Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (7)
| Top Critics (2)
| Fresh (7)
| Rotten (0)
| DVD (2)
It makes no compromise with the shocking facts as presented in the novel. The result is a drama that builds to a fever pitch of tension and holds itself there with superlative artistry.
It's entertaining enough in a hysterical sort of way, even if it never matches up to the excesses of Fuller's later Shock Corridor.
[Olivia] de Havilland does as much as she can with what she's given.
This remains one of the best screen explorations of mental illness and its treatment.
As one of Hollywood's first "serious" chronicles of life in an asylum, the film is uneven, containing some intelligent observations but also lurid sequences and simplistic psychological explanations.
For the audience of today, the primary draw of the picture is watching Olivia de Havilland deliver a particularly terrifying performance.
An underrated gem. It's all about the performance and de Havilland's is utterly brilliant!
Olivia de Haviland gives a brilliant performance as Virginia Stuart Cunningham, a young woman committed to a mental institution after a "nervous breakdown".
This is one of the first flims to deal with mental illness on a serious adult level, and it is sometimes sad and sometimes harrowing to watch. Virginia spends several months in various wards of the hospital -- the higher the ward number, the worse off you are -- moving up and down in wards as she recovers and then relapses. She receives treatment such as hydrotherapy and shock treatments, which are treated much more gingerly that most other, more graphic, examples in other films.
While the plot of this film is interesting, what held my attention were the other patients in minor roles and background. Various mental illnesses and symptoms are featured, including bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia and paranoia, delusions of grandeur, aural hallucinations and persecution. To know that there are people all over the world who suffer as these women did in this film is painful to imagine.
The film is a slower version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, without the black humor. And it does move slow at times, when the doctor is explaining in detail the possible explanations for Virginia's illness. The only thing that keeps it from being five stars is the slightly manipulative scene between Virginia and Hester, the distrustful mute girl Virginia has befriended, and a few times when de Havilland fell back into the posturing that so many actresses in the 40s adopted. Otherwise, director Anatole Litvak should be commended for this fine film.
Few performances have equaled the raw power of Olivia de Havilland's in The Snake Pit. In the film, de Havilland plays Virginia, a young woman who suffers a mental breakdown and is committed to psychiatric hospital. We follow her treatment, diagnosis, and suffering as she climbs out of and falls back into the snake pit (in ancient times, the film explains, an insane person was lowered into a pit of snakes, the rationale being any sane person would be driven insane by the process, thus the opposite would occur for the insane). De Havilland is so amazing it's easy to overlook the story (which is quite well-written) or the direction (which is also amazing). In spite of all this, the film only won one oscar, for best sound recording. In the history of classic film, this one can get lost in the shuffle, and that's a shame.
a gritty olivia de havilland performance to breakthru her cuttie pie image in the swashbuckler flicks with errol flynn...she plays a mental patient with electra complex and also suffers from the lack of maternal love....her lovely pupils are permeated with hapless dread that seemes sympathetically adorable. even disheveled with un-combed hair, miss de havilland still reserves her ingenune beauty even when she tries to de-glamourize herself. the loving husband and the gracious doctor serve good flat characters with stereotyped father-figure ideals that enhance her neediness of paternal affections.
it's a bona-fide illustration of freud psychology for those who take great interest in such field and those who don't mislike his dated staleness in his analogy of parental fixation. somehow "the snake pit" reminds me of the classic psychoanalysis novella called "i never promised you a rose garden" by hanna green. three stars all applauded for our dear olivia who still gleams with demure kindness even as an insane woman. academically speaking, the snake pit is quite a refined metaphor for an awaken mental patient suddenly discovers that she's confined in a nut house with lunatics.
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