6.9/10
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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 »

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Writers:

(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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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 May 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chamber of Horrors  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Contrary to popular belief the film was never banned in the UK. However despite some TV showings it was never submitted to the BBFC until 1998 where it received an uncut video PG video certificate. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Featured in Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not Really A Horror Movie
10 July 2005 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

As a child in the 1970s I always used to look forward to the Summer months when BBC 2 used to have horror double bills in the late evenings . These would usually feature the Universal Frakenstien and Dracula franchise along with some other movies like THEM , THE MUMMY and occasionally a Hammer horror . I do remember seeing a Boris Karloff movie called BEDLAM and thought that it only qualified as a horror movie because of Karloff and after seeing it again tonight it's obvious that it's not a horror film , more of a dark period drama

Taken on its own BEDLAM isn't a bad movie though it's by no means a great one either . The uneven quality probably is probably due to the star billing taking precedence over the story which is something of a pity . Yeah okay Karloff can exude menace but the story doesn't really pick up until we're introduced to the main plot of Nell being interned in the notorious lunatic asylum and this doesn't happen till half way through the movie . Until then we've got to put up with long talky scenes with characters speaking in rather irritating mid Atlantic accents . The rather dated feel surrounding mental health doesn't help either since the heroine describes the inmates as " Loonies " even though she doesn't mean any malice and I don't know if it's deliberate but someone seems to have confused sanity with intelligence . Does knowing the alphabet and being able to count mark you out as being sane ?

I couldn't help noticing a very interesting subtext when the main plot takes off and that's that the movie sides with pacifist quaker philosophy . In 1946 the Western World had united to help defeat that Hitler chappie and rightly or wrongly this could only have been achieved through the violence of war . Are the producers sticking up for pacifist ideals ? Probably not and it's open to interpretation but I think BEDLAM is analogy for the Soviet Union where people of all faiths were imprisoned in psychiatric hospitals . It should also be remembered that a year previously the Soviet Union and the West were brothers in arms united in their opposition to Hitler which may explain the somewhat confused moral message of the movie


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