Titicut Follies (1967) - Rotten Tomatoes

Titicut Follies (1967)

Titicut Follies (1967)

Titicut Follies




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Frederick Wiseman made his documentary debut with this controversial 84-minute survey of conditions that existed during the mid-'60s at the State Prison for the Criminally Insane in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Made in 1967, the film was subjected to a worldwide ban until 1992 because the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that it was an invasion of inmate privacy. The film goes behind the walls to show stark and graphic images exposing the treatment of inmates by guards, social workers, and psychiatrists. The title refers to a musical revue staged by inmates and guards. Richard Schickel, writing in Life, stated, "The repulsive reality revealed in Titicut Follies forces us to contemplate our capacity for callousness." The documentary was cited as the "Best Film Dealing with the Human Condition" at the 1967 Festival Dei Popoli (Florence) and also honored as the "Best Film" at the 1967 Mannheim International Filmweek. Robert Coles (The New Republic) wrote, "After a showing of Titicut Follies the mind does not dwell on the hospital's ancient and even laughable physical plant, or its pitiable social atmosphere. What sticks, what really hurts is the sight of human life made cheap and betrayed." The story behind the complicated legal issues raised by this film and the attempts to suppress it are detailed by Carolyn Anderson and Thomas W. Benson in their book, Documentary Dilemmas: Frederick Wiseman's "Titicut Follies" (Southern Illinois University Press, 1991).more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 29, 2015
Bridgewater Film Productions


News & Interviews for Titicut Follies

Critic Reviews for Titicut Follies

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | January 23, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 23, 2005
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 23, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

[VIDEO ESSAY] Made during an era when mental hospitals dotted America's map like flies on manure, "Titicut Follies" presents an invaluable time capsule.

Full Review… | May 16, 2012

Time has not diminished its emotional impact.

Full Review… | November 14, 2005
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Titicut Follies

Shocking and full of precious footages, Titicus Follies it's a unique vision of tormented minds. An impacting film, which it's very important in all the years. Wiseman's disturbing documentary presents a terrific theme and teach to re-educate the psychologic system and the respect to the other person. Fresh.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Disturbing in ways that fiction only fantasizes to be. To imagine living in an asylum like this is extremely terrifying. The home movie style filming of the inmates and guards really makes it evident how surreal and relevant this documentary is. The wide range of patients is probably the most interesting aspect, you have some who clearly need to be there and others that are being held captive and kept quiet. I can see why it was banned, obviously, sometimes the truth is just a little too much for people to handle. Any fan of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest should definitely check this out, it's truly magnificent.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

Director Frederick Wiseman refrains from narrating a message to correspond with the images he depicts. He shapes the film in such a way that it feels as helpless, maddening and overwhelming as the material itself. There is profound sadness in this documentary. It is not something I will easily shake off or forget; I think it is some kind of masterpiece in its own way.

Mike T.

Super Reviewer

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