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Documentaries and fictional movies about mental illness

Recommended Documentary Films:  

The Released, 2009 documentary by PBS

The New Asylums,  2005 documentary by PBS Frontline:

 Films that depict mental illness, mental impairment, mental hospitals, psychiatric treatment or societal attitudes or beliefs regarding the mentally impaired: 

 Angel Baby  (Schizophrenia) (Directed by Michael Rymer) (Australian film) (1995) (US release 1997), The Aviator (Leonardo DiCaprio & Kate Blanchett –directed by Martin Scorsese)(2004), Awakenings (Robin Williams) (1990),  A Beautiful Mind (schizophrenia) (Russell Crowe) (2001), The Bell Jar (2008 & 1979),  Benny and Joon (Johnny Depp) (1993),   Call Me Anna (made for television movie about actor Patty Duke’s struggle with bipolar illness) (1990), Chattahoochee (Gary Oldman & Dennis Hopper) (1990),  A Clockwork Orange (Malcolm McDowell)(directed by Stanley Kubrick) (1971), Conspiracy Theory (Mel Gibson & Julia Roberts) (1997), Dare to Love (1995), Dialogues With Madwomen (documentary by Allie Light) (1993) (won Emmy Award 1994), Donnie Darko (2001),  Fatal Attraction (Glenn Close & Michael Douglas) (1987), The Fight Club (Brad Pitt) (1999),  Forget Me Never (Alzheimers) (Mia Farrow) (1999), Frances (Jessica Lange) (1982) , Girl, Interrupted (Winona Ryder, Angelina Jolie, Vanessa Redgrave, Whoopi Goldberg) (2000),  Gothika (Halle Berry & Robert Downey, Jr) (2003),  Harvey  (Jimmy Stewart), King of Hearts (French film) (1966),  K-PAX (Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Mary McCormack) (2001),  The Manchurian Candidate (“brain washing” & assassination) (both versions – 1962 –Frank Sinatra & Angela Lansbury– & 2004—Denzel Washington & Meryl Streep),  Mr. Jones  (Richard Gere) (1993), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest  (mental hospitals & lobotomy) (Jack Nicholson) (1975), Open Your Eyes (Abre los Ojos) (Penelope Cruz) (Spanish film)  (1997),  Patch Adams (Robin Williams), Pi (1998),  Prozac Nation (Christina Ricci) (2003),  Rain Man (autism) (Dustin Hoffman & Tom Cruise) (1988), Requiem for a Dream (Ellen Burstyn) (2000), The Saint of Fort Washington (homelessness & mental illness) (Danny Glover & Matt Dillon) (1993), Session 9 (directed by Brad Anderson) (2001),  Sharon’s Secret (made for TV, directed by Michael Scott) (1995), The Shining  (Jack Nicholson) (1980), Snake Pit (1948) (Olivia de Havilland),  Spellbound (directed by Alfred Hitchcock) (1945), A Stranger to Love  (brain damage-amnesia) (Beau Bridges)(1996),  A Streetcar Named Desire (“nervous breakdown” & civil commitment) (1951)  (Vivien Leigh & Marlon Brando),  Suddenly, Last Summer (mental hospitals & lobotomy) (Elizabeth Taylor & Katherine Hepburn) (1959),   Sybil (Sally Field & Joanne Woodward) (1976),  The Three Faces of Eve (Joanne Woodward) (1957),  Spider (directed by David Cronenberg) (2002),  Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Arnold Schwarzenegger & Linda Hamilton) (mental hospitals) (1991), Titicut Follies (mental hospitals) (documentary by Frederick Wiseman) (1967), Through a Glass Darkly (directed by Ingmar Bergman) (Max von Sydow) (1961),  Twelve Monkeys (mental hospitals) (Bruce Willis & Brad Pitt) (1995), The Unicorn in the Garden (animated adaptation of James Thurber’s short story) (1953), Vanilla Sky (Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Kurt Russell) (2001).


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