The Snake Pit

The Snake Pit is a 1948 American psychological drama film directed by Anatole Litvak and starring Olivia de Havilland, Mark Stevens, Leo Genn, Celeste Holm, Beulah Bondi, and Lee Patrick.[4][5] Based on Mary Jane Ward‘s 1946 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, the film recounts the tale of a woman who finds herself in an insane asylum and cannot remember how she got there.

1948 film by Anatole Litvak
For other uses, see Snake pit (disambiguation).

The Snake Pit
Directed by Anatole Litvak
Screenplay by Frank Partos
Millen Brand
Arthur Laurents (uncredited)
Based on The Snake Pit
by Mary Jane Ward
Produced by Robert Bassler
Anatole Litvak
Darryl F. Zanuck
Starring Olivia de Havilland
Mark Stevens
Leo Genn
Celeste Holm
Cinematography Leo Tover
Edited by Dorothy Spencer
Music by Alfred Newman
Color process Black and white
20th Century Fox
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • November 13, 1948 (1948-11-13)
Running time
108 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $3.8 million[1]
Box office $4.1 million (US/Canada rentals) [2][3]

The novel was adapted for the screen by Frank Partos and Millen Brand, in screen credits order, and Arthur Laurents (uncredited).

. . . The Snake Pit . . .

Virginia Cunningham is an apparently schizophrenic patient at a mental hospital called the Juniper Hill State Hospital. She hears voices and seems so out of touch with reality that she does not recognize her husband Robert.

Dr. Kik works with her, and flashbacks show how Virginia and Robert met a few years earlier in Chicago. He worked for a publisher who rejected her writing, and they bumped into each other again in the cafeteria. Occasionally she continued to drop by the cafeteria so they got to know each other.

Despite their blossoming romance, Virginia abruptly leaves town without explanation. Robert moves to New York and bumps into her again at the Philharmonic. After she provides a flimsy excuse for her absence and departure, they pick up where they left off, though she remains evasive and avoids his desire for marriage. Eventually, Virginia brings up the possibility of marriage. They marry on May 7, but Virginia acts erratically again. She cannot sleep and loses touch with reality, as she feels it is November and snaps when Robert corrects her. The rest of the film follows her therapy. Dr. Kik puts her through electro-shock treatment and “narcosynthesis”.[6] Dr. Kik wants to get to the “causes of her unconscious rejection.” The film includes many flashbacks, including her earlier failed engagement to Gordon as well as childhood issues. The film shows her progress and what happens to her along the way.

The mental hospital is organized on a system of wards, with the best functioning patients assigned to the wards with the lowest numbers, which have better furnishings and more relaxed rules for patient behavior. Virginia moves to the lowest level (One), where she is treated well by a young nurse but is picked on by Nurse Davis, the only truly abusive nurse in the hospital. Davis is jealous of Dr. Kik’s interest in Virginia, which she sees as excessive. Nurse Davis goads Virginia into an outburst which results in Virginia being straitjacketed and expelled from Level One into the “snake pit”, where patients considered beyond help are simply placed together in a large padded cell and abandoned. Dr. Kik, learning of this, has Virginia returned to Level One, but away from Nurse Davis’s care.

Despite this setback, Dr. Kik’s care continues to improve Virginia’s mental state. Over time, Virginia gains insight and self-understanding, and is able to leave the hospital.

The film depicts the bureaucratic regimentation of the institution, the staff (some unkind and aloof, some kind and empathetic), and relationships between patients, from which Virginia learns as much as she does in therapy.

. . . The Snake Pit . . .

This article is issued from web site Wikipedia. The original article may be a bit shortened or modified. Some links may have been modified. The text is licensed under “Creative Commons – Attribution – Sharealike” [1] and some of the text can also be licensed under the terms of the “GNU Free Documentation License” [2]. Additional terms may apply for the media files. By using this site, you agree to our Legal pages . Web links: [1] [2]

. . . The Snake Pit . . .

© 2022 The Grey Earl INFO - WordPress Theme by WPEnjoy