Hysteria (2012)



Critic Consensus: Hysteria has an amusing subject but its winking, vaguely sarcastic tone doesn't do the movie any favors.

Movie Info

Hysteria is a romantic comedy with an accomplished cast led by Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones and Rupert Everett, that tells an untold tale of discovery - the surprising story of the birth of the electro-mechanical vibrator at the very peak of Victorian prudishness. -- (C) Sony Classics

Rating: R (for sexual content)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Jonah Lisa Dyer, Stephen Dyer
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 18, 2012
Box Office: $1.8M
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site


as Mortimer Granville

as Charlotte Dalrymple

as Emily Dalrymple

as Dr. Robert Dalrymple

as Edmund St. John-Smyt...

as Mrs. Bellamy

as Lady St. John-Smythe

as Lord St. John-Smythe

as Mrs. Castellari

as Mrs. Parsons

as Nurse Smalley

as Lady Wheaton

as Mr. Huddleston

as Mrs. Huddleston

as PC Fugate

as Jack the Coal Man

as Mrs. Copeland

as Prison Guard

as Mrs. Squyers

as Tough Guy

as Dr. Richardson

as Dispensary Old Woman...

as Worker at Edmunds

as Major Domo

as Lady Cherwell

as Lady Perrigott

as Queen Victoria

as Footman 1
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News & Interviews for Hysteria

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Critic Reviews for Hysteria

All Critics (120) | Top Critics (33)

It's the writing that sinks Hysteria, and there's no machine that can alleviate that.

Full Review… | July 11, 2015
Film Threat

A lame love triangle, suffragist speechifying and a wee bit of coy tittering regarding ladies' private parts.

Full Review… | May 3, 2015
Philadelphia Weekly

When you think of vibrators, 'charming' probably isn't the first word that comes to mind.

Full Review… | March 4, 2013
Concrete Playground

Given the allure of learning the origins of something as buzzworthy as the vibrator, Hysteria provides just enough pleasures to give it a pass.

Full Review… | October 22, 2012

Don't be fooled by the period costumes and British accents, Hysteria is as obvious and pandering as comedies get.

Full Review… | October 2, 2012

The film's light-hearted fictionalising of real events combines a mild feminist history lesson with mildly saucy fun.

Full Review… | October 2, 2012
Movie Talk

Audience Reviews for Hysteria


An entertaining light comedy with tasteful handling of an otherwise "raunchy" subject. Hugh Dancy, and Rupert Everett are wonderfully charming, and add much needed quirkiness to an otherwise average film. I am NOT a Maggie Gyllenhaal fan, and I think that I would have preferred someone else in her role. I tried hard not to let that distract me from the movie...

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

He created an invention that turned on half the world.

Good movie! "Hysteria" is an exuberantly charming romantic comedy, yes, but it's also a surprisingly compelling depiction of a world in transition, when tradition was being challenged by progressive behaviors and technologies. Whether the story is really entirely true or not as it claims or is just a tale of manners, sex and modern sensibilities I don't know. But it is attractive, light and jolly good fun. Everything about Hysteria from casting to the acting, the costumes, the scenery... you name it, all was top notch.

In Victorian London, Dr. Mortimer Granville, a young doctor struggles to establish himself. He is hired by a doctor to investigate treatments for women diagnosed with female hysteria using 'pelvic massage'. The doctor's two daughters develop an interest in the young Dr. Granville, each tempting to woo him.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer


Funny and charming but tiresome. Hysteria has an interesting premise but very little hanging from it's coattails.

The film garnishes most of it's laughs by drawing contrast from the audience's 21st century sentimentality. Unfortunately, It's a one trick pony that soon loses it's punch about halfway through.

What we're then left with to enjoy is a most generic period-romance that's sooo formulaic and exhaustingly familiar you can't help but feel little to no effort was put into the movie at all.

Drake Tsui
Drake Tsui

Super Reviewer

Hysteria Quotes

– Submitted by Ging S (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Ging S (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)

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