Criterion Collection: Shock Corridor [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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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.Read more ›
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.
It may be a cult film but it's also a lost classic, especially given the number of films that draw influence from it, I'm looking at you here, one flew over the cuckoo's nest and Shutter Island.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm here looking for reviews of the 'Shock Corridor'/'Naked Kiss' double-bill dvd. As usual I find that Amazon have just bundled a load of reviews of 'Shock Corridor' together... Read morePublished 17 months ago by John Wrong
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... Read morePublished on 1 Mar. 2014 by Mark Barry