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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
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 »
[after hearing a loud thud]
Hattie, is Sybil alright?
Just one of her falls, Grandma!
[quietly to herself]
Oh, Grandma... what big ears you have.
[looking at Sybil's drawing]
Well whoever heard of a purple chicken with green feet? Can you imagine what kind of eggs that might lay? Imagine setting a plate of those in front of your grandfather some fine Sabbath morning! ARMAGEDDON!
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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
I loved it for the time it was made it was made great, Sally Feild was touching, sweet, innocent and all around wonderful in it. She showed us emotion and fear. No wonder she is such a great actress. One of the first serious ones she did after Gidget & Flying Nun, she showed us just how great she could be. Its a long, heartbreaking story and i definitely recommend it to anyone who is serious about sitting down and watching it. I see there making another one, a new one. No one will ever be able to do it like Sally. I hope they don't ruin a great movie by adding things or embellishing way to much. It would ruin the story and depth of it all.
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