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Stonehearst Asylum (2014)

Eliza Graves (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 24 October 2014 (USA)
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An Oxford graduate takes up a job in a mental asylum, only to discover that the "revolutionary" new treatments are inhumane and that there is more going on than meets the eye.

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(screenplay), (based on a short story by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Edward Newgate
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Mickey Finn
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The Alienist
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Silas Lamb
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Swanwick
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Millie
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Mrs. Pike
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Charles Graves
Robert Hands ...
Elegant Lady
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Farmer's Daughter
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Paxton
Andrew Dallmeyer ...
Jeremiah
...
Arthur Timbs
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Storyline

A couple of days before 1899 Christmas, the Oxford new graduate Dr. Edward Newgate arrives at the Stonehearst Asylum to complete training for his specialty of asylum medicine. He is met by armed men who take him to Dr. Silas Lamb, who welcomes his help and takes him under his wing. Edward is shocked to see the methods that Dr Lamb uses to run this asylum. He becomes infatuated with Eliza Graves, one of the patients who is a lady of status and does not seem to belong. One night, Edward overhears a knocking from the bowels of the facility and is shocked to find that everything is not as it seems in this place and that his uneasy feelings may be justified. What will Edward Choose? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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No one is what they seem


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for disturbing and violent images, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

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24 October 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stonehearst Asylum  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both David Thewlis and Brendan Gleeson also starred in the Harry Potter franchise, where they both played defence against the dark arts teachers, Remus Lupin and "Mad-eye" Moody respectively. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, it is stated that the year is 1899. However, at the dinner party, Newgate makes a joke about the character Mickey Finn's name and its association to "knockout drops." The real Mickey Finn, a Chicago bartender known for putting knockout drops in his patrons' drinks, was not caught in this activity until 1903 and the phrase did not enter common usage in America for at least another decade. See more »

Quotes

The Alienist: Believe nothing that you hear. And only one-half of what you see.
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Connections

Version of Lunacy (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Danse Macabre
Written by Camille Saint-Saëns
Arranged by John Debney
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User Reviews

 
Take your meds and watch it
25 October 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I did enjoy this film. Its a nice piece of Gothic melodrama rather than a Gothic horror (as it's made out to be) not least because its concern is to humanise rather than exploit its subject matter. 19th (and 20th) century mental asylums were fascinating and terrifying places, and fortunately or unfortunately depending on your opinion the film doesn't really explore the worst horrors that took place in those institutions. Etc is one of the 'abuses' that used to be forced on people, but since its still in some circumstances used today (as it can be effective for treating depression amongst other things) its got a slightly ambiguous status as an 'horror' treatment (although I've met people who were profoundly angry at being forced to undergo it). Despite this - the film works very well, not least because we never know quite what to expect from Ben Kingsley and the always top notch David Thewlis as the villains of the piece, and to go with the melodrama there's some genuine villainy & tragedy to keep the narrative going not to mention a few twists and turns.

I've no idea how this relates to the tale by Edgar Allen Poe, but the director / writers have managed to balance the sense you get when reading a Wilkie Collins novel or other 19th century melodrama with the (slightly) more critical perspective we have today, although having said that the idea of a therapeutic community - an idea implicit in much of the film - remains quite controversial even today, where drug treatments as a first line of intervention remain the norm rather than the exception. Combined with this is the equally perhaps more controversial idea that sanity is a function of the society we live in

  • something which is definitely true to some extent - as in the example


of hysteria the film addresses - but to what extent is far more controversial? The solution conjured at the end may or may not be if you like a psychotic departure from reality depending on your opinion on the nature of mental illness.

Overall then a very nice little film, with a great cast, and good pacing.


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