Sybil (1976) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sybil (1976)






Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The multiple award-winning made-for-TV movie Sybil was based on the book by Flora Rheta Schreiber. Sally Field won an Emmy for her portrayal of the title character, a substitute teacher in New York who has developed multiple personality disorder. As a coping mechanism to deal with the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother, Hattie (Martine Bartlett), Sybil created separate personalities: aggressive Peggy Lou, suicidal Mary, baby Sybil Ann, and several others. Joanne Woodward plays Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, the psychologist who diagnoses Sybil's condition and helps her to get over it. William Prince and Jane Hoffman play her father and stepmother, while Brad Davis appears as her would-be boyfriend Richard. Originally shown in 1976 as a two-part special on NBC for a total of almost four hours, but most home video versions have been edited down to two hours.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Television
Directed By: ,
Written By: Flora Rheta Schreiber, Stewart Stern
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 23, 2006
Lorimar Productions

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Sally Field
as Sybil Dorsett
Joanne Woodward
as Dr. Cornelia Wilbur
Brad Davis
as Richard J. Loomis
Penelope Allen
as Miss Penny
Tommy Crebbs
as Matthew Loomis
Jane Hoffman
as Frieda Dorsett
Charles Lane
as Dr. Quinoness
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Sybil

Audience Reviews for Sybil

Apparently I was attracted towards the movie for it being based on a real life event, only to realize later that it actually may not have been. Anyway, I'm not in the mood of suing anyone. Besides, I'm satisfied by the piece put together more than less. The disorder was presented quite realistically, only if it was for too many identities to reveal. Sally Field portrays the character masterfully, and she earned her Emmy award for it. Woodward playing Dr. Wilbur cum keeper cum detective was where I found it being fishy (however, not the only instance for that matter). The main attraction, for me, was Mattie. Barlett was very rightly chosen for the evil character carrying an incredibly scary face. This was no horror movie, but the look/make-up of her face (including her genuine smile) and her performance were terrific enough to leave a terrifying effect in one's mind. All in all, it's worth a watch, provided you've time enough for it (I ignored it for over a month due to its runtime exceeding 3 hours).

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

Sybil: Don't you dare tell, or I'll fix it so you ain't got nothin' to tell with. 

Sybil is a movie that definitely has that tv feel to it. It isn't overly well made and is not an incredible movie on the subject. But the subject is extremely interesting and that is what makes the film watchable throughout. Sally Fields does a good job playing a variety of personalities through one person.

The story is the true story of a woman whose childhood was so awful that she had to escape into other personalities. We see a few of them in the movie, but it is known that there were at least 13 of them. We slowly learn why Sybil is the way she is as she does. A psychiatrist makes her remember all of the horrible things that happened to her as a child in order for her to get better.

I would like to see a new movie made on Sybil's life. A movie that goes deeper into her personalities and her childhood, that isn't made for tv. But being that this one is a made for tv film, it isn't all that bad.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer


Excellent performance by Sally Field!

Jameson Worley

Super Reviewer

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