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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Shock Treatment (1964)

When a mentally unbalanced gardener (Roddy McDowall) murders his wealthy employer (Beatrice Grenough), he is declared insane and sent to a mental institution. But her nearest relative (Judson Laire) believes the gardener is faking madness and has, in fact, hidden her millions. To prove this, he hires an actor (Stuart Whitman) to fake insanity in order to be committed and get the information from the gardener. Based on the novel by Winfred Van Atta, this movie had the misfortune to follow the similar but far superior Samuel Fuller film SHOCK CORRIDOR by a year. But even if CORRIDOR never existed, this poorly written thriller would never have amounted to much other than a guilty pleasure. The film is devoid of artistry and outside of Jerry Goldsmith's strong underscore, it has all the elements of a "B" movie programmer. The actors can't do much and Lauren Bacall as an unethical doctor is pretty bad here. Only Carol Lynley manages to bring a bit of depth to her cliche ridden schizophrenic. Directed by Denis Sanders. With Ossie Davis, Olive Deering and Robert J. Wilke.

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