4.6/10
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13 user 6 critic

The Fifth Floor (1978)

College disco dancer is wrongly committed to an insane asylum.

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(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Carl
... Kelly McIntyre
... Cathy
... Melanie
... Benny
... Derrick
... Nurse Hannelord
... Dr. Sidney Coleman
... Ronnie Denton
... Phil
Betty Kean ... Sophy
... Emma
Cathey Paine ... Lois
... Nurse Whelan
Maggie Appel ... Mental Patient
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Storyline

A young woman collapses on the disco dance floor of what's revealed to be strychnine poisoning. Assuming that this is an attempt at suicide, her boyfriend and doctor have her committed to the Fifth Floor, an asylum with obviously crazy inmates and a predatory orderly. The problem is, she's still sane! Written by Brian J. Wright <bjwright@acs.ucalgary.ca>

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Taglines:

The Nightmare Is Knowing You're Sane. See more »

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Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

15 November 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Το πέμπτο πάτωμα  »

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Soundtracks

In So Deep
Written by Vic Thomas
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User Reviews

 
Not bad
10 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

The Fifth Floor is an engaging piece of work that was much better than I expected. Using a tag line like "From the disco floor to the insane asylum" is asking for trouble but the film deserves better than that.

Dianne Hull plays Kelly, a friendly girl who works at a disco club (not sure what as!), who has a sudden seizure one night while dancing and is rushed to hospital. When it is found that she has strychnine poisoning, Kelly claims that she has been poisoned, but alas for her, no-one believes her and she is sent to a psychiatrist as a possible suicide, which, due to a few more misunderstandings, leads her to being incarcerated on the "Fifth Floor", which is a special secure ward for the insane. Can she establish her sanity and get out of the place and back to normality? What I liked about the film is that it plays the scenario of Kelly's plight out quite seriously. The more she complains, accuses the staff of lying and refuses to take treatment ( a very good performance here by Dianne Hull), the more deeply she gets herself trapped. While watching you find yourself thinking: "Yes I guess that's exactly what a mad person would do and say as well", and her plight struck me as all too believable. The biggest spanner in the works for poor Kelly is a corrupt and lascivious orderly called Carl (effectlively played by Bo Hopkins) who likes to sexually assault the younger female inmates and then blame their later accusations on hysteria. He takes a shine to Kelly and the two scenes in which he abuses her are quite unpleasant. Thrown into this are some good minor performances by the other inmates that Kelly befriends, including a pregnant girl called Cathy and a seriously unhappy and troubled woman named Melanie, played with genuine feeling and impressive intensity by Sharon Farrell.

So, although the plot is nothing new (sane person committed to an asylum by mistake), the film does a good job of handling it. Although the situation is kept small scale, you can certainly feel for the central character, and with great performances all round and a couple of rather surprisingly brutal scenes, it all goes towards making "The Fifth Floor" a place you really should visit.


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