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Shock Corridor (1963)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 6,904 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 55 critic

Bent on winning a Pulitzer Prize, a journalist commits himself to a mental institution to solve a strange and unclear murder.

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Title: Shock Corridor (1963)

Shock Corridor (1963) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Gene Evans ...
Boden
...
Stuart
Hari Rhodes ...
Larry Tucker ...
Paul Dubov ...
Chuck Roberson ...
Neyle Morrow ...
John Matthews ...
Bill Zuckert ...
'Swanee' Swanson
John Craig ...
Lloyd
Philip Ahn ...
Dr. Fong
Frank Gerstle ...
Lt. Kane
Rachel Romen ...
Singing nympho
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Storyline

Johnny Barrett, an ambitious journalist, is determined to win a Pulitzer Prize by solving a murder committed in a lunatic asylum and witnessed only by three inmates, from whom the police have been unable to extract the information. With the connivance of a psychiatrist, and the reluctant help of his girlfriend, he succeeds in having himself declared insane and sent to the asylum. There he slowly tracks down and interviews the witnesses - but things are stranger than they seem ... Written by David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Medical Jungle Doctors Don't Talk About!

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 September 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chockkorridoren  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Ryder Sound Services)

Color:

| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Early in the film Dr. Menkin mentions that Johnny started as a copy boy at the age of 14. This is how director Sam Fuller got started. See more »

Goofs

When talking to the police near the beginning of the movie, when shot from the back, Cathy's coat collar is up, but when we see her from the front, her collar is down. See more »

Quotes

Psycho: Don't strike me! I'm pregnant! I've been carrying my baby for FIVE months now!
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Connections

Spoofed in Batman Forever (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cuckoo's Nest: Class of 63'- by Samuel Fuller
17 January 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Shock Corridor is like and not like other movies about the patients of a 'cuckoo's nest'. There's nothing the audience is going to necessarily learn about mental illness or about why the murder journalist Johnny Barrett (Peter Breck) is investigating is so crucial for him to commit himself into an asylum (or "mental home" as one orderly puts it). That's not exactly what Samuel Fuller- well-known B-film writer/director is out for. What he does come away with is an exploitation film that finds itself as being, well, remarkable. Somehow, the material finds itself as inspired for practically all the way.

As Barrett learns who the patients are, such as Larry Tucker playing Pagliacci (the big guy with a song sometimes in his head and mouth), James Best as Stuart (an ex-soldier who thinks he fought in the confederacy), and Hari Rhodes playing Trent (a black guy who takes himself seriously enough to, oddly, get heard out by the rest of the inmates at times). This, plus the cold orderlies and doctors, the nymphs, and just about all the others in the place, begin to wear Barrett's mental capacity down as he gets closer and closer.

For the players involved here, it's a character actors' feast- for a B-film every performance comes off as being believable, so much so that each performance has a level that's startling, immediate, and immensely theatrical. If one was to just watch the theatrical trailer without seeing the film one might come away with a different impression about how it turns out. Fuller's script is loaded with moments, grand and minute, of satire and the bizarre, and it fits. His direction as well creates an atmosphere that changes as much as some of the patient's mind-sets: scenes go from being rather funny (drop-dead a couple of times) to chilling and ridiculous to observant, not to mention surreal (i.e. the scenes in color, plus some of Barnett's inner monologue) and musical.

Though the film does have minor liabilities, to be expected, such as a less than great ending (expectable for the genre), and some flaws in the editing. But that shouldn't deter viewers who may want to get into the career of Samuel Fuller and aren't too sure where to start. Overall, Shock Corridor is a high quality, value exploitation flick that leaves a heavy impact on repeat viewings. A+


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pretty surprised this gets such praise... hungerartist
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