PSYC 2250 Films to Review

PSYC 2250 Films to Review

Key to Film Listings:

P = psychopathology focus

T = treatment focus

E = ethical issues raised
Chapter 1

An Angel at My Table

This 1990 film by Jane Campion recounts the autobiographical tale of New Zealand poet Janet Frame, who was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia and spent eight years in a psychiatric hospital. P, T, E, serious film

Bedlam

This release from 1946 (starring Boris Karloff) gives a glimpse into the history of psychiatric hospitals, set in eighteenth-century London. P, T, E, historical, serious film

David and Lisa

This film, made in 1962, follows the developing relationship between two mentally disturbed teens in a psychiatric hospital. P, T, serious film

Fear Strikes Out

This film is a 1950s biopic about baseball player Jimmy Piersall, who suffers a mental breakdown and is treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). P, T, E, serious

A Fine Madness

From 1966, this film stars a young Sean Connery as Samson Shillito, an eccentric poet who is hospitalized and undergoes a lobotomy. P, T, E, serious film

Frances

From 1982, a staggering biopic on Frances Farmer that covers her alcoholism, institutionalization, and eventual lobotomy. P, T, E, serious film

Freud

This pseudo-biographical movie filmed in 1962 depicts five years, beginning in 1885, in the life of the Viennese psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856–1939). P, T, E, historical, serious film

Girl, Interrupted

Based on an autobiographical novel by Susanna Kaysen, this film details the experiences of several women as patients in a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s. The 1999 film challenges the diagnosis of mental illness and the relationship between diagnosis and social norm violations. P, T, serious film

Good Will Hunting

This Academy Award–winning film from 1997 stars Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Robin Williams and addresses a somewhat unconventional therapy program for a gifted yet troubled young man. T, E, serious film

Inside/Out

From 1997, this Rob Tregenza film profiles life in a hospital. P, T, E, serious film

King of Hearts

From 1966, this “must-see” film is about a Scottish soldier who discovers a town abandoned by everyone except the inmates of an insane asylum. P, T, E, serious film

The Madness of King George

This 1994 film is based on the real episode of dementia experienced by George III (who is now suspected to be a victim of porphyria, a blood disorder). It showcases treatment practices in the later 1700s. P, T, serious film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

From 1975, this film tells the story of Randall P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), a convict sent to a northwestern psychiatric hospital for evaluation and treatment. While there, McMurphy experiences firsthand the use of electroconvulsive therapy. P, T, E, serious film

Pressure Point

This film from the 1960s stars Sidney Poitier as a psychiatrist treating a racist patient (played by Bobby Darin). T, E, serious film

Snake Pit

Based on an autobiography, this 1948 film was one of the first and is one of the best about mental illness and the treatment of patients in asylums and hospitals. Olivia de Havilland portrays a woman suffering from a nervous breakdown. P, T, E, serious film

Titucut Follies

From 1967, this documentary covers the treatment of inmates/patients at a correctional institution in Massachusetts. T, E, documentary

West 47th Street

This 2001 film is a feature-length theatrical documentary following three years in the lives of four people with serious mental illness. P, T, E, documentary
Chapter 2

Charly

From the award-winning book Flowers for Algernon, this 1968 film portrays Charly, an adult suffering from intellectual disability. The film details Charly’s experiences with doctors attempting to “cure” him, leading up to his participation in an experimental treatment that raises his IQ to genius levels but not his emotional maturity. Issues of informed consent and the responsibilities that accompany science are handled well. P, T, E, serious film

Kinsey

From 2004, this biopic details the life story of Alfred Kinsey, author of the controversial Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. P, E, serious film

Trading Places

This 1983 film loosely addresses issues related to correlational and experimental research design. Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy play a privileged but priggish broker and a street hustler who are experimentally manipulated (without informed consent) into trading places. E, comedy

Wrong Answer

From 2005, this short film follows a participant in a psychology study of the effects of mild electric shocks on recall. Based on the classic Milgram obedience study. E, serious film
Chapter 3

Analyze This/Analyze That

Made in 1999 with a sequel in 2002, this film details the therapeutic relationship between a Mafioso (Robert DeNiro) and his psychiatrist (Billy Crystal). T, comedy

Anger Management

In this 2003 Adam Sandler comedy, a mild-mannered man is ordered to attend unorthodox anger management sessions. T, E, commercial comedy

The Caretakers

Filmed in 1963, this movie chronicles the trials of the mentally ill and their caregivers in an overcrowded hospital ward. Robert Stack portrays a new, optimistic doctor who attempts to start an outpatient program for the women in the ward. His nonpunishing treatment method is met with resistance by the head nurse, played by Joan Crawford. During treatment, the phobias and illnesses of the various women in the test group are explored. P, T, serious/commercial film

Clockwork Orange
this 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick, Alex (Malcolm McDowell), a member of a brutal teenage gang, is imprisoned and agrees to aversion therapy. P, T, E, serious film

Don Juan DeMarco

A young man (Johnny Depp), claiming to be the legendary Don Juan, comes to New York in search of his lost love. Dr. Mickler (Marlon Brando) is a nearto-retirement psychiatrist who helps the young man come to his senses. P, T, commercial film

The Dream Team

This amusing 1989 film follows the exploits of four mental patients “loose” in New York City when their group therapist is waylaid. P, T, commercial comedy

Equus

In this 1977 film, psychiatrist Richard Burton treats a young boy (Peter Firth) who has blinded horses, seemingly for no reason. P, T, E, serious film

Freud

This pseudo-biographical movie filmed in 1962 depicts 5 years, beginning in 1885, in the life of the Viennese psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856–1939). P, T, E, historical, serious film

Good Will Hunting

This Oscar-winning film (1997) stars Robin Williams as a troubled psychologist providing treatment for the main character (Matt Damon), a mathematical prodigy. The film also depicts (with humor) various treatment failures. T, E, serious film

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

From 1977, this gripping drama recounts a schizophrenic teenager’s struggle to cope with her mental illness with the help of a caring psychiatrist. P, T, E, serious film

Ordinary People

This 1980 film examines the treatment of a teenager suffering from depression, anxiety, and PTSD in the aftermath of his brother’s death. P, T, serious film

Prince of Tides

In this 1991 film, an adaptation of a Pat Conroy novel, Nick Nolte plays a football coach who is estranged from his wife and who enters into an affair with the psychiatrist (Barbra Streisand) who is treating his suicidal sister. P, T, E, serious/commercial film

Shutter Island

From 2010 and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, this film explores the impact of labeling on how we perceive individuals with supposed mental illnesses. P, T, serious film

The Sixth Sense

In this 1999 film by M. Night Shyamalan, Bruce Willis plays a child psychologist attempting to treat a young boy (Haley Joel Osment) who “sees dead people.” P, T, commercial/suspense/paranormal film

Spellbound

From 1945, this Hitchcock film (with scenery by Salvador Dali) stars Ingrid Bergman as a psychiatrist and Gregory Peck as a patient involved in a manhunt. P, T, E, commercial thriller/romance

What About Bob?

From 1991, this comedy stars Bill Murray as a neurotic, insecure new patient attempting to see a preeminent psychiatrist (played by Richard Dreyfuss). Failing that, Murray stalks Dreyfuss and his family while they vacation. P, T, E, comedy/commercial film Chapter 4

An Angel at My Table

This 1990 film by Jane Campion recounts the autobiographical tale of New Zealand poet Janet

Frame who was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia and spent eight years in a mental hospital. P, T, E, serious film

Nuts

This 1987 film stars Barbra Streisand as a prostitute charged with murder facing not incarceration but commitment to an institution. P, T, E, serious/commercial film
Chapter 5

As Good As It Gets

From 1997, this Academy award–winning film details the trials and tribulations of a writer (Jack Nicholson) dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder. P, comedy

The Aviator

From 2004, this biopic stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the obsessive Howard Hughes. P, serious film

Copycat

This 1996 film stars Sigourney Weaver as a forensic psychologist who develops agoraphobia as the result of an assault. Her help is needed to capture a psychopath who is copying the crimes of renowned serial killers. P, T, serious/commercial film

Matchstick Men

From 2003, this Nicholas Cage film follows Roy, a grifter with obsessive-compulsive tendencies. P, commercial film

Unstrung Heroes

This 1995 comedy-drama follows a boy who moves in with his “crazy” uncles. P, commercial film

Vertigo

This Hitchcock classic from 1958 stars Jimmy Stewart as a police detective overcome with a severe case of acrophobia—a deep fear of heights. P, serious/commercial film

What About Bob?

From 1991, this comedy stars Bill Murray as a neurotic, insecure new patient attempting to see a preeminent psychiatrist (played by Richard Dreyfuss). Failing that, Murray stalks Dreyfuss and his family while they vacation. P, T, E, comedy/commercial film
Chapter 6

Agnes of God

This 1985 film stars Jane Fonda as Dr. Livingston, a psychiatrist who is called in as part of the investigation when a dead infant is found at a convent. The child is found to belong to solemn, naive Sister Agnes (Meg Tilly), who offers little information about who the baby’s father is or why she committed the crime. P, T, E, serious film

Born on the Fourth of July

This 1989 film stars Tom Cruise in the true story of Ron Kovic, a Marine wounded in Vietnam and a well-known antiwar activist. P, serious film

The Butterfly Effect

Starring Ashton Kutcher, this 2004 suspense film follows a boy who blocks out painful memories of his life, only to recall them in an unusual way. P, commercial/suspense film

The Deer Hunter

From 1978 and starring a now-famous cast, this film details the relationship between friends and the impact of the Vietnam War, including posttraumatic stress disorder. P, serious film

The Fisher King

This 1991 film follows Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges), an irreverent radio talk show host who sinks into alcoholism after a tragedy. He is rescued by a delusional homeless man (Robin Williams) on a quest for the Holy Grail. P, serious film

Full Metal Jacket

This 1987 film by Stanley Kubrick tackles the training of a squad of Marines and the climactic battle of the 1968 Tet Offensive (the turning point of the Vietnam War). P, serious film

Gods and Monsters

From 1998, this film is the story of James Whale, the director of Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935), in the period following the Korean War. P, serious film

Identity

Released in 2003, this film seems to follow strangers from all different walks of life—a limo driver escorting a movie star, parents with a young son, a cop transporting a convict, a prostitute, a young couple, and a motel manager—who are then brought together in a rainstorm. As they are killed off one by one, the connections between them become clearer. P, T, commercial/suspense film

Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

This 1956 drama stars Gregory Peck as a man struggling to realize the American Dream without sacrificing his family and his soul. While Tom Rath seems a typical, solid business and family man, he suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder. P, serious film

Mulholland Drive

This 2001 Oscar-nominated David Lynch film is about a woman with amnesia lost in Los Angeles who is helped by an ingénue who is also new to the city. Everything is not, however, as it seems.

P, commercial/suspense film

Mystic River

From 2003, Clint Eastwood directed this dark film about three men who shared a childhood trauma. P, serious film

Ordinary People

This 1980 film examines the treatment of a teenager suffering from depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder in the aftermath of his brother’s death. P, T, serious film

The Pianist

This Oscar-winning film recounts the experiences of a Polish Jewish musician trying to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II. P, serious film

Primal Fear

From 1996, this film stars Edward Norton as an accused killer claiming dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder) and Richard Gere as his attorney. The film is full of plot twists and turns. P, T, E, serious/commercial film

Psycho

This 1960 classic Hitchcock film (remade in 1998) follows Norman Bates, a lonely hotel clerk with a dissociative disorder. P, horror/commercial film

Reign Over Me

This 2007 film stars Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle as they deal with post-9/11 losses. P, serious film

Secret Window

This 2004 film stars Johnny Depp as an author with dissociative identity disorder. P, horror/commercial film

Speak

From 2004, this film stars Kristen Stewart as a teen coming to terms with a sexual assault by becoming selectively mute. P, serious film

Stop Loss

Starring Ryan Phillippe, this 2008 drama focuses on an Iraq war veteran called for backup duty. P, serious film

Spellbound

From 1945, this Hitchcock film (with scenery by Salvador Dali) stars Ingrid Bergman as a psychiatrist and Gregory Peck as a patient with amnesia who is involved in a manhunt. P, T, E, commercial thriller/romance film

Sybil

From 1976, Sally Field gives an award-winning performance as Sybil, a disturbed young woman who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. P, serious film

The Three Faces of Eve

This 1957 film is the true story of a Georgia housewife (played by Joanne Woodward in an awardwinning performance) with three personalities. P, T, serious film

The War

This 1994 film explores the summer of 1970, when a returning soldier (Kevin Costner) struggles with his emotional and psychological scars, including posttraumatic stress disorder. P, serious film
Chapter 7

It’s a Wonderful Life

This film from 1946 stars Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a small-town man whose life seems so desperate he contemplates suicide. P, commercial film

Leaving Las Vegas

This 1995 film stars Nicolas Cage as a Hollywood screenwriter who has become an alcoholic. After being fired, he takes his severance pay to Las Vegas, where he plans to drink himself to death. P, serious film

Mr. Jones

This 1993 Richard Gere film follows the relationship between a bipolar man, Mr. Jones, and the female doctor who takes more than a professional interest in his treatment. P, T, E, commercial film

Ordinary People

This 1980 film examines the treatment of a teenager suffering from depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder in the aftermath of his brother’s death. P, T, serious film

Other Films:

About a Boy (2002), depression and suicide. P, commercial/serious film

About Schmidt (2002), depression. P, serious film

The Accidental Tourist (1988), depression. P, serious film

The Bell Jar (1979), anxiety and depression. P, T, serious film

Fear Strikes Out (1957), depression. P, T, serious film

Love Liza (2002), depression. P, serious/art film

Magnolia (1999), depression. P, serious film

Sophie’s Choice (1982), depression. P, serious film
Chapter 8

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

This 1975 film tells the story of Randall P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), a convict sent to a northwestern psychiatric hospital for evaluation and treatment. While there, McMurphy experiences firsthand the use of electroconvulsive therapy. P, T, E, serious film

Ordinary People

This 1980 film examines the treatment of a teenager suffering from depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder in the aftermath of his brother’s death. P, T, serious film

Other Films:

The Bell Jar (1979), anxiety and depression. P, T, serious film

Brain Candy (1996) involves a drug company’s research into and development of a drug to treat depression. P, T, comedy

Fear Strikes Out (1957), depression. P, T, serious film

s Kind of a Funny Story (2010), depression. T, comedy
Woman Under the Influence (1974), institutionalization and ECT. P, T, E, serious film

Chapter 9

The Bridge

A haunting documentary looking at the lives and deaths of 24 people who died at the Golden Gate bridge in 2004. P, serious film

Dead Poets Society

This 1989 film stars Robin Williams as an unconventional teacher in a strict prep school. The suicide of one of his students is explored. P, E, serious film

Girl, Interrupted

Based on an autobiographical novel by Susanna Kaysen, this film details the experiences of several women as patients in a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s. The 1999 film challenges the

diagnosis of mental illness and the relationship between diagnosis and social norm violations. P, T, serious film

The Hours

From 2003, this film stars Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf, Julianne Moore as a 1950s homemaker, and Meryl Streep as a NY socialite. A common link among them all is suicide. P, T, serious film

It’s a Wonderful Life

This film from 1946 stars Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a small-town man whose life seems so desperate he contemplates suicide. P, commercial film

Leaving Las Vegas

This 1995 film stars Nicolas Cage as a Hollywood screenwriter who has become an alcoholic. After being fired, he takes his severance pay to Las Vegas, where he plans to drink himself to death. P, serious film

Ordinary People

This 1980 film examines the treatment of a teenager suffering from depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder in the aftermath of his brother’s death. P, T, serious film

Sylvia

This film stars Gwyneth Paltrow as the talented, troubled, and eventually suicidal poet Sylvia Plath. P, serious film

The Virgin Suicides

From 2000 and set in the 1970s, this adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenide’s novel deals with sexual attraction and teen suicide. P, T, E, serious film

What Dreams May Come

This 1998 film stars Robin Williams as a husband distraught by the tragic death of his children. The later suicide of his wife is a significant component of the film. P, serious film

Whose Life Is It Anyway?

From 1981, this film follows Ken Harrison (Richard Dreyfuss), an artist paralyzed from the neck down in a car accident. He goes to court for the right to commit suicide. P, E, serious film

William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet

This 1996 Baz Luhrmann adaptation of the Shakespeare classic stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as star-crossed, teenaged lovers whose ill-fated relationship ultimately ends in both their deaths. P, serious film

Other Films:

About a Boy (2002), depression and suicide. P, commercial/serious film

The Bell Jar (1979), anxiety and depression. P, T, serious film

The Deer Hunter (1978), P, serious film

Love Liza (2002), suicide. P, serious/art film

The Royal Tennenbaums (2001), suicide attempt. P, comedy/serious film

Sophie’s Choice (1982), depression. P, serious film
Chapter 10

Hannah and Her Sisters

From 1986, this film chronicles the changing relationships among three sisters living in New York City. The film stars Woody Allen as a television writer who is divorced from Hannah and suffers from hypochondriasis. P, T, comedy

The Piano

This Oscar-winning film from 1993 stars Holly Hunter as Ada, a mute-by-choice nineteenthcentury woman sent to New Zealand in an arranged marriage with a patriarchal landowner (Sam Neill). P, serious film

Send Me No Flowers

From 1964, this film stars Rock Hudson as a sweet and hopeless man with hypochondriasis. P, comedy

The Sixth Sense

While not a major point of this 1999 film about a young boy who “sees dead people,” a child victim of Munchausen syndrome by proxy is briefly profiled. P, commercial/suspense/paranormal film

Vanilla Sky

This 2001 Cameron Crowe film stars Tom Cruise as a successful publisher who finds his life taking a turn for the surreal after a car accident. P, commercial/suspense film

Other Films:

Hollywood Ending (2002), somatoform disorder (hysterical blindness). P, comedy/commercial film

Play It Again Sam (1972), hypochondriacs. P, comedy film

Tommy (1975), somatoform disorder. P, T, rock musical

Films on Demand is a Web-based digital delivery service that has impressive psychology holdings. Their catalog can
Chapter 11

The Best Little Girl in the World

From 1986, this film poignantly portrays a young woman’s struggle with anorexia nervosa. P, T, serious film

Girl, Interrupted

Based on an autobiographical novel by Susanna Kaysen, this film details the experiences of several women as patients in a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s. The 1999 film challenges the diagnosis of mental illness and the relationship between diagnosis and social norm violations. P, T, serious film

I Don’t Buy Kisses Anymore

This 1991 film stars Jason Alexander as a store owner with a compulsive eating disorder. P, comedy/serious film

Requiem for a Dream

From 2000, this film addresses the multiple addictions of a boy, his girlfriend, his buddy, and his mother (including food and diet pills). P, serious film
Chapter 12

Arthur

This 1981 classic stars Dudley Moore as an alcoholic millionaire with no ambition or pretense. P, comedy

Barfly

In this 1987 film, Mickey Rourke plays Henry Chinaski, a poet and alcoholic. P, comedy/drama

Bird

Directed by Clint Eastwood, this 1988 film portrays the story of jazz great Charlie Parker, including his drug use and compulsive eating. P, serious film

The Boost

From 1989, this intense film stars James Woods as a investment broker addicted to cocaine. P, serious film

Clean and Sober

From 1988, this film stars Michael Keaton as an alcoholic executive who realizes he’s “hit bottom” and enters a drug rehabilitation center. P, T, serious film

Crazy/Beautiful

This 2001 film stars Kirsten Dunst as a troubled, rebellious rich girl who abuses drugs and alcohol and is medicated for depression. Her romance with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks helps her put her life back together. P, serious film

Days of Wine & Roses

This 1962 film stars Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick as a middle-class family dealing with alcohol dependence. P, serious film

The Doors

This 1991 film stars Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison, a drug-addled rock star of the 1960s. P, serious film

Drugstore Cowboy

Starring Matt Dillon and set in the 1960s, this troubling 1989 film details the actions of a gang of drug users. P, T, serious film

The Fisher King

This 1991 film follows Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges), an irreverent radio talk show host who sinks into alcoholism after a tragedy. He is rescued by a delusional, homeless man (Robin Williams) on a quest for the Holy Grail. P, serious film

Lady Sings the Blues

Starring Diana Ross, this 1972 film depicts the story of Billie Holiday, a jazz singer whose career was cut short by drug addiction. P, serious biopic

Leaving Las Vegas

This 1995 film stars Nicolas Cage as a Hollywood screenwriter who has become an alcoholic. After being fired, he takes his severance pay to Las Vegas, where he plans to drink himself to death. P, serious film

Less Than Zero

This disturbing 1987 film portrays the drug use among a post-college crowd in Los Angeles. P, serious film

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster

From 2004, this documentary follows the band as they record their St. Anger album and see an on-call psychiatrist to help with the growing tensions between band members. P, T, documentary

Permanent Midnight

From 1998, this fact-based film details the story of Jerry Stahl, a television writer suffering from drug addiction. P, serious film

Pollock

This film, from 2000, provides a fascinating look at the life of abstract expressionist (and substance-abuser) Jackson Pollock (1912–1956). P, serious film

Postcards from the Edge

Starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine, this 1990 film tells the story of Susanne Vale, a struggling Hollywood actress suffering from substance abuse problems. She moves from a stint in rehab to life with an alcoholic mother. P, comedy/drama

Requiem for a Dream

From 2000, this film addresses the multiple addictions of a boy, his girlfriend, his buddy, and his mother (including food and diet pills). P, serious film

The Rose

This film from 1979 stars Bette Midler as Mary Rose Foster, a character she based on the 1960s singer Janis Joplin who died of a drug overdose. P, serious film

Sid & Nancy

This 1986 film is a moving portrayal of the addicted lives and tragic deaths of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious and his girlfriend/groupie, Nancy Spungen. P, serious film

Sideways

This Oscar-winning film from 2004 follows Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church on an alcohol-fueled tour through wine country. P, serious/comedic film

A Star Is Born

This 1954 remake stars Judy Garland as a starlet whose husband (and manager) is devastated by alcohol abuse. P, musical/serious film

Trainspotting

This haunting 1996 film details the heroin culture in a group of Scottish youth. P, serious film

Walk the Line

This Academy award–winning film from 2005 stars Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese

Witherspoon as June Carter Cash in a chronicle of the country music singer’s life. P, serious film

When a Man Loves a Woman

This 1994 film stars Meg Ryan as a woman suffering from alcoholism and Andy Garcia as her husband. P, serious film
Chapter 13

Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

This Australian film from 1994 follows three cabaret drag queens who trek across the outback. P, comedy

Belle de Jour

Scandalous when first released in 1965, this film is Luis Bunuel’s story of an affluent housewife (Catherine Deneuve) who acts out her sexual fantasies by taking a job at a Paris brothel. P, serious film

The Birdcage

A remake of the French La Cage Aux Folles, this American film from 1996 stars Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as a gay cabaret owner and his transvestite companion (actually a drag performer) trying to hide their relationship so that their son can introduce them to his fiancée’s conservative parents. P, comedy

Boys Don’t Cry

From 1999, this powerful film stars Hilary Swank as Teena Brandon, a young woman who claims a new male identity in the rural town of Falls City, Nebraska. Based on a true story. P, E, serious film

Clockwork Orange
this 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick, Alex, a member of a brutal teenage gang, is imprisoned and agrees to aversion therapy. P, T, E, serious film

The Crying Game

This 1992 film focuses on the relationship between a person with gender identity disorder and his unsuspecting partner. P, serious film

Damage

This 1993 film portrays the troubling story of a married and respected middle-aged member of Britain’s Parliament who becomes romantically and obsessively involved with his son’s fiancée. P, E, serious film

Kinsey

From 2004, this biopic stars Liam Neeson as Alfred Kinsey, a man who created a media sensation with his sexuality research and subsequent book Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. P, E, serious film

Kiss of the Spider Woman

From 1985, this film stars William Hurt and Raul Julia as two cellmates in a South American prison—the first is a man who molested a young boy and the other is a political activist. P, E, serious film

Lolita

From 1962, this Stanley Kubrick adaptation of Nabokov’s book is set in 1947 and details a troubled man in a troubled relationship with a very young girl. P, E, comedic/serious film

Looking for Mr. Goodbar

Starring Diane Keaton, this 1977 film paints an intense portrait of the free-spirited singles scene in New York City and the turmoil of one woman’s attempt to find her own sexual identity. P, serious film

vie en rose
this Golden Globe–winning film from 1997, Ludovic is a boy who cross-dresses, acts like a girl, and talks of marrying his neighbor’s son. P, serious film

Normal

This 2003 film provides a relatively realistic portrayal of a married man undergoing gender transition. P, E, serious film

Secretary

From 2002, this film depicts Maggie Gyllenhall as a smart, quirky masochistic woman having an unorthodox relationship with her boss. P, E, serious film

sex, lies, and videotape

This 1989 film directed by Steven Soderbergh examines the triangle created when an old college friend reenters the lives of a sexually repressed woman and her husband. They discover their friend has a fetish for videotaping women talking about sex. His appearance forces them to reexamine their marriage. P, T, E, serious film

Transamerica

This Oscar-nominated film stars Felicity Huffman as a preoperative male-to-female transsexual trying to forge a relationship with her son. P, serious film

The Woodsman

This 2004 film stars Kevin Bacon as a child molester who returns to his hometown after his release from prison. P, E, serious film

The World According to Garp

From 1982, this acclaimed adaptation of the John Irving book follows a feminist activist (Glenn Close) who publishes a feminist manifesto that makes her a lightning rod for all manner of victimized women. Among her followers is a transsexual ex-football player (John Lithgow). P, T, comedy/serious film
Chapters 14-15

A Beautiful Mind

This Academy Award–winning film from 2001 stars Russell Crowe as real-life mathematician John Nash Jr., a Nobel prize-winner who developed a groundbreaking economic theory while struggling with schizophrenic delusions. P, T, E, serious film

Benny & Joon

From 1993, this film portrays an artist with psychological dysfunction who is finding love. Some who have seen the film have questioned the diagnosis of the main character—some argue schizophrenia, some argue schizotypal personality disorder. P, serious film

Canvas

From writer-director Joseph Greco, this 2006 drama stars Joe Pantoliano in an outstanding portrayal of mental illness. P, T, E, serious film

Clean Shaven

This accurate and graphic 1993 film depicts life through the eyes of an untreated man with paranoid schizophrenia searching for his daughter. P, serious film

The Couch Trip

This 1988 comedy stars Charles Grodin as a stressed-out radio shrink, whose producer ends up unwittingly hiring a patient with schizophrenia (Dan Aykroyd) to replace him during his hiatus. P, T, E, comedy

Don Juan Demarco

In this 1995 comedy, Johnny Depp portrays a patient in a psychiatric hospital who claims to be Don Juan, the world’s greatest lover. Marlon Brando plays the psychiatrist who tries to analyze his patient’s apparent delusion. P, T, E comedy/serious film

Donnie Darko

From 2001, this film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a disturbed teen who has visions of a human-sized rabbit telling him to do bad things. P, T, serious film

The Fisher King

This 1991 film follows Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges), an irreverent radio talk show host who sinks into alcoholism after a tragedy. He is rescued by a delusional, homeless man (Robin Williams) on a quest for the Holy Grail. P, serious film

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

From 1977, this gripping drama recounts the struggle of a teenager with schizophrenia coping with her illness with the help of a caring psychiatrist. P, T, E, serious film

Love Actually

a secondary plotline, this Hugh Grant film from 2003 depicts the impact of schizophrenia on a family. P, T, comedy

From 1998, this thriller follows a paranoid mathematician. P, commercial film

Proof

This Gwyneth Paltrow/Anthony Hopkins film shows the work of a psychotic mathematician and his relationship with his possibly psychotic daughter. P, serious film

Other Films:

The Caine Mutiny (1954), psychosis. P, serious film

Network (1976), psychosis. P, serious film

Shine (1996), psychosis. P, T, serious film

Sophie’s Choice (1982), psychosis. P, serious film

Spider (2002), schizophrenia. P, serious film

They Might Be Giants (1971), schizophrenia, treatment. P, T, E, commercial/serious/comedy film
Chapter 16

Benny & Joon

From 1993, this film portrays an artist with psychological dysfunction who is finding love. After watching the film, some who have seen it question the diagnosis of the main character—some argue schizophrenia, and some argue schizotypal personality disorder. P, serious film

Cape Fear

While the 1962 version won more acclaim than the 1991 Scorsese remake, both films follow an ex-convict seeking revenge on the attorney who improperly defended him. P, thriller/serious film

Clockwork Orange
this 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick, Alex, a member of a brutal teenage gang, is imprisoned and agrees to aversion therapy. P, T, E, serious film

Copycat

This 1996 film stars Sigourney Weaver as a forensic psychologist who develops agoraphobia as the result of an assault. Her help is needed to capture a psychopath who is copying the crimes of renowned serial killers. P, T, serious/commercial film

The Crush

This 1993 film stars Alicia Silverstone as a teen obsessed with the next-door neighbor. P, thriller/serious film

Dead Man Walking

This 1995 critically acclaimed film portrays the true story of spiritual advisor Sister Helen Prejean and her first client—Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn), a man convicted of rape and murder and awaiting execution. P, T, E, serious film

Fatal Attraction

From 1987, this suspenseful film follows a happily married man (Michael Douglas) who engages in a one-night stand with a troubled woman (Glenn Close) who refuses to end the affair. P, thriller/serious film

Five Easy Pieces

This 1970 film stars Jack Nicholson as a gifted man struggling to find his place in the world. P, serious film

Girl, Interrupted

Based on an autobiographical novel by Susanna Kaysen, this film details the experiences of several women as patients in a psychiatric hospital in the 1960s. The 1999 film challenges the diagnosis of mental illness and the relationship between diagnosis and social norm violations. P, T, serious film

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

This 1992 film stars Rebecca De Mornay as a nanny with borderline personality disorder. P, thriller

Kalifornia

From 1993, this dark film follows a liberal journalist (David Duchovny), who is writing a book on homicidal maniacs with his exhibitionist-photographer lover (Michelle Forbes) while in the company of a sociopath (Brad Pitt) and his girlfriend (Juliette Lewis). P, serious film

Misery

This Oscar-wining film from 1990 stars Kathy Bates as a novelist’s “number-one fan.” P, dramatic thriller

Mommie Dearest

Starring Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford, this 1981 adaptation of Christina Crawford’s controversial autobiography details the horror in the movie star’s life. P, serious film

Monster

This Academy award–winning film from 2003 stars Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona

Beach prostitute who became a serial killer. Based on a true story. P, drama

Natural Born Killers

Acclaimed by some, panned by others, this disturbing 1994 Oliver Stone film follows Mickey Knox (Woody Harrelson) and his wife Mallory (Juliette Lewis) as they take off on a three-week killing spree across the country. P, T, E, serious/commercial film

One Hour Photo

From 2002, Robin Williams plays a photo processing employee obsessed with a suburban family. P, dramatic thriller

Seven

This dark film from 1995 examines how a sociopathic serial killer uses the seven deadly sins— gluttony, greed, sloth, envy, wrath, pride, and lust—to punish sinners for their ignorance. P, E, thriller

The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and sequels Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002), as well as Manhunter (1986)

This film, made from the Thomas Harris book, follows an ambitious FBI agent (Jodie Foster) who enlists the aid of a criminally insane ex-psychiatrist (Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lechter) to help track down a serial killer. P, E, thriller/serious/commercial films

Single White Female

From 1992, Jennifer Jason Leigh portrays a young woman with borderline personality disorder who tries to eliminate and replace her roommate played by Bridget Fonda. P, serious film

Sleeping with the Enemy

Starring Julia Roberts, this 1991 film follows a woman who flees a compulsive, controlling, and violent husband. P, serious film

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Matt Damon plays Tom Ripley, a young man desperate to be someone else, in this 1999 film set in 1950s New York. P, dramatic thriller

Taxi Driver

This classic 1976 film stars Robert DeNiro as Travis Bickle, an unstable Vietnam veteran, and Jodie Foster as the teen prostitute who befriends him. P, drama

Other Films:

American Psycho (2000), antisocial personality. P, dark comedy film

Apocalypse Now (1979), antisocial personality disorder. P, serious film

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), antisocial personality. P, comedy

The Boston Strangler (1968), antisocial personality disorder. P, serious film

The Caine Mutiny (1954), personality disorder. P, serious film

Catch Me if You Can (2002), antisocial personality disorder. P, commercial/serious film

Compulsion (1959) antisocial personality disorder. P, serious film

Fight Club (1999), antisocial personality disorder. P, serious film

A Fine Madness (1966), personality disorders, lobotomy. P, T, serious/comedy film

Frances (1982), personality disorder. P, T, E, serious film

Full Metal Jacket (1987), antisocial personality disorder. P, serious film

Goodfellas (1990), antisocial personality. P, serious/commercial film

House of Games (1987), antisocial personality disorder. P, serious film

In Cold Blood (1967), antisocial personality disorder. P, serious film

Magnolia (1999), narcissistic personality disorder. P, serious film

The Royal Tennenbaums (2001), antisocial personality disorder. P, comedy/serious film

Shine (1996), psychosis, personality disorder. P, T, serious film

Swimfan (2002), borderline personality disorder. P, commercial film

Willard (1971, remake 2002), antisocial personality. P, entertainment horror film
Chapter 17

The Breakfast Club

From 1985, this John Hughes classic follows five high school students from different social groups spending a Saturday together in detention. P, comedy/serious film

Charly

From the award-winning book Flowers for Algernon, this 1968 film portrays Charly, an adult suffering from intellectual disability. The film details Charly’s experiences with doctors attempting to “cure” him, leading up to his participation in an experimental treatment that raises his IQ to genius levels but not his emotional maturity. Issues of informed consent and the responsibilities that accompany science are handled well. P, T, E, serious film

Crazy/Beautiful

This 2001 film stars Kirsten Dunst as a troubled, rebellious rich girl who abuses drugs and alcohol and is medicated for depression. Her romance with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks helps her put her life back together. P, serious film

Dead Poet’s Society

This 1989 film stars Robin Williams as an unconventional teacher in a strict prep school. The suicide of one of his students is explored. P, E, serious film

Dominick and Eugene

From 1988, this touching film follows fraternal twins—one (Ray Liotta) is an ambitious medical student, the other (Tom Hulce) is a “slow” trash collector. P, serious film

Equus

this 1977 film, psychiatrist Richard Burton treats a young boy (Peter Firth) who has blinded horses, seemingly for no reason. P, T, E serious film
Am Sam

From 2001, this Sean Penn film follows Sam Dawson, a father with the mental capacity of a 7year-old. P, E, serious/commercial film

Mad Love

This 1995 stars Chris O’Donnell as a teen “saving” Drew Barrymore after her family puts her in a psychiatric hospital. P, serious film

The Other Sister

From 1999, this film stars Juliette Lewis as a young woman with intellectual disability striving for independence from her (overly) protective mother (Diane Keaton). P, commercial/serious film

Rain Man

This 1988 film stars Dustin Hoffman as a man with autism and savant syndrome who is forced to travel cross-country with his self-centered, greedy younger brother (Tom Cruise). P, T, serious film

Thirteen

This disturbing film from 2003 follows two girls on the edge of adolescence and identity development. P, serious film

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

This 1994 film stars Johnny Depp as Gilbert, the eldest brother in a family with a very large mother (Darlene Cates) who hasn’t left the house since her husband committed suicide years before. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Arnie, Gilbert’s teenage brother who suffers from intellectual disability and needs constant supervision. P, serious film

Other Films:

Igby Goes Down (2002), problems of childhood and adolescence. P, serious film

Silent Fall (1994), autism. P, commercial/serious film

Spellbound (1945), problems of childhood and adolescence. P, T, E, commercial thriller/romance
Chapter 18

Away from Her

Starring Julie Christie, this 2006 film chronicles a woman’s descent into Alzheimer’s disease and her husband’s decision to institutionalize her. P, T, E serious film

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

From 2003, this quirky film follows a couple (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) as they have their memories erased in an effort to forget each other. P, E, comedy/romance, independent film

Fifty First Dates

This Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore comedy from 2004 follows the couple as they cope with her memory impairment. P, comedy/commercial film

Memento

This artful thriller from 2000 follows Guy Pearce, a man with no short-term memory, on a confusing journey to find his wife’s killer. P, commercial/serious film

On Golden Pond

From 1981, this film tells the story of Norman, a retired professor (Henry Fonda), and Ethel, his wife (Katharine Hepburn), who visit their summer cottage for Norman’s birthday. Over the course of their trip, Ethel comes to realize Norman is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. P, serious film

Regarding Henry

From 1991, this film stars Harrison Ford as a ruthless attorney who loses his memory (dramatically changing his personality) after being shot by a robber. P, serious film

Tuesdays with Morrie

Morrie (played by Jack Lemmon) is an elderly man slowly dying of a terminal illness. He is a retired teacher who, although he’s sick, dying, and often in pain, is not afraid of death. Rather, he is more interested in getting as much as possible out of the life he has left. P, serious film

Other Films:

About Schmidt (2002), issues of aging. P, serious film

Driving Miss Daisy (1991), issues of aging. P, serious film

Iris (2001), Alzheimer’s disease. P, T, serious film