Mental Hospital Sheds Image of Grim 'Snake Pit'

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THE SNAKE PIT (1948) trailer. Starring OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND.

The snake pit and mental illness

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D This looks like a good one! I completely harry anderson horse has diabetes with what you said, regarding the exploitation of the mentally ill in films, the snake pit and mental illness.

I also like "Radio" for the same reason. Thanks for the review! I feel that most movies exploit the mentally ill for laughs or cheap drama-fodder. I think I actually mentioned that in my article There is hardly a film that convincingly treats mental illness, much less from the inside.

I really find this article most interesting. If I can get just one person to watch a great forgotten film, then my work is done. Maybe we could exchange blog links? I will browse and surf through your writings by and by and I see a good number of familiar titles in your side bar. What a pleasure to share, the snake pit and mental illness, even virtually. Indeed, what a pleasure.

Be sure to leave comments! Just finished Clean, Shaven. The auditory hallucinations are well done and the best part is the compassionate, rather than voyeuristic or clinical viewpoint. I have to see it again because of the interest the topic holds. Do you understand what I mean by saying that every shot and sound is from HIS point of view? It deserves to be recognized. What was striking was the the primitiveness of the mental health system at the time portrayed.

Whether on the wrong side of the law or the arbiters of sanity, one tends to become a thing. The psychoanalysis and recovery seemed very naive. Well remember, it was only reflecting the medical advancements and cures available at the time. It really articulates deep forlornness, abandonment and despair.

But one of the problem of the mentally sick is so called shallowness of affect, inability to feel things deeply. I remember a guy who dreaded nothing more than losing his emotions. That bit where she is deceived into being captured and then thrown into the "pit" is quite terrifying, but the picture of the "pit" with all those bizarre types was more medieval than modern. But I guess it represents a reality which still exists.

There seems to be an unfortunate tendency to treat the mentally sick as subhuman. How horrifying to be straitjacketed--it would be a shot nowadays. You have correctly observed that what takes away the power of the film is the happy ending, but that is what makes it bearable.

As a picture of mental illness, it is vague, generalised, non-specific and shallow. Putting the garland of insanity around a glamorous glorifies something that is actually endlessly bleak and hopeless. I know exactly what you mean. But you need to understand, the mentally ill CAN feel things. What they feel and how they feel it are what makes them crazy. A sociopath may not feel anything if he kills 20 people in cold blood. But if his the snake pit and mental illness cat gets sick, it could throw him into a month long depression.

All in all, it was a fantastic film. It may have seemed exploitative at times. But you need to remember that it was a reflection of how mental asylums actually were back then, even in a country as advanced as the United States of America. But if his pet cat gets sick, it could throw him into a month long depression. Remember Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs.?

I can never watch this film again. Though it is superb and it has a happy ending with moments of joy, the mood is really depressing! The audience is seeing how a system is brutally treating this person, and after a few moments of that, it can get sort of disturbing that it stays in your mind. Especially that mean nurse with the typewriter scene By the way, what happened when the doctor discovered the nurse caused psychological abuse?

Maybe he broke up with her causing her to become The snake pit and mental illness. Great review, I think De Havilland is a criminally underrated actor actually! Did you know that you can create short urls with LinkShrink and make cash for every visit to your short links. A very thoughtful review of an unfairly overlooked film. Saw it a few days ago, and was highly impressed. It speaks volumes when Olivia said this was her favourite film, yet it is rarely shown on TV Where Forgotten Films Dwell Welcome to this site!

It exists for one reason: Take a seat, read an entry, leave a comment. You might the snake pit and mental illness your new favorite movie! Saturday, August 28, The Snake Pit. Directed by Anatole Litvak The United States of America Hollywood has always had a tenuous grasp of subjects dealing with mental illnesses. Sure, they herald those films that deal with the insane and disabled as ground-breaking and monumental.

An old Hollywood joke is that the only guaranteed way to win an Oscar in to play a retard. And yet, Hollywood, and the world film community at large, never really seems to agree how mental illness should be depicted.

Other films, usually character studies like The Rain Man and A Beautiful Mindexploit their mentally challenged characters for laughs or tears. So film-makers treat the mentally ill as spectacles to observe and study.

The best films about mental illness are those that model themselves after the characters that the snake pit and mental illness portray. In other words, it did not win any Oscars, the snake pit and mental illness.

There have been other films to explore insanity in the same manner long before Clean, Shaven. We are introduced to a young married woman named Virginia Cunningham Olivia de The snake pit and mental illness who has been committed to a mental hospital after suffering a serious mental breakdown.

We follow her as she attempts to regain her sanity and her memory from before the breakdown. At the start, she cannot even remember who she is, where she is, and even how she got there. She is forced to share accommodations with other, sicker, patients.

Some are amiable and easy to get along with, like the old woman who lives under the delusion that she is a wealthy debutante. Others are more violent and terrifying, the snake pit and mental illness, like the woman named Marty who strangles anyone who touches her. Incredibly, none of the actresses in the film were real inmates. The patients were played by expert character actors who had studied real patients in mental institutions for a period of three months prior to filming.

Nobody took their research more seriously than Havilland who yeast infections and arthritis in on lengthy therapy sessions, watched hydrotherapy and electric shock treatments, and attended social functions held for the patients. The effect in the film is so realistic that if not for the non-linear storytelling, the snake pit and mental illness, The Snake Pit could almost be confused with a dramatized documentary.

The censors were also quick to add that British mental hospitals were very different from the ones depicted in the film. Although her sessions with kind Dr. Mark Kik are helpful and soothing, she is always callously dismissed to return to the mercies of the attending nurses. Some take obvious pleasure in administering painful treatments to Virginia. The idea behind the sinister treatment was the belief that just as a normal person could be shocked into insanity, an insane person can be shocked back into sanity rash and arthritis placed in an environment that was hostile wellbutrin xl and hair loss Relief for Virginia comes in brief breaks between the dual nightmares of incarceration in the asylum and her own the snake pit and mental illness. When she was young she was involved in a car accident that killed her father, leaving her to be raised by her strict and virtually uncaring mother.

Virginia feels great guilt over the accident because she was the one who asked her dad to take her for a drive. When she was antibacterial water treatment for turtles by her boyfriend with a marriage proposal, her deep-seated grief and guilt drove her to madness.

Only when she accepts her role as a mother and wife does her life regain some semblance of normalcy. Therefore, the snake pit and mental illness, the film makes a powerful statement that only those who act the way society wants us to can be considered sane. But remember that The Snake Pit was filmed in when psychiatric cures were still relatively crude.

In moments of pain or psychotic intensity, the camera becomes more violent and wild. For instance, the scene when Virginia has a relapse and is cruelly thrust into the snake pit is a masterpiece of timing, editing, and shot construction, the snake pit and mental illness.

At first, the camera follows Virginia around as she weaves in and out of the deliriously insane, trying feebly to escape their safety and efficacy of hormones. As the camera pulls further back, the patients shrink until they are tiny dots ripping each other apart in an inescapable confinement.

Without using a single special effect or trick shot, a room of living human beings is literally transformed into a snake pit. Just as movies usually had to back in the Forties, there is a happy ending. Virginia is cured, reunited with her husband, and leaves the cursed institution.

The film was such an eye-opener to the public that it launched reform movements to change conditions in mental hospitals the snake pit and mental illness twenty-six states. Using what knowledge they had available at the time, Anatole Litvak and his colleagues created a genre defining film that caused positive change throughout society.

Few films have ever achieved an impact so pronounced.


The snake pit and mental illness