5.5/10
620
30 user 5 critic

The Caretakers (1963)

Approved | | Drama | 21 August 1963 (USA)
This movie chronicles the trials of the mentally ill and their care-givers in an over-crowded ward of a hospital. Dr. MacLeod (Robert Stack) is a new, optimistic doctor who attempts to ... See full summary »

Director:

Hall Bartlett

Writers:

Henry F. Greenberg (screenplay), Hall Bartlett (screen story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Della (1964)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A man trying to negotiate a property deal with a wealthy but reclusive widow becomes romantically involved with the woman's unhinged daughter.

Director: Robert Gist
Stars: Paul Burke, Charles Bickford, Joan Crawford
Berserk (1967)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A scheming circus owner finds her authority challenged when the show is targeted by a vicious killer.

Director: Jim O'Connolly
Stars: Joan Crawford, Ty Hardin, Diana Dors
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Teenagers Libby and Kit innocently spend an evening making random prank calls. These calls lead to murderous consequences.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Joan Crawford, John Ireland, Leif Erickson
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

Consists of two episodes of the UK TV series "Journey to the Unknown" (1968): 'Poor Butterfly' (episode 1.6) and 'The Indian Spirit Guide' (episode 1.11).

Directors: Roy Ward Baker, Alan Gibson
Stars: Sebastian Cabot, Joan Crawford, Chad Everett
Queen Bee (1955)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young woman arrives at the home of her socialite cousin, and soon finds herself sucked into the woman's complex web of deceit.

Director: Ranald MacDougall
Stars: Joan Crawford, Barry Sullivan, Betsy Palmer
Strait-Jacket (1964)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After a twenty-year stay at an asylum for a double murder, a mother returns to her estranged daughter where suspicions arise about her behavior.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, Leif Erickson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An expose of the lives and loves of Madison Avenue working girls and their higher ups.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Hope Lange, Stephen Boyd, Suzy Parker
Trog (1970)
Certificate: GP Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

A sympathetic anthropologist uses drugs and surgery to try to communicate with a primitive troglodyte who is found living in a local cave.

Director: Freddie Francis
Stars: Joan Crawford, Michael Gough, Bernard Kay
Autumn Leaves (1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Millicent Wetherby is a middle-aged woman whose life is devoid of love and affection. Millicent's solitary existence changes when she encounters Burt Hansen a charismatic younger man. As ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Joan Crawford, Cliff Robertson, Vera Miles
The Oscar (1966)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Snotty Hollywood actor becomes even more full of himself after he's nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Director: Russell Rouse
Stars: Stephen Boyd, Elke Sommer, Milton Berle
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Congresswoman Agatha Reed returns to her alma mater for homecoming, although she's more interested in renewing her romance with an old flame who's now the college president. Their attempts ... See full summary »

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Joan Crawford, Robert Young, Frank Lovejoy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A tough lady gangster learns that she will be totally blind within a week. She seeks help from the one eye surgeon who may be able to save her sight. In the process, he also causes her to ... See full summary »

Director: Felix E. Feist
Stars: Joan Crawford, Dennis Morgan, David Brian
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Stack ... Dr. Donovan MacLeod
Polly Bergen ... Lorna Melford
Diane McBain ... Alison Horne
Joan Crawford ... Lucretia Terry
Janis Paige ... Marion
Van Williams ... Dr. Larry Denning
Constance Ford ... Nurse Bracken
Sharon Hugueny ... Connie
Herbert Marshall ... Dr. Jubal Harrington
Barbara Barrie ... Edna
Ellen Corby ... Irene
Ana María Lynch ... Ana (as Ana St. Clair)
Robert Vaughn ... Jim Melford
Susan Oliver ... Nurse Cathy Clark
Virginia Munshin Virginia Munshin ... Ruth
Edit

Storyline

This movie chronicles the trials of the mentally ill and their care-givers in an over-crowded ward of a hospital. Dr. MacLeod (Robert Stack) is a new, optimistic doctor who attempts to start an out-patient program for the women in the ward. His method of treating mentally ill patients without violence or punishment is met with resistance by the head nurse, Lucretia Terry (Joan Crawford). During Dr. MacLeod's treatment, the phobias and illnesses of the various women in the test group are explored. Written by Stacia Kissick <srm12@ksu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Now the screen tells what makes a woman - and what breaks her!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 August 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Almas en tinieblas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer and associate producer Jerry Paris has a cameo as a passer-by that Lorna bumps into on the street. See more »

Goofs

When Lorna has a mental breakdown in a movie theater and rushes up to freak out on stage in front of screen, it's obvious that film on screen is a rear projection because neither she nor ushers trying to restrain her have projected images on them nor do they cast shadows on screen. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood: The Great Stars (1963) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A movie that's not nearly as bad as others have made it out to be...
29 March 2010 | by UNOhwenSee all my reviews

Yes - I've read other critiques posted here. A large consensus focus on THE CARETAKERS being a poor-man's THE SNAKE PIT. Others focus on Joan Crawford being, well - Joan Crawford.

Yes, you can go on about both of those, but I'd like to take a different tact.

First, let me say this film is NOT a 'Grand-Guignol' picture of the era, a 'la WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE, or HUSH, HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE, which several people commenting have alluded it might be, give the fact that Joan Crawford is in it, and this WAS made at that time.

I'd like to start off by saying THE CARETAKERS is an entertaining film, with some fine performances by many familiar faces, amongst them are Robert Vaughn (THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.), Van Willaims (GREEN HORNET), Janis Page, Barbara Barrie, Ellen Corby (THE WALTONS, and my personal favourite - Susan Oliver (THE CAGE - STAR TREK: TOS) and more.

While THE CARETAKERS does come across as a 'message' film, and given the time does seem somewhat campy, some of the treatment ideas proposed for the patients were - at the time - considered radical. Polly Bergen whose character Lorna introduces us to the film (having a breakdown at a packed movie theatre)must've really spent a good amount of time doing research. When Polly's character gets E.C.T., (electroconvulsive therapy - or, as it was better known then SHOCK THERAPY) she twists, pulls. Susan Oliver as the young nurse in training is very uneasy during this, and so was I.

Yes - some of the film does draw comparisons to better known films, but, I think that the film tries to give what was at the time - an 'honest' portrayal of a psychiatric hospital, and the (modern) changes that were taking place at that time - their effect on the doctors and nurses who both administered these treatments, and the effect these treatments had on a group of patients.

If the cast was less professional, it could've easily veered into farce, but given the talent, THE CARETAKERS is an engrossing, if a bit 'soapish' film.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 30 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed