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In 1944, Capt. Josiah J. Newman is the doctor in charge of Ward 7, the neuropsychiatric ward, at an Army Air Corps hospital in Arizona. The hospital is under-resourced and Newman scrounges what he needs with the help of his inventive staff, especially Cpl. Jake Leibowitz. The military in general is only just coming to accept psychiatric disorders as legitimate and Newman generally has 6 weeks to cure them or send them on to another facility. There are many patients in the ward and his latest include Colonel Norville Bliss who has dissociated from his past; Capt. Paul Winston who is nearly catatonic after spending 13 months hiding in a cellar behind enemy lines; and 20 year-old Cpl. Jim Tompkins who is severely traumatized after his aircraft was shot down. Others come and go, including Italian prisoners of war, but Newman and team all realize that their success means the men will return to their units and combat.Written by
Author Leo Rosten based the character of Captain Josiah Newman on his friend, Captain Ralph Greenson, a U.S. Army psychiatrist who worked with traumatized airmen during World War II, and was one of the first to identify the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following combat. See more »
Even though the story is taking place in 1944, hairstyles, uniforms and clothes are from 1963. See more »
It's 1944 and Capt. Josiah J. Newman (Gregory Peck) is in charge of the military neuropsychiatric ward. Other staff includes Cpl. Jake Leibowitz (Tony Curtis) and nurse Lt. Francie Corum (Angie Dickinson).
The military is resistant to Newman and his views on PTSD. He is challenged at every turn. The movie itself was probably at the cutting edge in 1963. The movie was filmed 10 years after the end of the Korean war, and that usually is when the Hollywood reflection movies start to be made. The acting is still movie versions of crazy in today's terms. But it was probably a good improvement on a realistic look at mental illness at the time.
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