IMDb > Bedlam (1946)
Bedlam
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Bedlam (1946) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.9/10   2,205 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
William Hogarth (suggested by The William Hogarth painting Bedlam Plate #8 "The Rake's Progress")
Val Lewton (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Bedlam on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 May 1946 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Sensational Secrets of Infamous Mad-house EXPOSED! (1946 one-sheet poster)
Plot:
Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(15 articles)
Remembering Boris Karloff
 (From Den of Geek. 30 January 2013, 2:16 AM, PST)

Top Ten Tuesday – The Best of Boris Karloff
 (From WeAreMovieGeeks.com. 31 July 2012, 7:22 PM, PDT)

Fight for Horror Supremacy Week 5 – The Results Are In
 (From SoundOnSight. 1 November 2011, 10:23 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
COMMITTED! See more (51 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Boris Karloff ... Master George Sims

Anna Lee ... Nell Bowen
Billy House ... Lord Mortimer
Richard Fraser ... The Stonemason
Glen Vernon ... The Gilded Boy (as Glenn Vernon)

Ian Wolfe ... Sidney Long
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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Polly Bailey ... Scrub Woman (uncredited)
John Beck ... Solomon (uncredited)
Hamilton Camp ... Pompey (voice) (uncredited)
Robert Clarke ... Dan the Dog (uncredited)

Ellen Corby ... Queen of the Artichokes (uncredited)
Frankie Dee ... Pompey (uncredited)
Bruce Edwards ... The Warder (uncredited)
Betty Gillette ... Minor Role (uncredited)
John Goldsworthy ... Chief Commissioner (uncredited)
Harry Harvey ... John Gray (uncredited)
Lars Hensen ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Vic Holbrook ... Tom the Tiger (uncredited)
George Holmes ... 2nd Stonemason (uncredited)
John Ince ... Judge (uncredited)
Jimmy Jordan ... 3rd Stonemason (uncredited)
Skelton Knaggs ... Varney (uncredited)
Donna Lee ... Cockney Girl (uncredited)
Nan Leslie ... Cockney Girl (uncredited)
James Logan ... Bailiff (uncredited)
John Meredith ... 1st Maniac (uncredited)

Tommy Noonan ... 1st Stonemason (uncredited)
Frank Pharr ... 2nd Commissioner (uncredited)
Foster H. Phinney ... Lord Sandwich (uncredited)
Robert Seiter ... John the Footman (uncredited)
Victor Travers ... Sims' Friend (uncredited)
Larry Wheat ... Podge (uncredited)

Directed by
Mark Robson 
 
Writing credits
William Hogarth (suggested by The William Hogarth painting Bedlam Plate #8 "The Rake's Progress")

Val Lewton (screenplay) (as Carlos Keith) and
Mark Robson (screenplay)

Produced by
Jack J. Gross .... executive producer
Val Lewton .... producer
 
Original Music by
Roy Webb 
 
Cinematography by
Nicholas Musuraca (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Lyle Boyer 
 
Art Direction by
Albert S. D'Agostino 
Walter E. Keller 
 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Edward Stevenson (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Mel Berns .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Doran Cox .... assistant director
 
Art Department
John Sturtevant .... set designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Terry Kellum .... sound
Jean L. Speak .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Vernon L. Walker .... special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Harold E. Stine .... transparency projection shots (uncredited)
 
Music Department
C. Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
Gil Grau .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Earl B. Mounce .... music mixer (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
79 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:G | Finland:K-16 (1986) | Netherlands:18 (re-rating) (1955) (passed with cuts) (original rating: not approved) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1998) | USA:Approved (PCA #11077, Adult Audience)

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:
Errors in geography: Nell Bowen's bird is a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo, native to Australia. They were not imported to Europe until after 1788.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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Goldfinger (1964)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
32 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
COMMITTED!, 2 March 2002
Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida

"Bedlam" (RKO Radio, 1946), directed by Mark Robson and produced by Val Lewton, is an underrated gem that expertly combines factual material and horror elements.

In a story set in 18th century London at St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum (BEDLAM) for the insane, Boris Karloff stars as Master George Sims, the head warden of the asylum who specializes with his own techniques of sadistic therapy. Then comes Nell Bowen (Anna Lee), a nurse who comes the asylum only to learn of the cruel treatments of the inmates, and because she plans to expose these inadequate conditions, Sims, feeling she knows too much for her own good, and with the help of the committee board, has her declared insane confined within the walls of a hellish nightmare for which she is surrounded by screaming patients and the watching of waving hands churning in and out between the bars from the cells through dark corridors. At first she sits there motionless, trying to ignore what's happening around her, but Miss Bowen decides not give in to Sims' methods by going completely insane herself. Eventually this strong-willed woman tries to work along with the patients to improve conditions and their self esteem, with the hope that she will eventually see release. But when Sims learns of what she is trying to do, he comes up with some other plans to break her.

As with most previous Val Lewton's psychological horror films, "Bedlam" starts off slowly, and with the help of an intelligent and worthwhile script, the story then moves briskly until its harrowing climax. There are no real scenes of suffering presented on screen but the story suggests sufficient misery, which is what makes the Lewton films so different from other films of its day. Aside from Paramount's rarely seen 1935 production of "Private Worlds" starring Claudette Colbert, "Bedlam" predates the even more popular but then controversial drama about mental institutions, "The Snake Pit" (20th Century-Fox, 1948) which starred Olivia De Havilland, but until then, little has been dealt on screen with such tabu topics.

Although Karloff offers one of his best onscreen menacing characterizations, with Anna Lee coming a close second in one of her finer movie roles up to that time, the supporting cast of not-too-familiar names, which consists of Billy House as Lord Mortimer; Richard Fraser as William Hannay; Jason Robards Sr. as Oliver Todd, an alcoholic sent to the institution to sober up; and Elizabeth Russell (a regular in several Val Lewton productions), should not go unnoticed. Veteran character TV actress Ellen Corby can also be seen briefly as one of the asylum patients known as The Queen of Antichokes!

Val Lewton, whose unique style of story telling and horror, is said to have made little impression with critics in the 1940s, but seeing these movies today, they are considered rediscovered masterpieces, in many ways superior to the "B" horror flicks produced over at Universal where monsters are resurrected and killed off again until another sequel comes around. Of the nine psychological thrillers Lewton produced at RKO, "The Body Snatcher" (1945), which also starred Karloff, is regarded the finest of them all. The occasionally underrated "Bedlam" not only became Karloff's third collaboration with Lewton, but the end of the line for them both in the RKO horror unit. Karloff would resume his career in diversified roles on both screen and television until his death in 1969, leaving behind a lasting legacy. As for Lewton, he moved on to produce films for other studios, but none recaptured his psychological mood and style, only to die of a heart attack nearly forgotten in 1951. Thanks to frequent revivals on television and later video cassette distributions, the Lewton thrillers made from 1942 to 1946, can be seen, studied and appreciated by each new generation of horror movie enthusiasts.

On the plus side, from what I can observe, "Bedlam" appears accurate in every detail in sets, costumes and background. "Bedlam," which formerly played on cable's American Movie Classics for many years, can be seen occasionally on Turner Classic Movies, especially during the month of October in honor of Halloween. But it's worth seeing on all counts, especially during the cold, gloomy rainy afternoon or evening to set the mood of fear. What's even more harrowing is that since this movie is based on fact, it makes one wonder how many people have been sent to an unreturnable horror who didn't need to be there?

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Thought this was one of Karloff's better roles FlamRatamacues
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