Bedlam (1946)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  10 May 1946 (USA)
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Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum (Bedlam). Encouraged by the Quaker Hannay, she tries... See full summary »



(suggested by The William Hogarth painting Bedlam Plate #8 "The Rake's Progress"), (screenplay) (as Carlos Keith) , 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Billy House ...
Richard Fraser ...
Glen Vernon ...
The Gilded Boy (as Glenn Vernon)
Jason Robards Sr. ...
Oliver Todd (as Jason Robards)
Leyland Hodgson ...
That Devil Wilkes (as Leland Hodgson)
Joan Newton ...
Dorothea the Dove
Elizabeth Russell ...
Mistress Sims


Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum (Bedlam). Encouraged by the Quaker Hannay, she tries to bring support to reforming Bedlam, but the cruel Master Sims who runs it has her committed there. The inmates, however, have the last say. Written by Ken Yousten <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sensational Secrets of Infamous Mad-house EXPOSED! (1946 one-sheet poster)


Drama | Horror | Thriller


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Release Date:

10 May 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chamber of Horrors  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The dress Anna Lee is wearing as she mounts her horse is the one Vivien Leigh made from the curtains in Gone with the Wind (1939). See more »


At the fête, the violinists are shown playing with 20th-century bows. See more »


Lord Mortimer: A capital fellow, this Sims, a capital fellow.
Nell Bowen: If you ask me, M'Lord, he's a stench in the nostrils, a sewer of ugliness, and a gutter brimming with slop.
See more »


Referenced in Goldfinger (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

Great acting by Boris Karloff ruling a mental hospital against hapless inmates
19 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

The film concerns upon a gorgeous heroine(Anna Lee) who 's falsely accused as nutty and wrongfully jailed in famous Bedlam asylum governed by an evil ruler (Boris Karloff) in England during 18th century .

Suspense , macabre and horror is exposed lurking , menacing , harassing in rooms, stairs , doors and reflected on the sensationalistic and cruel interpretation by Karloff . Over-the-top terror picture filled with thrills , intrigue , drama , some moments of shock and results to be pretty entertaining . Atmospheric goings-on dominate this typically tasteful horror study from director Mark Robson . Movie scenarios are based on William Hogarth paintings that imaginatively bring to life scenes about madhouse ; besides it has ideas adapted from Edgar Alan Poe writings , especially in its final conclusion . There is a certain social critical referred to horrible and revulsive conditions in which the nuts are forced to live .

The motion picture has a dark atmosphere created by Nicholas Musuruca (Stranger on third floor and Cat people) , he makes an awesome camera work , along with John Alton are the fundamental creators of Noir Film photography . As cinematography is magnificent , lights and dark are originating an eerie and creepy scenario . The movie was produced by RKO and the last of the famed Val Lewton films , the biggest producer of horror classics (Iwalked with a Zombie , Cat people , Leopard man , Ghost ship), plus he produced for director Mark Robson various films (Isle of the dead , Seventh victim) with similar technicians and artists . R.K.O. gave Val Lewton little budget to make the film , resulting in "creative" producing . In fact ; because of the incredibly tight budget, sets from other films were re-used . RKO usual musician ,Roy Webb , creates a fine score with the habitual musical director Bakaleinikoff . Excellent set design at charge of Albert D'Agostino . The picture was rightly directed by Mark Robson . Addicts of Karloff and horror should no account miss this movie . The flick will appeal to classic cinema moviegoers .

25 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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