Critics Consensus

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



Reviews Counted: 131

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 14,508


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.3/5

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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

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Hugh Dancy
as Mortimer Granville
Maggie Gyllenhaal
as Charlotte Dalrymple
Felicity Jones
as Emily Dalrymple
Jonathan Pryce
as Dr. Robert Dalrymple
Rupert Everett
as Edmund St. John-Smythe
Anna Chancellor
as Mrs. Bellamy
Gemma Jones
as Lady St. John-Smythe
Malcolm Rennie
as Lord St. John-Smythe
Kim Criswell
as Mrs. Castellari
Georgie Glen
as Mrs. Parsons
Linda Woodhall
as Nurse Smalley
Kimberly Selby
as Lady Wheaton
John Overstall
as Mr. Huddleston
Anne Comfort
as Mrs. Huddleston
Jonathan Rhodes
as PC Fugate
Jules Werner
as Jack the Coal Man
Maggie McCarthy
as Mrs. Copeland
Perry Blanks
as Prison Guard
Tobias Menzies
as Mrs. Squyers
David Schaal
as Tough Guy
Nicholas Woodeson
as Dr. Richardson
Joan Linder
as Dispensary Old Woman Patient
Dominic Borrelli
as Worker at Edmunds
Jimmy de Brabant
as Major Domo
Kate Linder
as Lady Cherwell
Corinna Marlowe
as Lady Perrigott
Sylvia Strange
as Queen Victoria
Jack Kelly
as Footman 1
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News & Interviews for Hysteria

Critic Reviews for Hysteria

All Critics (131) | Top Critics (33)

  • Gyllenhaal rises above the tedium; sadly, not far enough. Great English accent, though.

    Sep 20, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    David Cox

    Top Critic
  • Director Tanya Wexler plays things broadly at times, but "Hysteria" has good fun with history while coming off far more wholesome than salacious.

    Jun 15, 2012 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • Its 95 minutes move along nicely, and Everett - languid as a cat in a sunbeam - makes his too-brief scenes into master classes of comedy.

    Jun 14, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • As a sex-education comedy, "Hysteria" is flaccid, forced and unfunny.

    Jun 8, 2012 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • The problem with "Hysteria" is that it keeps patting itself and us on the back for knowing better.

    Jun 7, 2012 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • Hysteria never gets too preachy or ponderous, and there's something in the film to educate even the most learned viewer.

    Jun 7, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4

Audience Reviews for Hysteria


A young rebel of a British doctor in turn-of-the-century London gets a new job in a prestigious clinic: caring for the many middle-aged women who're subject to various maladies - all directly related to hysteria. It's a loaded jumping off point for a very interesting tale but this production handles the imagined difficulties with aplomb and charm, ably supplied by the cast who perform with nary a sniggering giggle between them (except for when called for).

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


This delightful British comedy about the invention of the first vibrator in the medical treatment of female hysteria in the Victorian Era is a very funny film that benefits from an elegant dialogue, a sharp cast and a perfect chemistry between Dancy and Gyllenhaal.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


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.
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
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

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