Back to top

Possessed

Twitter
Cast
Joan Crawford, Van Heflin, Raymond Massey
Released
1947
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

Nurse Louise mistakes a stranger for David. Fregoli syndrome? (0:02)

One doctor tells the other, "Take her to psycho."
Sign over door: "PSYCHOPATHIC DEPT." (0:05)

Psychiatrist Craig tells psychiatrist Willard about the cases that day, "One manic, three seniles, six alcoholics, ten schizos."
"Catatonic stupor."
Dr. Willard lists Louise's signs: "catatonic posturing, waxy flexibility of the extremities."
"almost complete mutism."
"We'll try narcosynthesis. Seven and a half grains in 10cc of distilled water."
Dr. Willard injects the drug. Louise emerges from her catatonic state. (0:06)

Louise, apparently hallucinating, says, "Someone's playing Schumann on the piano." (0:12)

Willard tells Craig, "You notice the beginning of the persecution complex... Poor judgment, lack of insight... This is where the psychosis began."
Craig: "Typical schizoid detachment, split personality."
Willard: "obsession with this man" (0:30)

Police find the body of Dean's wife Pauline in the lake. (0:33)

Dean: "She did it deliberately"
Detective: "Do you think it was suicide Ms. Howell?"
Louise: "She had spells of extreme depression." (0:34)

The district attorney asks Dr. Sherman, "Was she depressed? Was Mrs. Graham depressed?" (0:37)
Dr. Sherman: "Yes."
D istrict attorney: "Was she depressed enough to commit suicide?" (0:37)

Pauline's daughter Carol tells Dean, "He said suicide. Why?"
Dean: "I know suicide was mentioned."
Carol: "Why should they talk about suicide? Was mother unhappy enough to kill herself? (0:38)

Carol tells Louise, "She killed herself because of you." (0:41)

Sounds of clocks, rain, and an open window bother Louise. Hyperacusis? (1:03)

After administering the "hanky test" to Louise the doctor observes "extreme suggestibility."
"It's a common symptom of neurasthenia."
Doctor: "It sometimes happens that patient's unable to distinguish between reality and unreality..."
"There is a type of nervous disorder in which that happens."
"He or she lacks insight, the inability to distinguish between what is real and what isn't."
Louise: "You're describing schizophrenia, aren't you?"
"I had no idea it was insanity."
Doctor: "Insanity is not a word we like to use."
"I'm going to give you the name of a psychiatrist: Thornsfield."  (1:09)

Louise tells Dean, "It's Pauline, she wants me to kill myself..."
"Now she's talking to me. 'Kill yourself, Louise. Drown yourself in the lake.'" (1:21)

Louise tells Dean, "I helped her commit suicide"
"I didn't help her kill herself?" (1:23)
Dean tells Louise, "This man is a mental specialist."
Louise: "You want to lock me up, put me away." (1:37)

Louise tells engineer David, "He wants to put me away in an institution... I'm not insane." (1:40)

Dr. Willard tells Dr. Craig, "It was there for any psychiatrist to see... If he shows signs of mental illness." (1:43)

Dr. Willard tells Dean, "Mr. Graham, it's a clear case of psychosis."
Dean: "You mean she's insane."
"Shock follows shock until eventually the mind gives way. The brain loses control, and the body sinks into coma... possessed of devils, and it is the psychiatrist that must cast them out... She was under a great emotional strain the night your first wife killed herself... the delusion she actually helped Pauline commit suicide, and once the initial delusion was established her present condition was almost ineveitable."
Dr. Willard: "Louise is neither mentally nor morally responsible for any of her actions." (1:43)

Reference in Outrageous!