skip navigation


Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (2)


powered by AFI

The working titles of this film were Chamber of Horrors and A Tale of Bedlam. St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum was built around 1400 and, as depicted in the film, was a corrupt, inhumane institution where public tours were conducted for two cents. In a closing written statement, the film notes that "reforms [at Bedlam] were begun in 1773" and that a new, exemplary hospital was erected "shortly afterward." An article in Life claims that producer Val Lewton used a church set from RKO's 1945 picture The Bells of St. Mary's in the production, and that Nell Bowen's "prettiest dress" was first worn by Vivien Leigh in M-G-M's 1939 epic Gone With the Wind. According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Tanis Chandler and Emory Parnell were to appear in the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Bedlam was Lewton's last RKO production. Modern sources note that William Hogarth's paintings were used as transitional devices throughout the picture, but that these devices were cut from prints of the film when broadcast on television. The viewed print did not include these transitional paintings.