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Critic Reviews for Bedlam
Nicholas Musaraca's excellent cinematography contributes a number of fine effects, and there's a strange and witty aside on the invention of movies.
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.
Robson's notably unpoetic direction doesn't help, either; yet few Hollywood films ever had such ambition.
Was there ever a star who played sadistic men with as much relish as Boris Karloff?
Why the Brits banned this creepily effective Boris Karloff thriller for fifty years is unclear.
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
A very poor story executed decently. Tries to be a horror film at times and tries to be a politcal statement at times, while shoehorning in a love story. It fails at becoming any of these, but it does have some pretty decent scenes - mostly the ones with Karloff (of course).
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.
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