The story tells of a young woman admitting to having blackouts, fearing they are getting worse. She is diagnosed as suffering from multiple personalities, as a result of severe abuse at the hands of her mother, whom her psychiatrist, Cornelia Wilbur, believes was schizophrenic. The movie Sibyl is based upon author Flora Rheta Schreiber's biography of Shirley Ardell Mason, an American psychiatric patient, suffering from multiple personality disorder. The book, also called Sibyl, was in its turn based largely on the actual accounts of psychiatric treatment that Shirley Ardell Mason underwent, documented by American psychiatrist Cornelia WilburWritten by
The screenwriter thought the role of Sibyl would best be played by an actress who wasn't extremely well known to the public, so they wouldn't bring along previous associations as to her personality. With that in mind, he believed an "interesting" choice would be Lily Tomlin, as she could also obviously create distinct characters for all the separate personalities. He did become completely supportive of the idea of Sally Field playing the role after he witnessed Field's audition, however. See more »
In the scene where Sybil and Dr. Wilbur are at the piano, Sybil begins playing With a Song in My Heart, however her hands are still on top of the piano when the music begins. See more »
Dr. Cornelia Wilbur:
In accepting Peggy into her arms, Sybil began the deepest healing of her selves. In embracing Peggy, she embraced herself. In calming her, she was calming her own heart. As I watched her becoming mother to herself, I felt my own long motherhood ending. I released what I had held so long. I celebrated the beginning of her emancipation. I let go. Our work together lasted eleven years. Today, Sybil lives peacefully in a small college town where she's a professor of art. There's not ...
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This is one of the most impressive movies I've seen ever. Sally Field's acting was superb! I can see why she won an award for it. Ms. Field's portrayal of this poor girl's (Sybil) insight into her emotions and thoughts was breathtaking. Sally was perfect for the part. Joanne Woodward was also excellent in her role as the psychiatrist who supports Sybil thru her memory ordeal concerning her abhorrent upbringing. The movie gives, I think, a very thorough understanding of Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as MPD.
This is a great movie for psychology students to watch, as well as, anyone who is interested in the psychology of the mind and how it deals with trauma for some individuals. Although I don't suffer from multiple personalities, I found that this movie helped to give me personal insight into my own issues dealing with my own abusive upbringing. This is a great film to watch whether it be for entertainment or for educational reasons.
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