54 user 33 critic

Bedlam (1946)

Approved | | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 10 May 1946 (USA)
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 »


Airs Sat. Oct. 29, 9:00 AM on TCM

2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

On a Greek island during the 1912 war, several people are trapped by quarantine for the plague. If that isn't enough worry, one of the people, a superstitious old peasant woman, suspects ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Boris Karloff, Ellen Drew, Marc Cramer
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A ruthless doctor and his young prize student find themselves continually harassed by their murderous supplier of illegal cadavers.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Henry Daniell
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A seemingly tame leopard used for a publicity stunt escapes and kills a young girl, spreading panic throughout a sleepy new Mexico town.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Margo, Jean Brooks
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman in search of her missing sister uncovers a Satanic cult in New York's Greenwich Village, and finds that they may have something to do with her sibling's random disappearance.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Kim Hunter, Tom Conway, Jean Brooks
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Tom Merriam signs on the ship Altair as third officer under Captain Stone. At first things look good, Stone sees Merriam as a younger version of himself and Merriam sees Stone as the first ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Richard Dix, Russell Wade, Edith Barrett
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The young, friendless daughter of Oliver and Alice Reed befriends her father's dead first wife and an aging, reclusive actress.

Directors: Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise
Stars: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Canadian nurse is hired to care for the wife of a sugar plantation owner, who has been acting strangely, on a Caribbean island.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison
Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After hapless pianist and ex-con John Elman is framed for murder, he is resurrected by a scientist after his execution.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Boris Karloff, Ricardo Cortez, Edmund Gwenn
The Black Cat (1934)
Adventure | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

American honeymooners in Hungary become trapped in the home of a Satan-worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners
Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When Dr. Savaard's experiment in cryonics is interrupted by the short-sighted authorities, his volunteer dies, and he is condemned to death. He vows vengeance if he can survive his own hanging.

Director: Nick Grinde
Stars: Boris Karloff, Lorna Gray, Robert Wilcox
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Englishmen race to find the tomb of Genghis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr. Fu Manchu is also searching, and if he gets the mysteriously powerful relics, he and ... See full summary »

Directors: Charles Brabin, Charles Vidor
Stars: Boris Karloff, Lewis Stone, Karen Morley
Lured (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A serial killer in London is murdering young women whom he meets through the personal columns of newspapers; he announces each of his murders to the police by sending them a cryptic poem. ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: George Sanders, Lucille Ball, Charles Coburn


Complete credited cast:
Billy House ...
Richard Fraser ...
Glen Vernon ...
The Gilded Boy (as Glenn Vernon)
Oliver Todd (as Jason Robards)
Leyland Hodgson ...
That Devil Wilkes (as Leland Hodgson)
Joan Newton ...
Dorothea the Dove
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 <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Drama | Horror | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »




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?


Filmed July 18-late August 17 1945, the third and last collaboration between Boris Karloff and producer Val Lewton. 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 Trumbo (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Oh, the insanity!
17 February 2005 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

In 18th century London, Nell Bowen the protégé of Lord Mortimer is confined by the malicious asylum master, for voicing her concerns about the condition of the Bedlam asylum.

This is a pretty interesting horror film by RKO studios and producer Val Lewton. Director Mark Robson gives a reasonable job in the use of setting and characters, though it does have its flat spots and may lack suspense at times- but not enough to damage the film.

The performances are perfect with the ever-reliable Boris Karloff as the evil Master George Sims, which he brings such an evoking presence of macabre. Billy House as the pompous Lord Mortimer who is easily influence, fit's the role perfectly. Richard Fraser as the ever-helpful Hanny, who befriends Nell Bowen and tries to help her out on her quest. The best performance would have to be Anna Lee as Nell Bowen who brings a spirited and caring vibe to her character, she is disgusted in the way the upper class treat the mentally insane and tries to change that, especially when she learns a great deal about them when she is confined.

The story of the mental institution is quite interesting though at times the pace seems to be to padded- but when it focus on the manipulative Master Sims and the institution, especially when Nell is detained it has a disturbing aurora that draws you in, though nothing that shocking. The grim atmosphere, especially the asylum is really top-grade, the cinematography is alright- with great use of lighting and shadows and the music score is nothing spectacular- but just right.


16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Thought this was one of Karloff's better roles FlamRatamacues
Cute clanhar
Bedlam (2009) scouser84
Cockatoo's Rhyme For Milord robert-allison
Discuss Bedlam (1946) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: