5.2/10
548
28 user 5 critic

The Caretakers (1963)

Approved | | Drama | 21 August 1963 (USA)
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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Writers:

(screenplay), (screen story) | 2 more credits »
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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
...
Alison Horne
...
Lucretia Terry
...
Marion
...
Dr. Larry Denning
...
Nurse Bracken
...
Connie
...
Dr. Jubal Harrington
...
Edna
...
Irene
...
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:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 August 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Almas en tinieblas  »

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 (I)', then on the Pepsi-Cola board of directors, demanded that product placement shots be included in all her films of this era. Look for it here prominently advertised on the sides of dispensing carts at a mental hospital picnic. See more »

Goofs

As Lorna runs into the hospital, there's nothing outside the door. But the shot from inside shows a small wall just outside the door which she would have had to jump over or go around to enter. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood: The Great Stars (1963) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Dated but interesting
24 December 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Dr. McCloud (Robert Stack) is a new doctor at a mental institution. He's trying an new way to cure patients. It's called Experiment Borderline--patients are treated kindly, engage in group therapy and are given greater freedom to walk about. Head of the nurses Lucretia Terry (Joan Crawford) is dead set against this. She believes in using force to subdue and control patients. It's a battle of wills between them with the patients in the middle. Who will win?

Very dated but still worth seeing. It has some great black & white photography and some good acting. Stack is just OK as McCloud; Crawford is just great as Terry--one of her best performances; Polly Bergen engagingly chews the scenery as Lorna, a patient; Janis Paige does wonders with her role as Miriam, the slutty patient; Ellen Corby is pretty good as an elderly patient; Barbara Barrie is very good as Edna, a mute and Constance Ford is very good as gruff, stern Nurse Bracken. The only really bad performances were from Sharon Hugueny and Ana St. Clair (as patients) and Van Williams (a doctor) and Susan Oliver (a nurse).

The real bad parts of this movie are lousy direction and a horrible script. Bergen easily has the worst lines but pulls them off. Also its view of mental patients is very Hollywood--they all look perfect, aren't really dangerous and, by the end, are magically on their way to being OK. I can live with that though--this WAS made for a mass audience. Also the language is (for 1963) pretty rough in spots.

So, it's dated but worth seeing for some great acting and very nice photography. I'm giving it a 7.


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