Frances "Gidget" Lawrence lives with her widowed college professor father in Southern California. Anne is her older sister who is married to John Cooper, an obtuse but lovable psychology ... See full summary »
Emma is a divorced woman with a teen-aged son who moves into a small town and tries to make a go of a horse ranch. Murphy is the widowed town druggist who steers business her way. Things ... See full summary »
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 WilburWritten by
In the beginning minutes of the film, as Sybil calls to her art class of primary school children to pack up, she calls to "Peter" and "Eli". These are the names of Sally Field's actual children, who were seven and four years old at the time of filming. See more »
When Sybil (as Vanessa) plays "With a Song in My Heart" to Dr. Wilbur, we hear Sybil play a few notes of the song, when her hands are still on top of the piano. See more »
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
The 30th anniversary DVD edition of Sybil was released in July. As Shirley Mason's (aka Sybil)long time friend, I was included in the documentary about the making of the movie. The documentary is a fascinating recap of how the movie was cast and how it came to be. However, I was disappointed that Shirley Mason is not mentioned anywhere in the documentary, and her name is not even shown on her paintings in the gallery. Shirley was a person to me, not a fictional character. I was told that her name couldn't be mentioned because of contractual agreements with the author of the book. Shirley Mason WAS Sybil and her life as an artist in Kentucky should not be minimized. Since Sybil is a story of abuse, but also one of recovery, I feel my friend was denied the recognition she deserves as a survivor of abuse, as a wonderful artist, as a warm, kind lady who lived a quiet life of dignity in Lexington. If and when my book, Life After Sybil... From the Words of Shirley Mason, gets published, I intend to correct that omission. Regards, Sybil's Friend ... Nancy Preston
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