SHOCK CORRIDOR, Samuel Fuller (1963)
Journalist, ambitious, Johnny Barett plans to immerse themselves in a mental asylum to unmask the perpetrator of a murder that took place here. He is arrested and then the internet while continuing to simulate the presence of mental disorders.
The name of Samuel Fuller benefit today of a real fame through her films police The Port of the drug and The bamboo House. In the manner of a Raoul Walsh, Fuller invests the film genres (westerns, crime fiction, war film) by ensuring to the producers that it will provide them with the arrival of a work codified, easy to sell and exploit, all the while infusing political vision and critique of the world. The critic Manny Farber, a contemporary of Fuller, opposed to the film “white elephants” (me-tu-vu and surintellectualisés) to movies (“termites”, in which he admired the way of doing work your mind ticking when you first thought, not to have seen as simple entertainment. SHOCK CORRIDOR is clearly a movie termite, of which we only understand after watching the bold and the psychological impact.
Film operating forces, SHOCK CORRIDOR has characteristics specific to its time and context, which may somewhat confuse the public today. Conducted drum beating as required by the productions, the plot of madness in which the protagonist must embark, is, therefore, exposed in an opening scene, the dialogues of which the most aggregated of philosophy still seek today the true meaning : “do you really Want to make me the chorus of your Greek tragedy in the insane ?” or even : “Hamlet would need to consult Freud, not you !” Ah, subtlety, when you hold us! This emphasis of the literary is all the more incongruous that it is followed by a number from cabaret, such as the productions opportunistic of the time knew how to impose in the scenarios, under the pretext of satisfying the viewer with the forms alluring to a lady, without really asking the question of the usefulness of this bracket highly touted in the plot.
“Samuel Fuller stands with Shock Corridor a gallery of portraits, high-in-colors as much as an observation on the various follies that plagued the society of the time. “
But oddly enough, once this plot put in place in the décor of the psychiatric hospital, we reconsider the first quarter of an hour protean integrating it with the general atmosphere of SHOCK CORRIDOR, composed of moods, contradictory, and pieces hysterics. Because that is where the main interest of this film which, coincidentally, came out the same year as the novel Flight over the cuckoo’s nest by Ken Kesey : develop a gallery of portraits, high-in-colors as much as an observation on the various follies that plagued the society of the time. The investigation of Johnny is in the end, only a pretext to string together the encounters with characters marginalized by an America beset by the Ku Klux Klan, the threat of atomic, the macchartysme and a puritanism which prescribes to women in their sexual behavior. The most memorable scene of the film is without doubt that of the storm, as Fuller turned in to ruin the scenery and make it impossible for the shooting of additional scenes by means of performers in service of the producers; proof if it were needed that the guy had the art to impose its vision of the author. Well played, Maestro !
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