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The Caretakers (1963)

 -  Drama  -  21 August 1963 (USA)
5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 461 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 4 critic

This movie chronicles the trials of the mentally ill and their care-givers in an over-crowded ward of a hospital. Dr. MacLeod (Robert Stack) is a new, optimistic doctor who attempts to ... See full summary »

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Title: The Caretakers (1963)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dr. Donovan MacLeod
...
Lorna Melford
Diane McBain ...
Alison Horne
...
Lucretia Terry
...
Marion
...
Dr. Larry Denning
Constance Ford ...
Nurse Bracken
Sharon Hugueny ...
Connie
Herbert Marshall ...
Dr. Jubal Harrington
...
Edna
...
Irene
Ana María Lynch ...
Ana (as Ana St. Clair)
...
Jim Melford
...
Nurse Cathy Clark
Virginia Munshin ...
Ruth
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Storyline

This movie chronicles the trials of the mentally ill and their care-givers in an over-crowded ward of a hospital. Dr. MacLeod (Robert Stack) is a new, optimistic doctor who attempts to start an out-patient program for the women in the ward. His method of treating mentally ill patients without violence or punishment is met with resistance by the head nurse, Lucretia Terry (Joan Crawford). During Dr. MacLeod's treatment, the phobias and illnesses of the various women in the test group are explored. Written by Stacia Kissick <srm12@ksu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Now the screen tells what makes a woman - and what breaks her!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 August 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frauen, die nicht lieben dürfen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Crawford went out of her way to help an aging Herbert Marshall with his lines. See more »

Goofs

When Lorna has a mental breakdown in a movie theater and rushes up to freak out on stage in front of screen, it's obvious that film on screen is a rear projection because neither she nor ushers trying to restrain her have projected images on them nor do they cast shadows on screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Irresponsible and insensitive

Reminiscent of 1949's "The Snake Pit" in that it treats mental illness in an exploitative manner with patients locked up in dark cages, looking wild and dangerous. "The Snake Pit" was acclaimed in its day despite promoting a misleading and damaging portrait of mental illness. "The Caretakers" was not accorded the same applause, perhaps because people were slowly becoming more sophisticated in regard to mental illness, seeing it as an ILLNESS, although even in 1963 (and probably in 1999, as well), it was still fashionable to equate it with the arm flailing, wild-eyed image created in film. Robert Stack, a one-note actor if there ever was one (he has, post-"Airplane," shown more versatility) swaggers through the film, portraying the doctor the same way he did Eliot Ness, while Polly Bergen as the patient, engages in the kind of histrionics that usually come across as a desperate campaign to snag an Oscar nomination. It's what Clint Eastwood once called "emotional gymnastics." The black and white cinematography is exceptional, however, although it too lends itself to the exploitative nature of the film. All those dark shadows and dimly lit corridors make you wonder if Stack and company will cross paths with Dracula. They might as well because "The Caretakers" is a horror film, and although mental illness can be horrifying, it's irresponsible, to say nothing of insensitive, to portray it for shock value. That is what this film does.


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