Of the twenty-one films for discussion on this Web site, here is number six, which stars Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher in signature roles. Thus is the plot, in slightly condensed form, from Wikipedia: In 1963, Randle Patrick “Mac” McMurphy (Jack Nicholson)—a recidivist anti-authoritarian criminal serving a sentence on an Oregon-prison farm for statutory rape […]By: Evander Lomke
Clint Eastwood in the first-named movie, released over the weekend, is an old-time baseball scout who scours the South in his well-traveled Mustang, attending high-school and minor-league games to find the next baseball phenom—as Mickey Mantle was improbably discovered by Tom Greenwade several generations ago. The Eastwood character knows baseball so well that he can […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
A miserable marriage is certainly a mental health issue. Hollywood has profiled many of these “stuck” relationships—from those who have made lifetime vows to those with other but important commitments. Witness the continuum from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf? to “The Brady Bunch.” Now, we have Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep—at a time when […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
While confronting our fears, discerning our angers and resentments, or unloading on friends or a therapist may be helpful, there is another school of mental health thought emphasizing distraction and humor. Carol Tavris says one of the best antidotes to the kind of anger that sticks in one’s craw is to see a funny movie–explained […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
In Men In Black III, Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, have returned to help police the Earth from what they call invading life forms that represent “the scum of the universe.” No spoiler here–but it’s a must-see film if you want to learn more about the dynamics of the Agent J-Agent K relationship. Once […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
A fan of comic books of old, both DC and MARVEL—I recently saw the movie The Avengers. I was hoping for a respite from all the daily stresses, an immersion in a world of fantasy where good might overcome evil. This was not what occurred. The story line here is how the earth is being […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Slapstick humor can do wonders for mental health. Norman Cousins retreated to a place where he could watch videotaped comedies when he was suffering from a serious illness. Carol Tavris recommends the same approach when confronted with the inescapable frustrations of life. In National Review Online, AMHF Board Chair Jack Fowler offers a neat slideshow […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Controversy swirls around the Motion Picture Association of America “R” rating of Bully. AMHF has earlier blogged on the epidemic of bullying. In principle and logically, AMHF underscores that Cinematherapy begins with the prudent liberty to watch. Currently forbidden by the M.P.A.A. rating, young people—victims and those who target their peers—need to absorb this sensitive-sounding […]By: Evander Lomke
Going out to see a movie on the big screen is a great way to spend an evening. Almost as nice is ordering up a movie on the computer and watching right at home. There’s such a great interest in mental-health themes in movies that AMHF is writing about all this on its blog. Can […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
There’s something about the Deep South that inspires the writing of great literature (think William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote) more than, for example, North Dakota. Likewise, we think of “the grand diagnoses” in psychiatry more than we do, say, about Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Prince of Tides is a 1991 movie capturing the lowland beauty […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
This is the fifth of twenty-one films in the AMHF series of blogs. Charly is a controversial film, about mental retardation and psychiatry. The central controversy revolves around the question, “What is a human being?” Are individuals challenged by developmental delays “to be cured?” Are they not soulful, “whole individuals”? What would be the role […]By: Evander Lomke
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is the fourth of twenty-one films under review by AMHF in relation to its mission. Of all the films covered or to be covered, it is unique. One, it is pure science fiction with a wholly supernatural element. Two, the psychiatrist is a minor character and himself winds up a […]By: Evander Lomke
On May 2, 2012, it will be sixty-five years since release of Miracle on 34th Street. But the film is hardly ready for retirement. It is one of twenty-one movies identified by AMHF for discussion relevant to the Foundation mission statement. Released one year before Dr. Stefan de Schill assumed directorship of research at AMHF, […]By: Evander Lomke
Now, Voyager is the second “psychiatry film” in this series of blogs on movies with themes or characters that are relevant to the mission of AMHF. Released almost seventy years ago (October 22, 1942), Now, Voyager, which gets its title from lines in a poem by Walt Whitman (“The Untold Want”), was something of a […]By: Evander Lomke
Of the twenty-one films referenced in this blog, Don Juan DeMarco is the first I will discuss. Psychiatrist Jack Mickler (Marlon Brando) dissuades a would-be suicide—a 21-year-old, costumed like Zorro claiming he is Don Juan (Johnny Depp)—is held for a ten-day review in a mental institution. Mickler, who is about to retire, insists on doing […]By: Evander Lomke
Finally Hollywood has discovered a good man with the right stuff to play the part of an incredibly loving father who happens to be a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, loves baseball, and who has just a enough of Asperger’s syndrome qualities (a mere scent) to bond closely with his nine-year-old, a […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
In addition to the seventeen films related to psychiatry posted on this blog, I have been reminded of four others (though technically, one of the four is a series): Crime Doctor (1943; series 1940s) An Angel at My Table (1990) Girl, Interrupted (1999) The Bell Jar (1979, 2013?)By: Evander Lomke
Alcohol, cocaine, hallucinogens, marijuana, and opiates have had a varied and ambiguous legal and political history prior to the 21st century, and these substances will continue to need study, examination, policy, and law-making into the 21st century and beyond. Dwight Vick and Elizabeth Rhoades have written Drugs and Alcohol in the 21st Century: Theory, Behavior, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Pope Benedict VI decries the increasing commercialization of Christmas. Indeed, readers of this blog remember that among the films with a strong psychological component, listed in a recent posting, is Miracle on 34th Street. This 1947 classic, though “AMHF-blog worthy” being about the workings of a therapist and a HRD “personality tester,” primarily takes up […]By: Evander Lomke
The directors and staff of AMHF have discussed a blog, or series of more in-depth blogs, related to films featuring mental health as a central theme. Most of the following seventeen Hollywood movies from various eras (and therefore reflecting their respective times), as well as in a range of genres, include psychiatrists, “mental-health physicians”/neurologists/psychiatric neurologists, […]By: Evander Lomke