MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 4,514 this week

The Caretakers (1963)

 -  Drama  -  21 August 1963 (USA)
5.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.1/10 from 440 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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screen story), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 13 Mar 2013
 
a list of 1691 titles
created 02 Apr 2013
 
list image
a list of 10 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 2 months ago
 
a list of 233 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Caretakers (1963)

The Caretakers (1963) on IMDb 5.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Caretakers.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 August 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Caretakers  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the only film that featured Virginia Munshin as she died at the age of 30 on July 8, 1962 from a cerebral hemorrhage. 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

References West Side Story (1961) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Dx: Compellingly bad, as only an overwrought, self-important movie can be
30 August 2002 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Sixteen years after The Snake Pit and 13 years before One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, The Caretakers joins their company as `enlightened' explorations of the mentally ill and the institutions that hold them. But The Caretakers stays closer in spirit to Caged, with the female inmates transferred from the Big House to a mental ward called (of all things!) Borderline. (There's actually one holdover from the cast of Caged – Ellen Corby, as a batty old schoolmarm – and one sequence involving a parakeet which almost exactly reprises one involving a cat in the earlier movie.) But while Caged was overwrought but compellingly good, The Caretakers is overwrought and compellingly bad.

The jangly piano music over the titles, with their suggestions of Di Chirico and Picasso's `Guernica,' clue us to the racheted-up, `serious' tone of the movie. But soon we're watching Polly Bergen go flat-out berserk in front of the screen of a crowded theater. An ambulance ushers her into the gloomy shadows (the movie is well photographed) of the mental hospital, where she comes under the care of Robert Stack, who is pioneering progressive and humane methods of treatment (which nonetheless require jolts of electricity to the temples).

But Bergen is but one of the woeful women among whom we divide our time. This is the kind of dramaturgy where, when Barbara Barrie is introduced as never having uttered a word in seven years, we wait 90 minutes with bated breath for her to speak. She's lucky to get a word in edgewise, as recovering prostitute Janis Paige bazoos her way through every scene she's in and steals all the thunder from Bergen's go-for-broke histrionics.

The staff faces its own problems, however. Head of the hospital is Herbert Marshall, looking like he was just trundled in from Madame Tussaud's, but he's just a figurehead who has long since ceded authority to underlings, particularly Joan Crawford. Since she's been saddled with the name Lucretia, with nasty echoes of the Borgias, we know she's not exactly a helping professional. She stands in adamant opposition to everything Stack works for, and relies on head nurse and hard case Constance Ford as her secret agent. Unfortunately, Crawford's role is smaller than we can be sure she hoped it would be (and often her position seems to make sense).

That's about it. We never get to see a promised, climactic board meeting which will decide the fates of Crawford and Stack. That may have been a try for ironic ambiguity, but it looks like the movie just ran out of steam, or money. For some of the patients, rays of hope do pop out of the institutional-grey skies, for Hollywood never acknowledged a problem that couldn't be wrapped up by the last reel. This mixture of high earnestness and wretched overacting is simply stupefying.




22 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Music on the radio in the men's ward Blondfashionisto
They Don't Make Them Like This Anymore LydellFisk
Discuss The Caretakers (1963) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?