|Directed by||Robert Rossen|
|Written by||Robert Rossen|
|Based on||Lilith by J.R. Salamanca|
|Produced by||Robert Rossen|
|Edited by||Aram Avakian|
|Music by||Kenyon Hopkins|
|Color process||black and white|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Set in a private mental institution, Chestnut Lodge in Rockville, Maryland, the film tells of a trainee occupational therapist, a troubled ex-soldier named Vincent Bruce (Beatty), who becomes dangerously obsessed with seductive, artistic, schizophrenic patient Lilith Arthur (Seberg).
Bruce is successful in helping Lilith emerge from seclusion and leave the institutional grounds for a day in the country, and later escorts her on excursions in which she is alone with him. She attempts to seduce him, and eventually Bruce tells Lilith he is in love with her, after which they begin sleeping together. He catches Lilith seducing an older female patient and witnesses her behaving inappropriately with young boys on two of her outings, incidents which greatly disturb Bruce.
Bruce triggers the suicide of another patient (Fonda) out of jealousy over the patient's crush on Lilith. This brings up memories in Lilith of her brother's suicide, which she implies was due to her attempt to initiate an incestuous relationship with him. She goes on a destructive rampage in her room and winds up in a catatonic state. Bruce then presents himself to his superiors for psychiatric help.
Chestnut Lodge would not permit filming on location so those scenes were done in a vacant mansion rented by the production company, Centur Productions, on the North Shore of Long Island (Locust Valley). Location shooting in Maryland was done in a private home in Rockville as well as in the downtown area, plus scenes at Great Falls on both the Maryland and Virginia sides of the Potomac River, as well as a staged carnival scene at Barnesville, Maryland. This was Rossen's last film.
The Academy Film Archive preserved Lilith in 2000.
- Warren Beatty as Vincent Bruce
- Jean Seberg as Lilith Arthur
- Peter Fonda as Stephen Evshevsky
- Kim Hunter as Dr. Bea Brice
- Anne Meacham as Mrs. Yvonne Meaghan
- Jessica Walter as Laura
- Gene Hackman as Norman
- James Patterson as Dr. Lavrier
- Robert Reilly as Bob Clayfield
In The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, David Thomson describes Lilith as "an oddity, the only one of [Rossen's] films that seems passionate, mysterious and truly personal. The other films will look increasingly dated and self-contained, but Lilith may grow."
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
- Anticipated rentals accruing distributors in North America. See "Top Grossers of 1965", Variety, January 5, 1966 p 36
- Casty, Alan (25 March 2013). Robert Rossen: The Films and Politics of a Blacklisted Idealist. McFarland. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-7864-6981-9.
- "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
- David Thomson The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2002, London: Little, Brown, p. 760.
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-19.