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Bedlam

Bedlam (1946)

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No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0

audience

55

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 1,639

My Rating

Movie Info

R,

Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense

William Hogarth, Val Lewton

Cast

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All Critics (16) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (2) | DVD (2)

Nicholas Musaraca's excellent cinematography contributes a number of fine effects, and there's a strange and witty aside on the invention of movies.

November 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While the film has a tendency to wander into unadulterated Hollywoodisms in spots, it is a generally straight-forward and imaginative estimate of a two-century-old sociological theme.

March 25, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Robson's notably unpoetic direction doesn't help, either; yet few Hollywood films ever had such ambition.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A weak end to a great career [for producer Val Lewton], but not, in and of itself, a bad movie.

November 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Lewton had something to say. Perhaps inevitably, he found less interesting ways of saying it over the course of nine films in a short four years.

October 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

The feminist-political fable is couched in absorbing grey zones

September 5, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Another strong chiller from brilliant producer Val Lewton.

November 14, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

As a sociological tract it's right on the money, as a psychological thriller it wanders at times too far away from the money.

October 31, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Notable only for a nuanced performance by Boris Karloff.

September 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

A fine feature in the Val Lewton series for RKO is not so much a horror film, though it does contain one of Karloff's more deliciously sadistic performances.

February 6, 2006
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

One of Val Lewton's final films, this collaboration with Boris Karloff is also one of his most tragically underrated.

October 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Creepy doings with Karloff amok in asylum.

November 1, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Last gasp in the famed Lewton horrors. Frankly, pretty dull.

August 11, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The film's single most resonant image -- that of the grasping arms of the Bedlam inmates straining to reach through the bars of their cells -- has inspired countless other movies.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Creepy, atmospheric, yet underrated Val Lewton thriller.

October 9, 2002
San Francisco Examiner

Audience Reviews for Bedlam

an interesting film, more a gothic costume drama than horror and producer val lewton's last film for rko. the story takes place in st mary bethlehem in london, a notorious madhouse. in the 18th century people were allowed to visit 'the loonies' as they were known and the hospital was a popular tourist attraction. anna lee plays an opinionated woman who objects to boris karloff's treatment of his patients and ends by being committed herself. the story was inspired by william hogarth's paintings of bedlam in the rake's progress and some of his works are used in the film. altho not nearly as lurid as it could have been it was banned in britain for many years. conditions for the mentally ill improved in the following century due to the efforts of the quakers and reaction to the madness of king george III
February 23, 2011
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Although it sounds like a good story, it isn't such a good movie. The only good actor is Karloff, and the movie is somewhat strange and somewhat boring.
October 21, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

Bedlam isn't the traditional Val Lewton flick, heavy on style and atmosphere to carry a bare bones script. Bedlam is more of a movie that showcases the past ills of society so they're never repeated. It's basically an Upton Sinclair treatment for mental institutions with Boris Karloff as the rotten warden of the asylum. The first half of Bedlam is pretty damn dull but once Anna Lee's character gets committed things pick up slightly. Don't expect much temperamental beauty once inside; just a few mildly entertaining characters. Bring a book...
July 3, 2010
mjgildea

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Bedlam (1946) (DE)
  • Bedlam (UK)
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