran Oliver Stone directed Platoon, one of the most realistic of dozens of war movies. There is an interesting juxtaposition of "boozers" (those who use alcohol to escape) and "heads" (those who take refuge in marijuana and other illegal drugs).
Postcards from the Edge (1990)
Mike Nichols' adaptation of a Carrie Fisher story about life as the daughter of a famous actress. The mother is alcoholic; the daughter abuses multiple drugs, including cocaine and sedatives. There are brief scenes of therapy and a terrific cast.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Quentin Tarantino film about drugs, crime, depravity, the underworld, and life in urban America. One especially memorable scene involves John Travolta smashing an adrenaline-filled needle into Uma Thurman's chest to revive her after she inadvertently overdoses on heroin.
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
The drug-induced utopias of four Coney Island individuals are shattered when their addictions become stronger.
Two undercover narcotics agents find addiction to be an occupational hazard.
Brian DePalma movie starring Al Pacino as a Cuban immigrant mobster who becomes addicted to the cocaine he is marketing. The long film, which tends to be loved or hated, is based on a 1932 Howard Hawks classic with the same name.
Sid and Nancy (1986)
Compelling biography of Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols; offers insight into the worlds of drugs and rock and roll.
Sweet Nothing (1996)
An effective examination of the futility, desperation, and violence associated with crack addiction. This is a true story based on diaries found in a Bronx apartment in March of 1991.
A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America's escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is a heroin addict.
A realistic and disturbing film about the heroin scene in Edinburgh. The film presents accurate depictions of cold turkey withdrawal. There is one memorable scene in which a young mother's baby dies while she is high, and she immediately needs a fix to cope with her grief. Several scatological scenes seem gratuitous and unnecessary.
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Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders
Belle de Jour (1967)
Luis Bunuel film with Catherine Deneuve playing a bored housewife who amuses herself by working in a brothel from two until five every afternoon, at least until her sexual obsessions begin to complicate her life. Bunuel may be filming what is just an erotic dream.
Boys Don't Cry (1999)
The story of the life of Teena Brandon, a cross dressing youth who preferred life in her male identity as Brandon Teena.
The Blue Angel (1930)
Classic film about a phlegmatic professor who loses everything because of his obsession with a cabaret singer.
Liza Minnelli in a film about sadomasochism, bisexuality, and the relationship between sex and power. One scene in the film is as unforgettable as the classic confession of incest in Chinatown. This film won Oscars for Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director.
A film about power, incest, and the complexity of human relationships. The male lead is played by Jack Nicholson.
The Crying Game (1992)
Neil Jordan film which explores homosexuality, transsexualism, interracial sexuality, and the ability of two human beings to love one another deeply in an asexual relationship. Too complex to simply explain, the film must be seen to be fully appreciated.
A Day in the Country (1936)
Jean Renoir's adaptation of a short story by Guy Maupassant that describes the seductions of a man's wife and daughter.
Fellini Satyricon (1970)
Controversial Fellini film about the decadence of ancient Rome. The film is visually stunning and explores human vices ranging from homosexuality pedophilia to cannibalism. The film can be a springboard for a discussion of hedonism gone amuck.
Ju Dou (1989)
Wonderful, visually stunning film examining the complex links that bind a husband, his wife, her lover, and the son of the illicit union. Good illustrations of sexual passion and sexual torment.
Jules and Jim (1961)
Beautiful and engaging Truffaut film about a complex menage a trois and an ultimate suicide. The film deals with far more that sexuality; it explores fundamental dimensions of human relationships and the boundaries of friendship and love.
Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)
A homosexual and a political activist share a prison cell and grow to understand and appreciate each other. William Hurt won an Academy Award for his performance.
Last Tango in Paris (1973)
Marlon Brando stars in a classic Bernardo Bertolucci film about a man who begins a casual sexual liaison on the day his wife commits suicide. The two lovers never exchange names. The film includes themes of depression, sexuality, loneliness, and cynicism.
Classic Woody Allen film in which his former wife, played by Meryl Streep, has taken a lover, found happiness, and written a book to tell the world about Allen's kinky habits.
The Mark (1961)
A British film about a pedophile who serves his sentence and is released, supposedly cured. However, this rehabilitation is hampered by a journalist who reveals the man's past. Interesting film in light of recent court decisions in the U.S. such as Kansas v. Hendricks.
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Jon Voight leaves Texas to make his fortune in New York City working as a stud; instead, he winds up hanging out with Ratso Rizzo, who dies before the two can escape to Florida. Fascinating and complex character study.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Quentin Tarantino film depicts an underworld sadomasochistic den of iniquity run by two sexual sadists in the basement of an Army surplus store. A masochistic slave dressed totally in leather lives in a box in the back of the room.
The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea (1976)
Interesting story of adult romance and child psychopathology; based on a Mishima novel.
Short Eyes (1977)
A powerful film about life in "The Tombs," New York City's Men's House of Detention. Short Eyes is prison slang for a child molester.
That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)
Surrealistic film by Luis Bunuel about violence, love, and sexual obsession in a middle-aged man. The film is complex, intriguing, and full of symbolism.
Funny Dustin Hoffman film in which an unsuccessful actor finds success when he impersonates a woman. He learns from the process, and the audience learns some important lessons about gender, sex roles, and human relationships.
This complex Luis Bunuel film tells the story of a young woman who returns home to visit her uncle just before taking vows as a nun. She resembles her dead aunt, and her uncle drugs her while she is wearing her aunt's wedding dress. He plans to rape her but is unable to commit the act. He commits suicide; she inherits his estate and devotes her life to serving the poor.
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Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders
An Angel at My Table (1990)
Jean Campion's biography of New Zealand novelist Janet Frame, who was misdiagnosed as schizophrenic and mistreated with electroconvulsive therapy.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
This film follows the meteoric rise of John Forbes Nash Jr., a math prodigy able to solve problems that baffled the greatest of minds. It addresses how Nash overcame years of suffering with schizophrenia to win the Nobel Prize.
Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980)
This film, a 15-hour Fassbinder masterpiece, traces the gradual moral and mental disintegration of a man who leaves prison resolved to live a good life. The film explores exploitation of women, violence, homosexuality, and mental illness.
Nicholas Cage tries to help his friend, Matthew Modine, who is a catatonic inpatient in a military hospital. Both men are Vietnam veterans, but Modine's problems seem to predate the war.
Camille Claudel (1988)
Biographical film of the mistress of Rodin, who spent the last 30 years of her life in an asylum.
David and Lisa (1963)
Story of two institutionalized teenagers who become romantically involved. Based on a story by psychiatrist Theodore Isaac Rubin.
Dead of Night (1945)
Five short episodes loosely linked together. The last of these, "The Ventriloquist's Dummy," stars Michael Redgrave, who has to be hospitalized after he becomes convinced that he and his dummy are exchanging personalities (and, in fact, they are).
An eccentric aunt comes to care for two sisters in the Pacific Northwest after the suicide of their mother. The girls can't decide if their aunt is simply odd or seriously mentally ill. The viewer confronts a similar dilemma.
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977)
Accurate rendition of the popular book by the same name. The patient has command hallucinations that tell her to kill herself. There is a sympathetic portrayal of psychiatry and treatment; a breakthrough occurs when the protagonist first realizes she is able to feel pain.
Lust for Life (1956)
Kirk Douglas as Vincent van Gogh and Anthony Quinn as Paul Gauguin. The film portrays the stormy relationship of the two men and van Gogh's hospitalization and eventual suicide. Contrast with Vincent (1987) and Robert Altman's Vincent and Theo (1990).
A made-for-T.V. movie, starring James Garner, about a man who honors a commitment made to his mother to care for his schizophrenic brother. Excellent illustrations of the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Powerful, unforgettable film about sexual repression and psychotic decompensation. Memorable examples of hallucinations (e.g., arms reaching out from walls); the film culminates in an unforgettable murder scene. This was Roman Polanski's first English language film.
The Ruling Class (1972)
Brilliant British black comedy in which a member of the House of Lords inadvertently commits suicide and leaves his fortune and his title to his delusional, schizophrenic son (Peter O'Toole), who believes he is Jesus (at first) and later Jack the Ripper.
Santa Sangre (1989)
A disturbing film about a young man forced to witness the mutilation of his mother and the suicide of his father. We never know if these events are real or simply the delusions of a patient. The film is complex and visually stunning.
True story of David Helfgott, an Australian prodigy whose brilliant career is interrupted by the development of an unspecified mental illness that is probably schizophrenia. The film not so subtly suggests that David's domineering father was directly responsible for his mental illness and conveys the misleading but endearing message that love and hope can conquer mental illness.
The Snake Pit (1948)
One of the first films to document the treatment of patients in a mental hospital.
Sophie's Choice (1982)
Meryl Streep won an Academy Award for her portrayal of a concentration camp survivor infatuated with Nathan, who is described as paranoid schizophrenic but who may suffer from a bipolar disorder. Based on William Styron's novel.
Director Jean Campion paints a memorable and realistic picture of a schizophrenic woman and the difficulties her illness present for her and her family.
Taxi Driver (1976)
Robert De Niro becomes obsessed with Jodie Foster and determines to rescue her from prostitution.
Through a Glass, Darkly (1962)
Powerful and memorable Bergman film about a recently released mental patient who spends the summer on an island with her husband, father, and younger brother.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
A Mike Nichols film, with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who appear to have a shared psychotic disorder involving a son who never really existed; the film also portrays alcoholism and interpersonal cruelty. Elizabeth Taylor and Sandy Dennis both won Academy Awards for their performances in this film.
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Robin Williams as neurologist Oliver Sacks treating patient Robert De Niro in a Bronx Hospital. Documents the use of L-Dopa in the treatment of patients with advanced Parkinson's disease. Good portrayal of the daily life of a mental hospital.
Lorenzo's Oil (1992)
True story of the Odone family and their desperate struggle to save their son's life. The boy has a rare neurological disease that they are told is ultimately fatal. Good illustration of the effects of chronic illness on family functioning.
The Notebook (2004)
This movie focuses on an elderly man reading a story to an elderly woman in a nursing home. It is a love story that addresses the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease.
On the Waterfront (1954)
Classic Elia Kazan film starring Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy, a prizefighter of limited intelligence who is exploited by almost everyone around him. Brando won an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance as Terry Malloy, who took a dive and spent the rest of his life regretting it.
Pride of the Yankees (1942)
Gary Cooper stars in this Samuel Goldwyn film about legendary Yankees' first baseman Lou Gehrig, who had to give up baseball due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which came to be known more widely by the eponym "Lou Gehrig's disease."
Raging Bull (1980)
Powerful film depicting the psychological, moral, and mental decline of a prizefighter. Robert De Niro won an Oscar for his portrayal of Jake LaMotta.
The Harder They Fall (1956)
Humphrey Bogart in his last film, made the year before his death. The movie is very critical of the sport of boxing and exploitation of fighters by promoters. A slow-witted boxer has a brain clot and is almost killed in his last fight.
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Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence
Billy Elliot (2000)
A talented young boy becomes torn between his unexpected love of dance and the disintegration of his family.
Every Man for Himself and God Against All (1975)
Werner Herzog film based on a true story about a man who spent an isolated childhood virtually devoid of any stimulation.
Fanny and Alexander (1983)
Bergman film about two young children and the ways in which their lives change when their father dies and their mother remarries. The film is sensitive, tender, and haunting and it shows how the world looks through the eyes of a 10-year-old.
Forbidden Games (1951)
Two children create and share a private fantasy world. Beautiful French film that juxtaposes the innocence of childhood with the horror of war.
The Four Hundred Blows (1959)
Semi-autobiographical film by Francois Truffaut about a 13-year-old boy who gets caught up in a life of truancy and petty crime. His mother sleeps around; his father is preoccupied and distant.
Gritty and disturbing film about sex, drugs, and violence. The main character is a teenager with AIDS who preys on young adolescent girls, taking particular pride in seducing virgins.
Leo, an adolescent boy growing up in a very dysfunctional family in Montreal, is unable to accept the reality of his genetic heritage and concocts a fantasy in which he was accidentally conceived by sperm that crossed the Atlantic in a Sicilian tomato.
Pelle the Conqueror (1986)
Incredibly moving film about lust, passion, dreams, aging, hope, pragmatic romance, and, most of all, the love between a father and his son. The film won the Grand Prix at Canes and an Academy Award as Best Foreign Film.
Moving film about the squalid, depressing lives of street children in Sao Paulo. In the film, the child, Pixote, commits his first murder at the age of ten. Ironically, the child star actually was shot and killed by the police five years after the film was released.
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Dated but still interesting examination of teenage alienation, violence, and family pathology. James Dean is the rebellious protagonist. All three stars (Dean, Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo) met violent deaths (a car wreck, a drowning, and a murder).
The Tin Drum (1979)
Political allegory about a child who decides to stop growing. Based on a Gunter Grass novel, the film won an Academy Award as Best Foreign Film. The film recently received considerable attention because a scene in which the child has oral sex with an adult was judged to be obscene under Oklahoma law.
Welcome to the Dollhouse (1996)
Interesting examination of families, emerging sexuality, and the cruelty of adolescents.
The Wild Child (1969)
Truffaut's engaging film about the life of a feral child, the "Wild Boy of Aveyron." Based on a true story and the journal of Jean Itard, the doctor who set out to educate the child. Truffaut himself plays the role of Itard.
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Mental Retardation and Autism
I Am Sam (2001)
A mentally retarded man fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter, and in the process teaches his lawyer the value of love and family.
Best Boy (1979)
Ira Wohl's moving tribute to his mentally retarded cousin examines the options facing the young man when his father dies and his aging mother is no longer able to care for him. This film won an Academy Award as Best Documentary film.
Akira Kurosawa film about a mentally retarded boy living in the slums of Tokyo.
Dominick and Eugene (1988)
A mildly mentally retarded man works picking up garbage so he can send his brother to medical school. The story revolves around the relationship between the two brothers and provides good insight into the quality of life possible for someone who is mildly mentally retarded.
Of Mice and Men (1992)
John Malkovich as Lenny, a mentally retarded farmhand. This is a wonderful film, but see the 1939 original as well.
Rain Man (1993)
Dustin Hoffman plays an autistic man who is also a savant, initially exploited by an older brother. Dustin Hoffman read widely about autism and worked with autistic people in preparing for this role.
Sling Blade (1996)
Billy Bob Thornton wrote the screenplay, directed the film, and played the lead in this remarkable film, which examines the life of a 37-year-old retarded man who has been incarcerated in a mental hospital for the past 25 years after killing his mother and her lover. The fact that Childers winds up committing a third murder after being released perpetuates the myth that people who are retarded are potentially dangerous.
Unforgotten: 25 Years After Willowbrook (1996)
Geraldo Rivera follows up on the original Willowbrook State School expose and contrasts the grim reality of institutional life with the current success of some survivors, including Bernard Carabello, a man abandoned by his parents at age three because he had cerebral palsy, who spent 18 years at Willowbrook.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993)
Johnny Depp stars in this interesting portrayal of the dynamics of a rural Iowa family and small town America. Depp's life revolves around the care of his retarded brother and his morbidly obese mother.
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Violence, Abuse, and Antisocial Behavior
The Accused (1988)
Jodi Foster won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as a woman who is gang raped in a bar. Her character chooses to prosecute for rape rather than for aggravated assault; and the film examines the legal relevance of lifestyle (alcohol, drugs, and promiscuity) to the event and the complicity of bystanders. Based on a true story.
Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
Classic courtroom drama in which Jimmy Stewart plays a prosecuting attorney in a case involving rape and promiscuity. The film presents an interesting analysis of the "irresistible impulse" defense.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Francis Ford Coppola produced and directed this classic war film, which stars Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, and Martin Sheen. The film is loosely based on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and was designed to drive home the madness of war, as well as its folly. Perhaps the best known line in the film is "I love the smell of Napalm in the morning."
Blue Velvet (1986)
A powerful and engrossing film about drugs, sexual violence, and sadomasochism. Dennis Hopper plays Frank Booth, a sociopathic and sadistic drug addict who appears to be evil personified.
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Alec Guiness plays an Academy Award-winning role as a British colonel who becomes so obsessed with building a bridge that he loses sight of his loyalty and allegiance to the allied forces.
Cape Fear (1991)
Interesting Scorcese remake of a 1962 classic. This version includes Nick Nolte playing a sleazy attorney and Robert De Niro is a sociopathic ex-con out to get revenge by hurting Nolte and his family and seducing his teenage daughter.
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)
Peter Greenaway film far too complex to capture in a sentence or two. Full of psychopathology, the film deals with passion, deceit, gluttony, murder, cannibalism, and man's inhumanity to man. It is a film you won't soon forget.
Dead Man Walking (1995)
Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn star in this dramatic examination of a nun's need to understand and help a man sentenced to die for the rape and murder of two teenagers. The film skillfully examines the death penalty, family dynamics, themes of redemption, and the mitigating role of drugs without ever providing easy answers. Sarandon won an Academy Award for her performance in this film.
Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, and Burt Reynolds on a white water rafting trip in Appalachia. Beatty winds up being sodomized; Reynolds kills the rapist, using a bow and arrow. Based on a James Dickey novel, the film raises interesting questions about personal responsibility and social justice.
Heavenly Creatures (1994)
A New Zealand film directed by Peter Jackson and based on the true story of two adolescent girls who grow up sharing a fantasy world. When the mother of one of the girls try to separate the children, they murder her. One of the girls, Ann Perry, now lives in England and writes mystery novels.
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1990)
A violent, controversial film about mass murderer and sociopath Henry Lee Lucas. A scene in which Lucas and his roommate videotape one of their murders is especially unnerving.
The Killing Fields (1984)
Gripping film about the horrors of war and the particularly gruesome and cruel practices of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia following the evacuation of American soldiers from Vietnam in 1975.
A must-see Fritz Lang film (his first "talkie") starring Peter Lorre as a sexual sociopath who molests and murders little girls. When tried by a vigilante jury, he pleads irresistible impulse, but the jury is not impressed.
Aileen Wuornos, who had a difficult and cruel childhood plagued by abuse and drug use, grew up to become a highway prostitute. This movie focuses on the nine month period during which she had a lesbian relationship and began murdering any of her clientele who tried to rape her.
Once Were Warriors (1994)
Important New Zealand film about substance abuse and domestic violence among urban Maori tribespeople. The film will help you understand a different culture, as well as the ways in which alcoholism interacts with spousal and child abuse in almost every society.
Prick Up Your Ears (1987)
A film showing the homosexual relationship and eventual muder-suicide of playwright Joe Orton and his lover.
Classic Akira Kurosawa film in which a rape-murder is described from four different perspectives by the four people involved. The film makes the point that reality is subjective and that truth, like beauty, is truly in the eye of the beholder.
River's Edge (1986)
A riveting film based on a true-life incident in which a young man kills his girlfriend and then shows the decomposing body to a series of friends. It takes days before one of his friends finally notifies authorities about the murder.
Santa Sangre (1989)
A controversial, but unquestioningly powerful Jodorowsky film about a boy growing up in bizarre circumstances. There are strong themes of violence and incest. Roger Ebert called this film "a collision between Freud and Fellini."
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Tremendous John Huston film starring Humphrey Bogart. The movie explores excessive greed, the folly of avarice, and the ways in which the love of money can come to be the dominant force in one's life. Bogart's character is an example of a paranoid personality disorder.
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Film based on a true story about a sociopathic young man who takes up with a 15-year-old girl and goes on a killing spree. The film effectively portrays the lack of guilt and remorse that in part defines the antisocial personality.
Beautiful Dreamers (1992)
True story about poet Walt Whitman's visit to an asylum in London, Ontario. Whitman is shocked by what he sees and persuades the hospital director to offer humane treatment. Eventually, the patients wind up playing the townspeople in a game of cricket.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)
German expressionistic film about hypnosis and the power of the hypnotist to induce others to do his bidding. One of the earliest presentations of the madman who runs a psychiatric hospital.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Fascinating interpretation of Anthony Burgess' novel. The portrayal of aversion therapy is somewhat heavy-handed but raises legitimate questions about the appropriate limits of behavior modification.
Face to Face (1976)
Liv Ullmann plays a psychiatrist whose life is falling apart. She attempts suicide by taking an overdose of pills and winds up in a coma. Interesting dream sequences with Bergman's usual presumption of childhood trauma as the trigger for adult unhappiness.
Fear Strikes Out (1957)
Anthony Perkins as baseball player Jimmy Piersall, who suffers a mental breakdown as a result of his inability to please a domineering, demanding father. Piersall was successfully treated with psychotherapy and ECT and eventually staged a comeback.
A Fine Madness (1966)
Sean Connery plays Samson Shillito, an eccentric and unconventional poet who is hospitalized and lobotomized because of his sexual peccadilloes and the fact that he can't conform to societal expectations. The film was ahead of its time in raising important issues about the rights of people with mental illness.
A vivid portrayal of the life of actress Frances Farmer, including her institutionalization, lobotomy, and alcoholism.
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Robin Williams won an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role as a counseling psychologist teaching at a community college and treating a troubled man who is extraordinarily gifted mathematically.
Home of the Brave (1949)
Black soldier suffers a mental breakdown and is treated by a sympathetic psychiatrist. One of the first films to deal honestly with racism and bigotry.
A Rob Tregenza film about life in a psychiatric hospital that was well received at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. The film documents that both the patients and the staff had to cope with the difficult demands of life.
King of Hearts (1966)
A Scotsman separated from his unit wanders into town, abandoned by all except the inmates of a local insane asylum. Must-see film for those interested in attitudes about mental illness.
Ladybird, Ladybird (1993)
Dramatic presentation of the clash between the rights of a parent and society's need to protect children.
Man Facing Southeast (1986)
Fascinating Argentine film about a man without identity who shows up at a psychiatric hospital claiming to be from another planet. It seems that this is not just another patient, and neither the hospital staff nor the film's audience ever figure out exactly what is happening.
In the early 1800s, the inmates of a French asylum put on a play directed by the Marquis de Sade (a patient) and based on the bathtub assassination of Jean-Paul Marat. The play incites the patients to riot.
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Classic film with Jack Nicholson as Randle P. McMurphy, who takes on Nurse Ratched and the psychiatric establishment. The film offers good insight into the life on an inpatient ward, although the portrayal of ECT is stereotyped and inaccurate; in addition the suicide of Billy seems to be simplistically linked to his domineering mother. This film took all five top Oscars in 1975: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.
Pressure Point (1962)
A black psychiatrist (Sidney Poitier) treats a racist patient (Bobby Darin). Based on a case from Linder's The Fifty-Minute Hour.
William Friedkin film about an apparent sociopath who is arrested and tried for murder. The film raises important questions about capital punishment, the not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) plea, and the role of the expert witness in the courtroom.
Ingrid Bergman plays a psychiatrist treating Gregory Peck's amnesia.
Through a Glass, Darkly (1962)
Classic Bergman film that follows the life of a mentally ill woman after she is treated with ECT and released from a mental hospital.
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