"The Castle," a large private psychiatric facility where, Dr. Stewart McIver devotes night and day to his profession, a neglected wife, a colleague with a fondness for booze and a pretty face; add subplots of derangement and you have "The Cobweb."
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- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 2 hours, 4 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: January 18, 2011
- Originally Released: 1955
- Label: Warner Archive Collection (MOD)
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall, Charles Boyer, Gloria Grahame & Lillian Gish|
|Performer:||Adele Jergens, Paul Stewart, John Kerr, Susan Strasberg, Oscar Levant & Tommy Rettig|
|Directed by||Vincente Minnelli|
|Edited by||Harold F. Kress|
|Screenwriting by||John Paxton & William Gibson|
|Composition by||Leonard Rosenman|
|Produced by||John Houseman|
|Director of Photography:||George J. Folsey|
Vincente Minnelli's 1955 melodrama is set in a posh mental hospital; he choreographs the various plots and subplots with the same style and dynamism he brought to his famous musicals. Full Review
Rating: B -- Quintessential Minnelli melodrama is also a personal film: Set in an asylum in which the conflict concerns the kinds of drapes to be used, it offers inside look at a rigid institution in which the caretakers are as needy as the patients. Full Review
Strange, unique look at mental asylum is both visually and dramatically brilliant. Full Review
Classic Film and Television
With its usual twist, it's surprising that The Cobweb hasn't become a cult classic. This '50's studio picture combines the ever popular Hollywood topic of mental illness with interior decorating.
Martha's Vineyard Times (Massachusetts)
Rating: C -- The highlight of the film was Oscar Levant singing "Mother" while being sedated. Full Review
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Description by OLDIES.com:
Step inside "the Castle," a large private psychiatric facility. Here, Dr. Stewart McIver (Richard Widmark) devotes night and day to his profession while neglecting his pining, voluptuous wife (Gloria Grahame). A colleague (Charles Boyer) with a fondness for booze and a pretty face seeks to comfort the wife. Now add Lauren Bacall, Lillian Gish, John Kerr, Susan Strasberg, Oscar Levant and subplots of love, life and derangement and you have the entanglements of The Cobweb. Some critics gleefully skewered the film's labored storyline about patient involvement in the choice of library draperies, but pay no heed. With its top cast and Vincente Minnelli's command of color and melodrama, this film is popcorn for fans of soaps.
At a psychiatric care hospital, the wife of the head doctor decides the site's library is in need of new drapes. This small change sparks a conflict among the staff members. As the personalities of the characters unfurl, a network of covert romantic liaisons and tensions is revealed. The support staff is as frail as the patients under their care.
- This film was shot in Cinemascope and Eastmancolor.
- Additional cast members include Jarma Lewis (Lois Y. Demuth); Edgar Stehli (Mr. Holcomb); Sandra Descher (Rosemary); Oliver Blake (Curly); Myra Marsh (Miss Gavney) and Marjorie Bennett (Sadie).