Back to top

Shock Corridor

Twitter
Cast
Phillip Ahn, Peter Breck, James Best, John Craig, Paul Dubov, Gene Evans, Frank Gerstle, John Matthews, Neyle Morrow, Hari Rhodes, Chuck Roberson, Constance Towers, Larry Tucker, William Zuckert
Released
1963
Sigmund Freud
Spoiler alert
Spoiler alert!
Blog entry

Title, opening and closing: “Whom God wishes to destroy he first makes mad.”
Euripides, 425 B.C. (0:00, end)

Journalist Johnny asks psychiatrist Fong, “Do you think I’m a fetishist?”
Fong: “You’ll be facing the best psychiatrists in the state.”
Johnny thinks to himself, referring to Fong and Johnny’s boss, managing editor Swanson, ”They were in psychological warfare...”
Fong: “It’ll be a daily duel between the insane and your own sane mind.”
Cathy: “Johnny... John, you’ve got to be crazy to want to be committed to insane asylum to solve a murder.”
Johnny: “... those lunatics are not gonna get to me.”
Johnny’s lover Cathy: “Why don’t you get out of this psychoanalytical binge?”
Cathy: “Mark Twain didn’t psychoanalyze Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer.”
”You’re on a hopped up show off stage... Don’t be Moses leading your lunatics to the Pulitzer Prize.”
”You make me sick... riding the crazy horse.”
Swanson: “He has been conditioned... to ride that horse.”
Cathy: “My whole instinct is to kick myself hard...”
”Don’t you dare analyze me.”
”I’m scared... about this whole crazy scheme of yours... this whole Jekyll Hyde idea is going to make a psycho out of me.”
”Hamlet was made for Freud, not you.” (0:02)

One dancer tells another, “I told Mr. Freud that the only way to strip is for me to take off all my clothes.” (0:10)

Cathy thinks, “... scared this whole Jekyll Hyde idea is going to make a psycho out of me.“
She replays Johnny’s words in her head: “... those lunatics are not gonna get to me.” (0:11)

Desk sergeant Caine asks Cathy, referring to Johnny, “Are you ready to sign a formal complaint that he’s mentally unsound?”
He speaks into the telephone: “The psycho unit, please.” (0:13)

Johnny thinks to himself while psychiatrist Menkin interviews him: “The next question is going to be about fetishes according to Dr. Fong’s script.”
Menkin: “Do you know what a fetishist is?”
Johnny: “Oh, doctor, I’m no epileptic with some sort of fetish for hair.”
Menkin: “Did you threaten to commit suicide if she ever got married?” (0:15)

Johnny, lying in his hospital bed, dreams of Cathy telling him, “You started this crazy idea... made a nervous wreck out of me.” (0:17)

In front of a picture of Freud Cathy reads to Fong and Swanson from her notes of what she overheard Menkin say: “His pattern of symptoms in a mental disease is familiar... Whenever he wants his sister physically, he is taking the form of a mental breakdown, an acute schizophrenic episode.”
”Aren’t either of you concerned about his breakdown?”
Fong: “What breakdown?”
Cathy: ”Well taking all those tests is bound to make him sick.”
”I think he’s got the perfect mood. A borderline psychosis, exactly... he’ll be committed.” (0:19)

Hospital attendant Wilkes: “140 IQ classification... superior intelligence.”
Wilkes tells attendant Lloyd, “New patient...”
Lloyd: ”So you’re a 140 IQ journalist.” (0:20)

Wilkes tells Johnny, “... the nympho ward got too dangerous for me.”
Johnny: “Am I the only loony in this ward?”
Wilkes: “... we never use words here like nuts, bugs, screwy, goofy, loony.”
”You’re a patient, not an inmate.”
Johnny: “This is an insane asylum, is it not?”
Wilkes: “This is a mental hospital...”
”... when you attacked the county hospital psychiatrist.”
Referring to Lloyd: “... he can’t cure the patients.” (0:22)

Patient Pagliacci asks Johnny, “Did you expect a demonstration of insanity?” (0:24)

Johnny thinks to himself about patient Stuart: “Witness #1... thinks he’s Jeb Stuart...” (0:25)

Johnny, referring to the patients: “They do have flashes of sanity.” (0:34)

Picture of Freud on Dr. Cristo’s office wall.
Cristo asks Johnny, ”Do you hear voices?”
Johnny: “The man on TV... looked right at me and told me it was naughty.” (0:35)

Patient in hydrotherapy tub: “I am impotent...”
Johnny asks Wilkes, ”Hydrotherapy. Is that what you call this treatment I’m getting?”
”Do you really think all this nerve-calming treatment is really going to make me forget...?” (0:36)

Cristo asks Cathy, referring to Johnny, “We know about his fetish for your hair.”
”Well he’s in dance therapy now.”
Cathy: “Dance therapy?” (0:37)

Johnny and the other patients dancing. (0:39)

Seeing a group of women patients, Johnny thinks, “Nymphos.”
The women attack him, throwing him to the floor. (0:42)

Stuart describes to Johnny flashbacks from military experience including capture by North Koreans.
Johnny answers Stuart, “It’s a mental hospital.”
Stuart: “... the commies said I was sick in the head...” (0:45)

Patients posture and gesticulate. (0:52)

Swanson: “Oh, Cathy, you’re becoming a nervous wreck.” (0:53)

Pagliacci tells Johnny, “When we’re asleep, no one can tell a sane man from an insane man.” (0:55)

Swanson tells Cathy, referring to Johnny, “Look, if I pulled him off now, he’d still suffer from some kind of depressive psychosis...”
Cathy: “You mean if he quits now the depression sickness could hit him?”
”You’re crazy.” (0:56)

Johnny restrained on a board with electrodes strapped to his head.
Cristo tells him, “You’re suffering from a form of dementia praecox... characterized by... hallucinations and emotional deterioration.” (0:57)

Patient Trent tells Johnny, referring to a posturing patient, “That’s why he’s in a catatonic stupor.” (1:00)

Trent and Johnny lie side by side in straight jackets in hospital beds. (1:07)

Johnny tells Cathy, referring first to Trent, then to patient Boden, “... he went nuts again... this time I’m not going to waste one of his sane moments...” (1:13)

By telephone Cathy answers Swanson, referring to Cristo: “Because he wanted my permission to give Johnny electric shock treatments.”
Swanson: “Have you lost your marbles?... He’ll crack if they find out he’s a fake.”
”Well, you should have refused the electric shock.”
Cathy: “He’s beginning to think I’m really his sister.” (1:15)

Johnny, restrained with electrodes attached to his head, convulses during electroconvulsive therapy. (1:16)

Johnny, thinking to himself: “Why can’t I talk?
Cristo asks, “Do you think another shock treatment might help?” (1:16)

Johnny sees patient Bodin and thinks to himself, “Witness #3, Dr. Bodin, American physicist... went insane working on nuclear fission... now has the mentality of a child of six.” (1:18)

Johnny tells Cathy, “Imagine me... giving therapeutic treatments to Dr. Bodin.”
”Well you tell Swanee Bodin’s apt to snap back to sanity at any moment...” (1:20)

Bodin appears to respond to auditory hallucinations.
Johnny struggles, but cannot speak. He tells himself, “Don’t panic.”
”Don’t panic... Don’t panic...”
Bodin: “Today, with all this talk of the panic button...”Bodin, referring to murder victim Sloan: ”You know, for an insane man, he had morals.”
”... and do you know why we’re taking sexual advantage of feeble-minded women in the ladies ward?”
Johnny: “You must be crazy.” (1:21)

Cristo talks with a confused Johnny who lies in bed in a straight jacket. He tells Wilkes, “Keep him under restraint until further orders.” (1:26)

Johnny talks to the staff with his wrists restrained to a belt.
Cristo: “Wilkes, relieve Kellogg in hydro...” (1:28)

Johnny tells Cristo, “Doctor, I’m not nuts.”
Johnny remembers to himself, “Hydro, hydrotherapy.”
He runs into the hydrotherapy room. (1:33)

Cathy tells Cristo, referring to Johnny, “He was sane enough to write that story. He’s been sane for weeks.”
Cristo: “Well, a man can’t... live in a mental hospital and subject himself to all kinds of tests and expect to come out of it sane. John is a catatonic schizophrenic... An insane mute will win the Pulitzer Prize.”
Cathy: “He is not insane.”
Johnny displays waxy flexibility.” (1:37)