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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 <email@example.com>
Richard Widmark is a psychiatrist in "The Cobweb," also starring Lauren Bacall, Lillian Gish, Charles Boyer, John Kerr, Susan Strasberg and Gloria Grahame. It's quite a cast, especially when you realize that they were directed by Vincent Minnelli.
It's an absorbing story of the patients and the doctors at a mental institution. Widmark has basically taken over from the troubled Boyer - though Boyer retains his title, Widmark's contract gives him more power. Bacall, a recent widow, is a doctor on staff, and Lillian Gish is an administrator. The patient most focused on is Stevie, played by John Kerr. He is making good progress with his recovery, and in fact, some of the better patients are given control over designing their lounge. The sticking point becomes the draperies which become a political football. Widmark's wife, Gloria Grahame, wants to impose herself onto the institution that is taking her husband away from her by working with a board member on the drapes; Lillian Gish wants to save money and go the cheap route; and the patients have their own ideas.
This is a very good drama with good acting from all involved. Grahame is a brunette here and has never been more beautiful, plus she gets to wear some beautiful clothes. She, along with the others, gives a terrific performance.
The one with the best role is Lillian Gish, and she is fantastic. What an actress and what a career. Who could have believed she could play such a perfect bitch? Well worth watching if the plot is a little thin.
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