Shock Corridor Reviews

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January 12, 2012
A tale of irony in the vein of EC comics, Shock Corridor is Samuel Fuller's work of genius and far ahead of its time. Fuller pulls some absolutely great performances out of his cast. Everyone delivers the goods. Each character is so wild and outlandish while the actors playing them still maintain believability. Peter Breck is outstanding in the lead. All of the patients are either hysterically funny or scary funny, from Stuart (Rosco P. Coltrane in a memorable role) on down to Pagliacci. But the real standout in the movie is Hari Rhodes in the role of Trent, the white supremecist. His flawless performance disturbs me (you'll know if you've seen the movie). He could be the best actor ever. What else can I say about this movie, it's an insanely perfect pulp piece. Shock Corridor is an unreal experience, film noir at its best, and truly a cult movie.
April 24, 2010
This 1963 film is harsh, grotesque, and violent-and, incidentally, brilliant in a very original way.
½ February 10, 2015
Another of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before... This was an actual grade B movie made by a famous director. It's inadvertently hilarious to watch. The only other film by Samuel Fuller I've seen was "The Big Red One" in 2004. Hard to believe that the same guy made these.
November 6, 2014
I really liked this movie. I thought it was going to be a pretty standard noir flick but once we get into the asylum it's both horrifying and hilarious. One thing that irked me about this story though was how the insane man at the end could write a pulitzer prize winning article when he's not even aware what's real and what's not, besides providing an ending that's both satisfying and alarming.
August 19, 2014
A rousing pulp narrative as much as a psychological showcase of a descent into madness, Shock Corridor is one of Sam Fuller's most impressive films. A film eons ahead of it's time in terms of style and subject matter, many might find it unbelievable that this type of American film existed before the dawn of New Hollywood. Shot with a keen eye for detail, along with occasional explanatory sequences that are done in full color, the film certainly exists as it is through Sam Fuller's background as a journalist, but he's also able to capture the film's more fantastic elements in a way that doesn't feel inappropriate. Funny, original, and ultimately tragic, Shock Corridor gives One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest a worthy adversary for the title of "Best Insane Asylum" movie.
½ March 31, 2014
Monday, March 31, 2014

(1963) Shock Corridor

Written and directed by Samuel Fuller, and despite the critical acclaimed rating, I just wanted to say that before I watched this movie, the ending had already been revealed to me way before I had even started watching it, meaning that the surprising ending effect, had been lost way before the movie was even over. Furthermore, the movie already made suggestions sometime at the beginning, about what viewers are going to expect in advanced. It regards an egotistical, ambitious journalist, Johnny Barrett (Peter Breck) attempting to solve an unsolved murder at a mental institution for the prestigious Pulitzer prize as his goal. He does this by pretending to act like one, for the intention of inquiring 3 specific mental patients who were said to be there when the murder occurred. What viewers are going to subject themselves to, are more than a hours worth of insane people screaming and babbling over nothing, just because this is what they do. There's a reason why I'm not a huge fan of these type of movies that dwell much of it's time in insane institutions, and this is precisely the reason. It is because, I as a sane viewer would have to subject myself to a considerable amount of time listening to actors/ actresses acting insane, even when viewers had already figured out the movie's point way before the movie is even over- it's like witnessing unnecessary additional scenes, just because it's supposed to be a two hour movie.

Footnote: Although, the movie is initially in black and white, it's dream sequences are in color.

2 out of 4 stars
½ November 27, 2013
Take it as a high-class B-Schlock Thriller with bouts of anger and societal analysis rather than authentic psychoanalysis or attempt at uncovering a murder mystery, and you'll be rewarded.
½ October 9, 2013
Clássico bastardo ou um série-B com toda a dignidade dos melhores série-A, "Shock Corridor" é também um filme capaz de deixar um inchaço na memória de quem o vê, seja em que altura for. Samuel Fuller, no auge das suas capacidades, demonstra aqui como é e sempre será um dos autores mais capazes de colocar os personagens como peças num xadrez complexo e depois fazer com que essa estrutura resista aos mais violentos safanões de uma narrativa que progride como uma volta na montanha-russa. Lançar questões sobre a paranóia, a desconfiança e a fricção entre ideologias é mais ou menos fácil. Fazê-lo com esta classe e sem nunca entornar a feijoada é que não. Mas uma só vez não basta para apreciar "Shock Corridor" até porque deve haver mil maneiras de vê-lo. Além disso, é um dos poucos filmes em que é possível ver em acção o enorme Larry Tucker (que teria sido um actor muito mais solicitado se não fosse tão descaradamente obeso).
September 26, 2013
Super Reviewer
September 10, 2013
While the movie is watchable enough for its content, Peter Breck's acting was ridiculously overdone. Besides, the fillers were yawn-inducing. Appealing as its title is, the movie itself isn't. Watching once shouldn't hurt, though. In fact, like many others, you may even come to cherish it.
½ August 17, 2013
Bonkos in every way possible, but quite possibly one of the most subversive and ballsy social commentaries of all time.
March 11, 2010
A reporter seeking a Pulitzer prize goes undercover at a mental hospital to solve a murder. The attacks on his psyche begins to to take its toll and he finds himself falling into a mental breakdown.

This is a fantastic film, full of nightmarish imagery. Some films have beautiful and nice looking imagery, and this movie has the exact opposite. There are close ups with nice shadow, hallucinations, and all sorts of visual aids to show Johnny's descent into madness.

Constance Towers backs him up as his doting wife, but also has a few issues of her own. She has to pretend to be his sister and that he is in love with her, and is also a burlesque dancer who makes a few mistakes when it comes to his treatment at the facility.

Taking its time with the plot and slowly building up to its climax, Shock Corridor is a scary film even though its not a horror movie and it stretches its genre conventions for some excellent imagery and thrills.
April 6, 2013
It has its merits, yeah, but central plot and portrayal of mental conditions are painfully silly and ignorance-revealing.
April 1, 2013
This is one of Fuller's masterpieces (of which there are many). it was this point in the early sixties where Fuller's raw journalistic realism began to mix with a proto-psychedelic quality of which this film is a great example. The energy of the film is so powerful even after all of this time and he is able to make the film entertaining on a certain level but laden with so much metaphorical layers it requires multiple viewings over time. The photography by Stanley Cortez is pristine (though Fuller himself filmed the color dream sequences in 16mm). As usual Fuller was ahead of his time with this film, which stands as a testament to his unique artistic vision and approach. A true American cinematic masterpiece.
½ March 26, 2013
Fuller was a master at subverting audience expectation and no where is that more evident than in 'Shock Corridor'. What begins as a seemingly by-the-numbers detective thriller slowly evolves into something strange and surreal. An unhinged masterpiece.
March 9, 2013
A suspenseful tale of an ambitious journalist who infiltrates a mental hospital to scoop a story, only to lose his grip on sanity.
February 18, 2013
A classic B-movie plot, but with A-movie lighting, characters, and expertly placed color sequences. "Shock Corridor" was trying so hard to be a B-movie, it ended up being a pretty good A-movie.
January 6, 2013
I just revisited this. I'm reminded by how CRAZY this movie is. More than that, it features stunning cinematography and fantastic performances. Did I say that this movie is absolutely nuts? I love it.
½ September 27, 2012
It starts out like a typical 60's B-movie, but as the scenes unfold, you realize Fuller is up to something bigger than a murder mystery; while somewhat dated, a fascinating piece of cinema.
½ September 7, 2012
Another great movie from Samuel Fuller. Great theme of sanity and insanity not only play in the story and acting, but with each shot and lighting technique.
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