It's the late 1960's. Just for a lark, graduate student Eddie Jessup, known for being unconventional, brilliant and slightly mad, conducts experiments with an isolation chamber, using himself as the subject. His experiences in the chamber cause him to hallucinate, much of the imagery being religious-based despite he not being a religious man. Seven years later, he is a respected full professor in the Harvard Medical School. Believing he has lost his edge and has fallen into an unwanted state of respectability, Eddie decides to resume his work with sensory deprivation, this time using hallucinogens, specifically untested ones used in mystical Mexican rituals, to enhance the experience of being in the isolation tank. After initial tests, he claims he entered an alternate physical and mental state. Although unbelieving of Eddie's claims, his colleagues Arthur Rosenberg and Mason Parrish, as well as Eddie's wife, Emily, who is in her own right a respected academic, are concerned for ... Written by
When he heard his cry for help it wasn't human
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Did You Know?
The film was made and released about two years after its source novel of the same name by Paddy Chayefsky
was first published in 1978. The book was a best-seller and was Chayefsky's only ever novel. The story was the second medically related screenplay Chayefsky had done in recent times, he having recently won an Oscar for The Hospital
(1971). Chayefsky spent two years in Boston doing research for the novel and had a lot of stress during this consequently suffering a heart attack in 1977. Moreover, according to the "Guide to the Paddy Chayefsky Papers, 1907 - 1998", Chayefsky was sued by one of the people assisting him with the research. Chayefsky died just over six months after the movie first launched at the end of 1980. "Altered States" was the final film that was written by Chayefsky. See more
During the party scene right before Eddie arrives, Arthur is getting ice from the bathtub and the toilet seat is up. But a moment later in the next scene, the toilet seat is down. See more
Memory is energy! It doesn't disappear - it's still in there. There's a physiological pathway to our earlier consciousnesses. There has to be; and I'm telling you it's in the goddamned limbic system.
You're a whacko!
What's whacko about it, Mason? I'm a man in search of his true self. How archetypically American can you get? We're all trying to fulfill ourselves, understand ourselves, get in touch with ourselves, face the reality of ourselves, explore ourselves, expand ourselves. Ever since we ...
Light My Fire
Written by Robby Krieger
, Jim Morrison
, John Densmore
and Ray Manzarek
Performed by The Doors See more