8.0/10
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67 user 12 critic

Sybil 

A young woman whose childhood was so harrowing to her that she developed sixteen different personalities is treated by a doctor.
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Popularity
3,888 ( 229)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1976  
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Joanne Woodward ...  Dr. Cornelia Wilbur 2 episodes, 1976
Sally Field ...  Sybil 2 episodes, 1976
Brad Davis ...  Richard 2 episodes, 1976
Martine Bartlett ...  Hattie 2 episodes, 1976
Jane Hoffman Jane Hoffman ...  Frieda Dorsett 2 episodes, 1976
Charles Lane ...  Dr. Quinoness 2 episodes, 1976
Jessamine Milner Jessamine Milner ...  Grandma Dorsett 2 episodes, 1976
William Prince ...  Willard Dorsett 2 episodes, 1976
Penelope Allen ...  Miss Penny 2 episodes, 1976
Camila Ashland ...  Cam 2 episodes, 1976
Tommy Crebbs Tommy Crebbs ...  Matthew 2 episodes, 1976
Gina Petrushka Gina Petrushka ...  Dr. Lazarus 2 episodes, 1976
Harold Pruett Harold Pruett ...  Danny 2 episodes, 1976
Natasha Ryan ...  Child Sybil 2 episodes, 1976
Paul Tulley ...  Dr. Castle 2 episodes, 1976
Anne Beesley ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Virginia Campbell Virginia Campbell ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Missy Karn Missy Karn ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Tasha Lee Tasha Lee ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Cathy Lynn Lesko Cathy Lynn Lesko ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Rachel Longaker Rachel Longaker ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Jennifer McAllister Jennifer McAllister ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Kerry Muir Kerry Muir ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Karen Obediear Karen Obediear ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Tony Sherman Tony Sherman ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Danny Stevenson Danny Stevenson ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Edit

Storyline

The story tells of a young woman admitting to having blackouts, fearing they are getting worse. She is diagnosed as suffering from multiple personalities, as a result of severe abuse at the hands of her mother, whom her psychiatrist, Cornelia Wilbur, believes was schizophrenic. The movie Sibyl is based upon author Flora Rheta Schreiber's biography of Shirley Ardell Mason, an American psychiatric patient, suffering from multiple personality disorder. The book, also called Sibyl, was in its turn based largely on the actual accounts of psychiatric treatment that Shirley Ardell Mason underwent, documented by American psychiatrist Cornelia Wilbur Written by Jim Berg

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 November 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sybil See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lorimar Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original television) | (theatrical) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to NPR website, in a new book, Sybil Exposed, writer Debbie Nathan argues that most of the story is based on a lie. See more »

Goofs

While Hattie is playing the piano near the end of the movie, her arm movements clearly do not match the rhythm of the music we hear. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Dr. Cornelia Wilbur: In accepting Peggy into her arms, Sybil began the deepest healing of her selves. In embracing Peggy, she embraced herself. In calming her, she was calming her own heart. As I watched her becoming mother to herself, I felt my own long motherhood ending. I released what I had held so long. I celebrated the beginning of her emancipation. I let go. Our work together lasted eleven years. Today, Sybil lives peacefully in a small college town where she's a professor of art. There's not ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original TV-version ran two nights for a total of four hours (198 minutes minus the commercials). Most video copies are pared down in length, one running 122 minutes and another "expanded" to 132 minutes. Both these versions are missing key scenes such as:
  • The introduction of of the alternate personality "Vanessa"
  • Sybil's first date with Richard
  • Her recollection of her childhood sweetheart.
  • Sybil dissociating into the personality of an infant, leading to Dr. Wilbur's memorable statements "My god Sybil, what did that monster do to you? What happened in the green kitchen?"
  • Dr. Wilbur confronting Willard Dorsett over him having left his daughter in the care of such an obvious and dangerously disturbed woman as Hattie
  • Sybil's two male personalities arguing with Dr. Wilbur about them being able to father children
  • Sybil finally confronting and learning to accept all of her personalities while under hypnosis
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 42nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors (2019) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A Modern Masterpiece of movie making
17 May 2003 | by ForReal84See all my reviews

Sybil, originally aired way before my time, but I got a chance to see it two years ago in my health class in school. Recently while channel surfing, I came across the movie again. I have always had an interest in Multiple personalities, or MPD. Having studied it in a Human Behavior class, I have become obsessed with learning more about it.

The movie Sybil is about the life and lives of at least 16 different people all sharing the body of one person. The movie deals with a hard subject and has some pretty disturbing scenes. One scene that is very unsettling happens towards the end of the movie where Sybil's crazy mom locks her in a trunk. The things that he r mother put her through are so horrible. It's a shame that this young woman's life was full of obstacles. Sally Field definitely deserved an Emmy for her compelling, complex performance as the title character. She goes from each personality flawlessly. She is a very talented actress, the performance only proves that she can play any part. Joanne Woodward, who in this film has switched roles from her Oscar winning performance in The Three Faces Of Eve, where she played a woman with MPD, does an equally outstanding job. Brad Davis turns in one of his best performances. The movie itself is one of the best made for television movies. It grabs you and holds you until it's chilling ending. Sybil is a movie surrounded hope, but covered in sadness. It is an excellent piece of movie making. I give it 4/4.


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