- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- kevin sellers
The central conflict between a touchy feely shrink and a by the book nurse does not begin until 30 min. in and by that time, try as director Hall Bartlett does to distract us with fancy schmancy camera angles and shots, the viewers are well on their way to terminal boredom, speeded to that dull destination by Polly Bergen's scenery chewing and Bob Stack's terse monotone. Joan Crawford is ok as the nurse/disciplinarian but she has to play second fiddle to Bergen, and Joan is just not comfortable doing second fiddle and it shows. Also, there's a depressing aura of sexism weighing down the entire proceedings, with the male characters paragons of strength, capability and wisdom and the gals mostly hysterical, ignorant, or weak. So let's give it a C.
Freudian Rip (Off)
Before sensitivity took over, mental illness was socially stigmatized to the point where marriage was discouraged for people with neurotic/psychotic relatives in an effort to minimize its spread within sane communities. Public mental hospitals were notoriously under staffed, putting attendants in harm's way who relied on cruelty to get by. Private mental hospitals purposed to develop relationships with their wards. Joan Crawford ably acted the earlier professional approach to keep her nurses safe. Robert Stack's character was more into bringing out what was troubling his female caseload (a man may not feel as vulnerable when aggressively confronted as a woman would). Anyhow this dilemma of treatment for mental patients today is somewhat irrelevant considering that many conditions classified as mental illness comprise inconvenient behaviors managed by medication & counseling; addictions by rehab & halfway houses; schizophrenia & manic/depression in orthodox asylums. The gender/sexual confusion is eliminated from therapeutic attention & is encouraged as a choice. So this movie is an interesting look at this subject when mind sets were clearly aberrant & the struggle was on how to best handle the patients themselves for the whole of society. But it has gotten to the point where mental competency is in constant question for the average citizen who may distrust anyone who trusts their own sanity. We never know if Polly Bergen's character (played convincingly) returns to her husband. To think we are in a better place now is nuts.
What's wrong with people
I don't know why this movies rating are so low! I myself absolutely loved it, although I could do with out Lorna's husband whistling everytime he's used the letter "s".
Crawford In The Cuckoo's Nest
- Bruce Reber
I have seen just about every film dealing with psychiatric hospitals and the mentally ill, and "The Caretakers" (1963) starring Joan Crawford (in another role totally unsuited for her) has to be the absolute worst of the lot. "The Snake Pit", "The Cobweb" and "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" are way superior films in their treatment of the subject of mental health. Joan plays Lucretia Terry, a psychiatrist who arrives at a mental hospital and proceeds to do battle with the administrator and nurses, and finds she has much trouble trying to help the patients. This was the last film Joan did before making all those awful horror films ("Strait Jacket", "I Saw What You Did", "Berserk", and who can forget the biggest stinkbomb of all, "Trog"). "The Caretakers" has a certain campy quality too-it was directed by Hall Bartlett, the same guy who did "Zero Hour" (1957), the classic camp airline disaster film. Definitely another one Joan should have passed on. In my reviews of other films Joan Crawford did late in her career (after 1962, when she did "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane"), as whoever reads them knows, I totally panned them because they were the worst films she made and they deserved it.
This is one horrible film!
Sadistic Psychiatric Nurse
Since I advocate for people with disabilities, the depictions of sadistic malpractice by the psychiatric nurse (Joan Crawford) is ablistic. Miss Crawford was too unstable to make good decisions about the types of characters she played and shouldn't have attempted to remain in show business. Films like this and much worse ones make my point.
From tomb to insane asylum, again
Nodding in agreement with "Christy," then adding, why in heaven's name directors were untombing Joan Crawford from her mausoleum a decade after her career was and she looked dead, is patently clear: for her name's pop-cult draw. Not only does her presence provide the worst sexist stereotype of women possible, she's drunk while'performaning' and has been desperate enough to take a role that's loathsome. The screenplay's dull, the rest of the cast's acting's more 1960's TV movie below-average. To think that the cast & crew were paid seems unjust.
Waste of time!
Good message-but this movie is so boring & extremely unrealistic.I didn't care about any of the characters-all seemed very shallow and cliched. The performances are good-but overall it's just empty.