German theatrical poster
|Directed by||Samuel Fuller|
|Produced by||Samuel Fuller|
|Written by||Samuel Fuller|
|Music by||Paul Dunlap|
|Distributed by||Allied Artists Pictures Corporation (USA)|
|Running time||101 min.|
Shock Corridor is a 1963 film, directed and written by Samuel Fuller. The film tells the story of a journalist who gets himself committed to a mental hospital in order to track an unsolved murder.
Peter Breck plays journalist Johnny Barrett, who thinks the quickest way to a Pulitzer Prize is to uncover the facts behind a murder at a mental hospital. So, he undertakes a course of instruction through an expert psychiatrist to appear insane by relating accounts of incest with his imaginary sister who is played by his exotic-dancer girlfriend (Constance Towers). He succeeds and is locked up in the institution where the murder took place. While pursuing his investigation, he is sidetracked by the behavior of his fellow inmates.
The three witnesses to the murder have all become insane owing to the stress of confronting war, bigotry and nuclear weapons. Stuart is the son of a Southern sharecropper who was taught bigotry and hatred as a child, which made him cynical and angry at the country of his birth. He was captured in the Korean War and became a communist through brainwashing. When he learns to become a patriotic American through a fellow American prisoner of war he was ordered to indoctrinate, his captors pronounce him insane and trade him back to the US in a prisoner exchange, after which he receives a dishonorable discharge and is reviled by the American population and his father as a traitor. Stuart now imagines himself to be Confederate States of America General J.E.B. Stuart.
Trent was one of the first Negro students to integrate a segregated Southern University. He now imagines himself a member of the Ku Klux Klan and stirs up the patients with white nationalism indoctrination and race riots.
Boden was an atomic scientist whose experience with the capabilities of guided missiles with nuclear warheads have left him with the mind of a six year old child.
After a hospital riot, Barrett is straitjacketed and subjected to shock treatment. Barrett begins imagining that his girlfriend really is his sister, and experiences many other symptoms of mental breakdown. He learns the identity of the killer and violently extracts a confession from him in front of witnesses and writes his story; but the damage to his mind is irreparable, and he never leaves the hospital.
- Peter Breck ... Johnny Barrett
- Constance Towers ... Cathy
- Gene Evans ... Boden
- James Best ... Stuart
- Hari Rhodes ... Trent
- Larry Tucker ... Pagliacci
- Paul Dubov ... Dr. J.L. Menkin
- Chuck Roberson ... Wilkes
- Neyle Morrow ... Psycho
- John Matthews ... Dr. L.G. Cristo
- Bill Zuckert ... 'Swanee' Swanson
- John Craig ... Lloyd
- Philip Ahn ... Dr. Fong
References in film
- In The Naked Kiss (1964), another film directed by Fuller, and starring Towers, the theater outside the bus station is playing Shock Corridor.
- In The Dreamers (2003), the main character is watching Shock Corridor at the beginning.
- Shock Corridor at the Internet Movie Database
- Shock Corridor at allmovie
- Shock Corridor at Rotten Tomatoes