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
In searching for the lead role of Sybil, Joanne Woodward was originally wanted for the role. She had played a multiple personalities patient in The Three Faces of Eve (1957). However she declined and asked to play the role of Dr. Wilbur. See more »
On the day Sybil meets Dr. Wilbur, just before she "awakens" in the doctor's office we see a close shot of Dr. Wilbur's right hand as she takes notes. There is a ring on the doctor's right index finger. Then we switch immediately to wider shot of the doctor still writing, but there is no longer a ring on her right hand. It is clear that there was no break in writing between the shots. See more »
[imitating mother; as vicky]
Don't you dare tell, or I'll fix it so you ain't got nothin' to tell with.
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What a moving, outstandingly brilliant film starring Joanne Woodward, Brad Davies and Sally Field who won an Emmy for her unforgettably, rare and treasuring performance as the susceptible and disturbed Sybil!
Psychological drama, based on a true story; Sally Field stars as Sybil Dorset, a 20-something supply-teacher who suffered unspeakably horrifying treatment from her volatile mother (Martine Bartlett) and subsequently developed sixteen different personalities. With the help of her caring psychiatrist (Joanne Woodward), she slowly but surely learns how to identify herself.
Sally Field could have been the Meryl Streep-like actress of this generation. Before watching Sybil, I was unaware of her erratic next role and as such was intrigued upon discovering she played a woman with multiple personalities. Watching her portray each character thoroughly is overwhelming and cherished. It's a shame both she Sybil are so underrated and ignored.
Joanne Woodward is equally cherished in her role as the sympathetic and patient psychiatrist who nurses Sybil back to a normal woman. She too seems rather underrated as I'd never heard of her until I watched Sybil. I may need to consider delving into her CV for some good movies to get a hold on.
The only problem with the video I managed to snatch off eBay was that fact it was a pirate copy AND didn't even get to the end of the sodding film! Despite getting towards the end of the film is still sadly disrupted my enjoyment of Sybil and now I don't know how it ends. I've posted a message on the message board and hope to have an answer from someone soon. However, all of what I watched was incredibly excellent and as I said earlier - overwhelming.
My only question would be why the hell hasn't this been released on DVD? Or even screened on British TV?! I will not rest until amazon.com sees sense and releases the full four hour, uncut version. With a range of special features, including commentary from both Sally Field and Joanne Woodward, a documentary on Shirley Ardell Mason - the real Sybil who passed away back in 1998 and a selection of different languages - including Spanish and French - for non-English speaking viewers.
UPDATE: To my delight, I have recently realized that whoever they are have finally seen sense and agreed for a two disk, full, uncut version of the original Sybil - accompanied with several special features - is to be released on May 23rd 2006. To celebrate its 30th anniversary. I've already marked it in my calendar. Tick-tock ... tick-tock ... tick-tock ...
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