"Larry" is a true story about a man wrongly confined the California State Mental Hospital at Camarillo for 26 years, who is discovered to have average intelligence and released, and with ...
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"Larry" is a true story about a man wrongly confined the California State Mental Hospital at Camarillo for 26 years, who is discovered to have average intelligence and released, and with the help of a kind social worker's guidance, has to learn to cope with the real world. Written by
The central character in the film "Larry" is a 26-year-old man named Larry Herman.Diagnosed severely mentally retarded he has the trademark shuffling gait,grunting gutteral speech,a blank flat stare! And yet by some miracle a man of normal intellect has survived within this shell and is waiting to live his life! And we learn that this "miracle" is not a miracle at all! Larry is a tragic case of misdiagnosis,abandonement,institutionalization,and lack of genuine concern on the part of his caretakers! The simple fact that Larry has survived to adulthood could be called a miracle but it is so much more than that! It is the sheer force of the human will!! The films opens with Larry's transfer from the small,private "home" from which he lived since infancy to the state facility thjat has taken him in for evaluation and treatment! His new therapist Nancy Hockworth is immediately taken by Larry's awareness and "sophistication" So much different from the other men on the ward!She wants him retested.However,her superior Dr.McCabe tends to view his patients with caring but professional distance!He seriously doubts Nancy's suspicions-that there IS someone else behind the facade of retardation! And he finds that she's correct!Larry Herman is not retarded-he's NORMAL!! But what to do now?? Larry has lived his entire life in an institution! Will he ever really be able to live by himself in that REAL WORLD!! This is a turning point in the story: the doctor who doubted at first wants Larry to achieve full independence.But Nancy who all along believed in Larry's NORMALACY wants to keep him at the institution! To protect him from the world out there! Despite it all, Larry does achieve his independence-earning an outside job and apartment. But he predictably wants no further association with his former caretakers and simply leaves-no good-byes,no explanations! We are left to hope that he HAS achieved enough to finally begin the life that was robbed from him so long ago!!
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