Lauren Bacall, Stuart Whitman, Roddy McDowall, Carol Lynley, Olive Deering and Ossie Davis
9 out of 10 / A
REGION CODE: 0
Region All / Free DVD-R (playable worldwide)
This offbeat mental ward drama concerns an actor (Stuart Whitman) who feigns illness in order to enter a state asylum and discover the whereabouts of one million dollars. McDowall plays a rose-obsessed gardener who snips the head off of his employer and is committed to the state mental hospital. When it is discovered that McDowall may have hidden away a million bucks of his employer's money, Whitman is hired to play nutty and enter the same hospital as McDowall in order to find out where it is. Bacall plays a doctor who helped get McDowall off on an insanity plea in the first place and who may be after the money herself. Lynley is a manic-depressive girl who catches Whitman's eye. Before long Whitman finds that it's easier to get into a mental hospital than it is to get out.
This is a great flick that deserves a lot more recognition that it gets. The actors are terrific, and the mood is very intense. Whitman was early in his career, McDowell does his usual stellar work, and Lauren Bacall gives one of her best performances as someone who belongs in the asylum, not running it.