powered by AFI
In Augusta, Georgia, in August 1951, Eve and Ralph White visit Dr. Curtis Luther, a psychiatrist. Mrs. White, a timid and mousy woman, suffers from recurring blackouts and headaches. Under Luther's care, Mrs. White's symptoms abate until one spring day in 1952, Ralph comes home to find their daughter Bonnie wearing a pair of glittery, spike-heeled shoes that her mother has just bought. When Ralph discovers his wife's sexy new wardrobe spread across the bed, he is perplexed and questions her about it. After Mrs. White insists that he bought the clothes for her, Ralph phones the store to return them, but the clerk replies that his wife bought the clothes for herself. Incensed, Ralph accuses Mrs. White of lying. Dumbfounded, she is stricken with an excruciating headache and tries to strangle her daughter. After Ralph throws his wife to the ground, the couple visits Luther again. When Mrs. White denies attacking her daughter, Luther questions her alone, and she confides that she has begun to hear a woman's voice that sounds very much like her own, urging her to leave Ralph and run away with Bonnie. Terrified that she is losing her mind, Mrs. White suffers another blinding headache and buries her head in her hands. When she lifts her head a few moments later, she has assumed a different personality--that of a flirtatious, immodest vixen who calls herself Eve Black. Eve refers to Mrs. White in the third person and after asserting that she is unmarried, calls Ralph a jerk. When Eve begins to shimmy and dance, Luther consults his colleague, Dr. Day, about multiple personalities. In May 1952, Mrs. White is admitted to the hospital for treatment. For the first week she remains stable, until one night, she changes into Eve and propositions one of the orderlies. Uncertain about how to proceed, Luther decides to tell Mrs. White about Eve. After Eve metamorphoses into Mrs. White, Luther explains that she has a multiple personality disorder. When the oafish Ralph is unable to comprehend his wife's malady, Luther calls forth Eve and then summons Mrs. White again. Upon determining that Mrs. White is harmless, she is discharged and Ralph moves to Jacksonville, Florida to take a new job while Bonnie is sent to live with Mrs. White's parents. On her own, Mrs. White rents a room in the city. One night as Eve, she picks up a soldier at a nightclub. When the soldier demands payment in flesh for the drinks he has bought, Eve switches back into Mrs. White and breaks into tears. Some time later, Ralph, who has discovered his wife's nocturnal escapades, returns home and angrily demands that she accompany him back to Jacksonville. When Mrs. White refuses to abandon her treatment and trek to Jacksonville, Ralph storms out of the room, precipitating the emergence of Eve. Later, Eve visits Ralph at his motel room and seductively offers to go with him if he buys her a new wardrobe. Titillated by his wife's new, provocative manifestation, Ralph eagerly agrees until one night, Eve pulls on one of her new dresses and heads for the nightclub, alone. Furious, Ralph slaps her and then immediately divorces her. One day, Luther is theorizing to Day that neither of Eve's personalities is capable of functioning as a normal person when Eve arrives and announces that Mrs. White tried to kill herself the previous evening. When Luther calls forth Mrs. White and asks her to undergo hypnosis, a third, composed and mature personality emerges. Although this woman is familiar with Eve and Mrs. White, she has no memories of her own and suggests that she be called Jane. Jane begins to date a man named Earl, but when he proposes, she confesses that she suffers from a multiple personality disorder. Undeterred, the compassionate Earl nourishes Jane with love and understanding. In September 1953, Mrs. White complains to Luther of fatigue and increasing memory lapses. Sensing that the personality of Mrs. White is dying, she confides her hopes that Jane will survive. When Luther calls forth Jane, Jane recounts an incident that occurred during Mrs. White's visit to Bonnie the previous Sunday: While Mrs. White and Bonnie play ball, the ball rolls under the house and Mrs. White climbs underneath to retrieve it. This action mentally transports her back to her childhood. Under hypnosis, Mrs. White reveals that when she was six, the year that Eve appeared, her mother forced her to do something terrifying. Just then, Eve reemerges and, with a sense of impending doom, bequeaths Luther her low-cut red dress and bids him farewell. Jane then appears and, screaming, recalls that as a little girl, while playing underneath the house, her mother called her out and carried her to kiss her dead grandmother goodbye. Returning to the present, Jane discovers that she has now been vested with Eve's memories. With the banishment of the other two personalities, Jane has become an integrated person. Two years later, on the anniversary of the breakthrough, Luther receives a letter from Jane, telling him that she, Earl and Bonnie have formed a new, reconstituted family.