Vincente Minnelli‘s 1955 melodrama is set in a posh mental hospital; he choreographs the various plots and subplots with the same style and dynamism he brought to his famous musicals. Charles Boyer is the head of the clinic, a secret alcoholic worried about competition from hotshot young shrink Richard Widmark. Widmark, in turn, is caught in a triangle with his childish wife (Gloria Grahame) and an understanding colleague (Lauren Bacall). Among the guest loonies are Oscar Levant (who sings “Mother” in a straitjacket), Lillian Gish, Susan Strasberg, Fay Wray, John Kerr, Paul Stewart, and Adele Jergens; John Houseman produced. 124 min.
Considering how stupid the whole idea was—to remake a Rudolph Valentino silent with Glenn Ford—this 1962 feature picture is surprisingly passable, particularly when you turn off the sound track and concentrate on the sumptuous visuals provided by Vincente Minnelli. It’s no classic, but there’s more integrity here than anyone would have a right to expect. With Ingrid Thulin, Charles Boyer, Lee J. Cobb, and the two horsemen of 40s melodrama, Paul Henreid and Paul Lukas.