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The Cobweb (1955)

 -  Drama  -  7 June 1955 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 833 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 15 critic

At an exclusive psychiatric clinic, the doctors and staff are about as crazy as the patients. The clinic head, Dr. Stewart McIver, thinks that it would be good therapy for his patients to ... See full summary »

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Title: The Cobweb (1955)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dr. Stewart 'Mac' McIver
...
Meg Faversen Rinehart
...
Dr. Douglas N. Devanal
...
Karen McIver
...
Victoria Inch
...
Steven W. Holte
...
Sue Brett
...
Mr. Capp
...
Dr. Otto Wolff
Jarma Lewis ...
Lois Y. Demuth
Adele Jergens ...
Miss Cobb
Edgar Stehli ...
Mr. Holcomb
Sandy Descher ...
Rosemary McIver
...
Abe Irwin
Mabel Albertson ...
Regina Mitchell-Smyth
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Storyline

At an exclusive psychiatric clinic, the doctors and staff are about as crazy as the patients. The clinic head, Dr. Stewart McIver, thinks that it would be good therapy for his patients to design and make new drapes for the library. Mrs. Karen McIver, who is neglected by her hardworking husband (and a bit unbalanced herself), wants to make her mark on the clinic, so she orders new drapes. Miss Inch, the business manager, who has been with the clinic longer than anyone, sees this as an intrusion into her territory, and she too orders drapes. All this puts everyone in a dither, as they fight over drapes and clinic politics. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 June 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Verlorenen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the German version of the Film, Richard Widmark's voice is dubbed by then famous actor Heinz Drache. See more »

Goofs

When Karen (Gloria Grahame) storms into her bedroom and kicks off her shoes, she apparently launches the first one over the walls of the set, as it shoots straight up toward the supposedly low ceiling but never comes down. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Karen McIver: Can I give you a ride?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Omnibus: Introduction to Modern Music (1957) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Who's Running the Asylum?
7 March 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

MGM put together quite a stellar cast for The Cobweb, another film in the tradition of Private Worlds and The Snake Pit about an insane asylum and the politics of running the place. After seeing this crowd at work, I'm not sure that the patients haven't taken over the place as they did in that classic Star Trek episode.

Richard Widmark is a new psychiatrist whose new methods allow granting of more freedom of the grounds to the inmates. What Widmark's character might think today of the number of patients walking around completely free today with only our trust that they will take their medications is interesting to speculate. Anyway it puts him at odds with Charles Boyer who is the medical head of the place.

Boyer is a man beset with problems of his own of a personal nature, he's drinking and wrenching around openly, a man going through a midlife crisis and playing it out in front of everyone including all the enemies he's made. Widmark however as a former disciple of his can't quite pull the trigger to get rid of him.

And Widmark is having his own problems, a neglected wife in Gloria Grahame and a fetching Lauren Bacall to tempt him.

But the best performance of the film comes from that grand old lady of the screen, Lillian Gish. She's the civilian record keeper of the place and a politician to the max. She plays off Widmark and Boyer, in fact The Cobweb would have been a better film had she been the central character. There's also a real good performance by Olive Carey as a Ratched like nurse, Ms. O'Brien.

John Kerr, Susan Strasberg, and Oscar Levant are all inmates of the place which is a rather posh establishment for the richer brand of neurotics. You can't imagine Widmark trying his experiments in freedom on the inhabitants of The Snake Pit.

The Cobweb is a film whose parts are greater than the whole effort. It could have been a whole lot better than it was given the talent involved.


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