6.5/10
995
32 user 15 critic

The Cobweb (1955)

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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (additional dialogue) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Tom Lee is a sensitive boy of 17 whose lack of interest in the "manly" pursuits of sports, mountain climbing and girls labels him "sister-boy" at the college he is attending. Head master ... See full summary »

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Deborah Kerr, John Kerr, Leif Erickson
Saint Joan (1957)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Young Joan of Arc comes to the palace in France to make The Dauphin King of France and is appointed to head the French Army. After winning many battles she is not needed any longer and soon... See full summary »

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Richard Widmark, Richard Todd, Anton Walbrook
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A sportswriter and a fashion-designer marry after a whirlwind romance, and discover they have little in common.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall, Dolores Gray
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A teenage American girl while visiting her father, is thrown into London society during the "Debutante Season".

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Rex Harrison, Kay Kendall, John Saxon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Dramatic story of the influential Hunnicutt family set in Texas during the late 1950s.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Eleanor Parker, George Peppard
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After spending three years in an asylum, a washed-up actor views a minor assignment from his old director in Rome as a chance for personal and professional redemption.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Edward G. Robinson, Cyd Charisse
Madame Bovary (1949)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A provincial doctor's wife's romantic illusions about life and social status lead her to betray her naive husband, take on lovers and run up ruinous debts.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Jennifer Jones, James Mason, Van Heflin
The Clock (1945)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Soldier Joe Allen is on a two-day leave in New York, and there he meets Alice. She agrees to show him the sights and they spend the day together. In this short time they find themselves ... See full summary »

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Judy Garland, Robert Walker, James Gleason
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Jan Stewart, a new teacher at The Oaks, a boys' boarding school, becomes instructor and mother-figure to a class of twelve. She must overcome the disapproval of Joe Hargrave, head of the ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Greer Garson, Robert Ryan, Barry Sullivan
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Biography of Frederic Chopin.

Director: Charles Vidor
Stars: Paul Muni, Merle Oberon, Cornel Wilde
Certificate: Passed Musical | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A compulsive gambler dies during a shooting, but he'll receive a second chance to reform himself and to make up with his worried wife.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Ethel Waters, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Lena Horne
Undercurrent (1946)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Middle-aged bride Ann Hamilton soon begins to suspect that her charming husband is really a psychotic who plans to murder her.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Robert Taylor, Robert Mitchum
Edit

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
...
Lois Y. Demuth
...
Miss Cobb
Edgar Stehli ...
Mr. Holcomb
Sandy Descher ...
Rosemary McIver
...
Abe Irwin
...
Regina Mitchell-Smyth
Edit

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

Taglines:

The Story of the Strange Mansion on the Hill

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Marks the return of Lillian Gish to MGM after a 22-year absence. 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

Featured in Point Blank (1967) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Neurotic 50s classic awaits rediscovery
6 November 2001 | by (Universal City, TX) – See all my reviews

Minnelli's "The Cobweb" explores the fascinating, disturbing idea of a mental institution where the personal quirks of the staff and their families unwittingly have an impact on the patients. In Minnelli's films, his neurotic, lonely, unsettled characters always lead to some climactic nightmarish outburst (even the musicals), but here the whole movie is really a neurotic outburst. Amazingly, it all snowballs out of seemingly the most trivial decision: the new draperies.

What's interesting is that there is no antagonist; like "Howards End" or Eastwood's "Unforgiven", all the characters do bad things for understandable reasons and thus construct the cobweb. This compares favorably with other nuthouse movies, especially ones about the group therapy system--"Cuckoo's Nest" (based on Ken Kesey's novel of 1950, 5 years before "Cobweb") and "The Caretakers" with Joan Crawford as the inflexible head nurse. Those films tend to focus on patients having hysterics and running riot. They don't indict the system but one despotic individual within it (a head nurse); Kesey's narrator claims that she represents a larger controlling force but even then shows that other wards in the hospital are not the same. However, "Cobweb" takes a more subtle nobody's-fault approach that ultimately has wider, darker implications. It implies that these pitfalls are endemic to the system because they are part of human nature, which is a more sinister idea (especially for the 50s) than being able to blame a convenient mini-Hitler. Therefore, it works more convincingly as a microcosm of a society that thinks it's healthy. It's also more salutary and hopeful than those films because it proceeds from this clear-eyed cautionary assessment.

In the true sense of "melodrama," it underlines apparently innocuous early scenes with heavy foreboding music by Leonard Rosenman. It's also astonishing to watch Lillian Gish play a b----. And she does a great job.


38 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
2 hrs. 15 minutes about PICKING OUT DRAPES! fbc-1
Funny Line Blondfashionisto
Message of this movie appears to be smeds128
Looking for a copy stonewallz
The Drapes of Wrath wbf200
123 minutes vs. 135 minutes UBSeveningnews
Discuss The Cobweb (1955) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?