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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bigotry for breakfast and ignorance for dinner, 3 Jun 2004
By 
Michael Bo (Frederiksberg Denmark) - See all my reviews
This is one experience I'm not likely ever to forget, I'm that unsettled right now, having just put away the DVD disc. One of the most ferocious, savage and disturbing films I have ever seen, and brilliant cinematic art on top of it.
Ambitious reporter has himself admitted to a mental hospital in order to solve a murder there. He poses as an incestuous brother to his 'sister' and real-life stripper girlfriend, and once inside gets to talk to all three witnesses to the murder. Gradually, though, his own mind starts to disintegrate ...
Was there ever an asylum like Samuel Fuller's? Hope not. One of the inmates is singing the Factotum Aria from 'Barber of Seville' around the clock, another savours the words "I am impotent and I like it", but they are the sanest ones. Of the three witnesses one imagines himself to be a general at Gettysburg but suddenly shifts and claims to be a Communist in reaction to "my folks (that) fed my bigotry for breakfast and ignorance for dinner" in a long pathetic virtuoso solo by actor James Best. One, a young black man, dresses as a Ku Klux Klan member, advocating white supremacy, expressing his loathing for blacks ("Oh, they're alright as entertainers, but ..."), and the third, a Nobel prize winner, has retreated into infantilism.
'Shock Corridor', which obviously turned out to be a cult favourite, directed by maverick independent filmmaker and former journalist Fuller, makes no excuses for itself, and its style is swaggeringly confident, blending pulp and downright tawdriness with high melodrama and noir, in unforgettable, dramatically lit images. Sometimes it's plain silly in its excessive irony, at other times searing in its empathy, and probably the most funny moments are those when the reporter (a wonderful Peter Breck) once more asks his increasingly absurd and irrelevant question, "Who killed Sloane in the kitchen?", and when he finally learns who, he forgets about it immediately!
I cannot recommend this film enough, it is one of the great works of art of American cinema. No less.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic of American cinema, 8 May 2011
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This review is from: The Naked Kiss/Shock Corridor [DVD] (DVD)
What a shame to see that this DVD seems to have been deleted and only available second-hand. 'Shock Corridor' is a classic of American cinema - few films have the power to be moving and laugh-out-loud funny at the same time. It is also a scathing satire of 60s America, with all its bigotry, racism and militarism (what has changed you might ask?). The story is simple but all the more enjoyable for being more than a little preposterous - a journalist pretends to be 'mad' to get himself admitted to a mental hospital in the hope of solving a murder and winning the Pulitzer Prize. What a plotline! He soon realises that the inmates all have moments of absolute (and quite moving) lucidity. The performance of Hari Rhodes as 'Trent' is particularly memorable - a black man who thinks he is a member of the Ku Klux Klan - the performance is hilarious but totally heart-rending at the same time. I would give this movie 5 stars for his performance alone. Get your hands on this movie - one of the best movies to come out of the USA, period.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Shock Corridor" on BLU RAY - Compatibility Issues For UK and EUROPEAN Buyers..., 1 Mar 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
At present this hard-hitting 1963 race relations movie is only available on BLU RAY in the States. But therein lies a problem for UK and European buyers...

The US issue is REGION-A LOCKED - so it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK Blu Ray players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't).
Don't confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front - that won't help.

Until such time as "Shock Corridor" is given a Region B release by someone else - check your player has the capacity to play REGION A - before you buy the pricey Criterion issue...
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To be crazy for fame can make you mad, 18 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Shock Corridor [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Of all the films I have seen, few have left their mark on me like Shock Corridor. I first saw it on TV, late one night, several years ago. Through blurry, tired eyes I, 19 years old, witnessed what was to be the first of my many bedtime stories with Samual Fuller. The film focuses on a journalist, hungry for recognition and fame who attempts to catch a murderer who is somewhere within the walls of an asylum. However this nuthouse has a few surprises of it's own and a few high-profile guests that our hero will never forget.
I like "One flew over the Cuckoo's nest", but how can you compare Jack Nicholson's bull goose loony's to these strange characters. Take for instance the patient that tries to start a race war in the ward, swearing to get rid of all negros and fashioning a KKK-style outfit from bedsheets. Did I mention he was black? This scene is both comedic and thoughtful with a great performance. This film blends dark subject matter with great comedic breaks, it comes through as a fully formed piece of work and not just a ramshackle stew of characters. I loved this film and have since become a huge admirer of Samual Fuller.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Criterion bluray, 24 July 2012
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Shock Corridor is an excellent film from the 1960s that is like a hardboiled thriller crossed with bits of horror.

A prize winning journalist goes undercover in a mental asylum to expose a story about neglect and abuse, but is driven mad in the process. Some of the acting and music is so overblown that this verges on nightmare territory, hence the horror comment in the first line of this review.

Criterion's bluray looks really good with light grain and loads of detail extra to that on their old DVD. The film has never looked better.

Extras weren't great but there's a decent interview with the actress from the film, and the booklet is nice.

The bluray is in a custom case and is region A coded.
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The Naked Kiss/Shock Corridor [DVD]
The Naked Kiss/Shock Corridor [DVD] by Samuel Fuller (DVD - 2003)
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