Film: Shock Corridor
1963 drama directed by Samuel Fuller.Johnny Barrett (Peter Breck), an ambitious journalist, is determined to win a Pulitzer Prize by solving a murder committed in a lunatic asylum and witnessed only by three inmates, from whom the police have been unable to extract the information. With the connivance of a psychiatrist, and the reluctant help of his girlfriend Cathy (Constance Towers), he succeeds in having himself declared insane and sent to the asylum. There he slowly tracks down and interviews the witnesses - but things are stranger than they seem ...
This film provides examples of:
- Bedlam House: The asylum has this dysfunctional feel to it.
- Bittersweet Ending / Downer Ending: Johnny solves the mystery, the murderer is caught, and Johnny gets his Pulitzer. But his obsession leads to his mentally snapping—he is now catatonic, and a patient at the asylum. And there seems to be no hope for Cathy reconciling with him.
- Boomerang Bigot: Trent, as a self-proclaimed black Klansman.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Johnny's speaking impairment in critical situations as a result of the electroshock therapy.
- Catapult Nightmare: Trent is performing one of these.
- Driven to Madness: The Movie.
- Electric Torture: The electroshock treatment Johnny is been given.
- Fanservice: Cathy's song number in a skimpy Vegas show-girl outfit.
- Fat Best Friend: The gigantic opera singer instantly befriends Johnny.
- Flipping the Table: Happens during the dispute at the canteen.
- Go Among Mad People: Johnny.
- Inner Monologue: Johnny's thoughts are the main narrative.
- Iris Out: The movie starts with an Iris-In effect on the long asylum corridor.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Cathy's crazy love for Johnny.
- Napoleon Delusion: Stuart believes that he's American Civil War general J. E. B. Stuart.
- Orderlies Are Creeps: Wilkes anyway.
- Punctuated Pounding: Who! Killed! Sloan! (Johnny pounding Wilkes' head on the floor)
- Punishment Box: Johnny is threatened by the warden to receive this treatment.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In the opening scene, Cathy is giving one of these to Johnny concerning his obsession.
- Room Full of Crazy: A mild version with the drawings in the Nymph ward.
- Sanity Slippage: Johnny's losing it towards the end, becoming a legit inmate of the asylum.
- Shout-Out: John Zorn's album Radio has a track called "Shock Corridor".
- Splash of Color: While the movie is produced in black and white, the nightmares/visions of the characters are depicted in color.
- Talkative Loon: Trent in particular.
- Where Da White Women At?: Trent mentions this twice in his hate speeches.
- You Have to Believe Me: Johnny, trying to convince the shrink of his sanity.