31 July 2001 | sobaok
Excellent 1935 Film on Psychiatry Has Contemporary Feel
Gregory LaCava directs a sensitive and thought-provoking film about the relationships among the staff and patients in a mental hospital circa 1935. The team efforts of psychiatrists Claudette Colbert and Joel McCrea and threatened when misogynistic head honcho Charles Boyer appears on the scene. He feels Colbert has no place in a man's profession. His eyes are soon opened as he witnesses Colbert's skill and no-how with the patients. Provoking questions are injected here and there (ie., McCrea states that he feels there's no difference between sanity and insanity -- everyone moves within their own "private world"). The film has a humanistic and sensitive approach to the subject -- I felt involved and challanged by this films propositions. Excellent support is provided by Helen Vinson as Boyer's sister with a dark past. Joan Bennett is also on hand as the sweet wife of McCrea balancing the delicate mental world of a woman being "cheated" on by her husband. This is another Paramount film that seems to be forever lost to TV or video. Check those private collectors lists -- this film is worth having.