Shock Corridor (1963)

101 mins | Melodrama | 11 September 1963

Director:

Samuel Fuller

Writer:

Samuel Fuller

Producer:

Samuel Fuller

Cinematographer:

Stanley Cortez

Editor:

Jerome Thoms

Production Designer:

Eugene Lourie

Production Company:

F & F Productions
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HISTORY

The 1 Feb 1963 DV announced that producer Leon Fromkess was moving his headquarters on 4 Feb 1963 from Allied Artists Studios to Producers Studio, both located in Hollywood, CA. His first project at the new location was referenced by the working title, The Long Corridor. Principal photography started 18 Feb 1963, as stated in the 22 Feb 1963 DV production charts. The 21 Feb 1963 DV noted that the film would mark actress Constance Towers’s motion picture singing debut. On 27 Feb 1963, DV reported that Richard Morley resigned the presidency of Creative Associates to join Fromkess on the production. The article did not specify the nature of Morley’s duties. Five days later, the 4 Mar 1963 DV noted that twenty-five background actors were hired for a week’s work on the picture. Filming was completed within the month, as indicated by the 10 Apr 1963 Var, which stated that lead actor Peter Breck was hospitalized following his physically challenging role.
       On 15 May 1963, DV reported that composer Paul Dunlap would begin recording the score with a forty-piece orchestra the next day. According to the 20 Jun 1963 DV, Constance Towers released “Cathy’s Theme” on Diamond Records, written for the picture by Dunlap. As noted in the 23 Aug 1963 DV, she also voiced Spanish-language radio advertisements for the film, and joined fellow cast members Peter Breck and Hari Rhodes on a promotional tour, according to the 7 Oct 1963 DV.
       The 21 Jun 1963 ... More Less

The 1 Feb 1963 DV announced that producer Leon Fromkess was moving his headquarters on 4 Feb 1963 from Allied Artists Studios to Producers Studio, both located in Hollywood, CA. His first project at the new location was referenced by the working title, The Long Corridor. Principal photography started 18 Feb 1963, as stated in the 22 Feb 1963 DV production charts. The 21 Feb 1963 DV noted that the film would mark actress Constance Towers’s motion picture singing debut. On 27 Feb 1963, DV reported that Richard Morley resigned the presidency of Creative Associates to join Fromkess on the production. The article did not specify the nature of Morley’s duties. Five days later, the 4 Mar 1963 DV noted that twenty-five background actors were hired for a week’s work on the picture. Filming was completed within the month, as indicated by the 10 Apr 1963 Var, which stated that lead actor Peter Breck was hospitalized following his physically challenging role.
       On 15 May 1963, DV reported that composer Paul Dunlap would begin recording the score with a forty-piece orchestra the next day. According to the 20 Jun 1963 DV, Constance Towers released “Cathy’s Theme” on Diamond Records, written for the picture by Dunlap. As noted in the 23 Aug 1963 DV, she also voiced Spanish-language radio advertisements for the film, and joined fellow cast members Peter Breck and Hari Rhodes on a promotional tour, according to the 7 Oct 1963 DV.
       The 21 Jun 1963 DV announced the official title as Shock Corridor. The film premiered 11 Sep 1963 in New York City, as stated in the 28 Aug 1963 Var, followed by the 9 Oct 1963 opening in Los Angeles, CA. Reviews were lukewarm, several of which described the portrayals of severe mental illness as unconvincing. The 14 Aug 1963 Var reported that the Catholic Legion of Decency declared the picture “morally objectionable in part for all.” According to the 16 Sep 1964 Var, Swedish censors took even greater offense, banning the film entirely.
       Regardless, a news item in the 11 Sep 1963 DV claimed it was the “fastest booking” film in the history of Allied Artists, with engagements in “every key city” across the U.S. In addition, the 18 Sep 1963 Var reported earnings of $147,585 from five New York City theaters during the opening weekend. Speaking to the 18 Sep 1963 Var, writer-producer-director Samuel Fuller attributed the picture’s success to its topical content, and advised his fellow filmmakers to draw inspiration from current events.
       On 21 Jul 1963, NYT revealed that Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation had plans to produce Shock Treatment, based on a novel by Winfred Van Atta, with a plot very similar to Shock Corridor, for which Fuller took sole credit.
       Casting announcements included Felix Silla (1 Mar 1963 DV), Dolores Domasin, Leslie Summers, and Deana Carcia (7 Mar 1963 DV), and Gordon Zahler (12 Mar 1963 DV).
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
1 Feb 1963
p. 12.
Daily Variety
21 Feb 1963
p. 4.
Daily Variety
22 Feb 1963
p. 6.
Daily Variety
27 Feb 1963
p. 6.
Daily Variety
1 Mar 1963
p. 5.
Daily Variety
4 Mar 1963
p. 15.
Daily Variety
7 Mar 1963
p. 4.
Daily Variety
12 Mar 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
15 May 1963
p. 2.
Daily Variety
20 Jun 1963
p. 11.
Daily Variety
21 Jun 1963
p. 4.
Daily Variety
1 Jul 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
23 Aug 1963
p. 10.
Daily Variety
11 Sep 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
7 Oct 1963
p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
23 Sep 1963
Section C, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
10 Oct 1963
Section E, p. 9.
New York Times
21 Jul 1963
p. 73.
New York Times
12 Sep 1963
p. 32.
Variety
10 Apr 1963
p. 18.
Variety
14 Aug 1963
p. 3.
Variety
28 Aug 1963
p. 4.
Variety
18 Sep 1963
p. 3, 5.
Variety
16 Sep 1964
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Leon Fromkess-Sam Firks Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Photog col seq
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Sp optical eff
Spec eff
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Asst to Leon Fromkess
Scr supv
Titles
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Long Corridor
Straitjacket
Release Date:
11 September 1963
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 11 September 1963
Los Angeles opening: 9 October 1963
Production Date:
18 February--early April 1963
Copyright Claimant:
F & F Productions
Copyright Date:
12 September 1963
Copyright Number:
LP26350
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black & white with color sequences
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
101
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

An ambitious newspaperman, Johnny Barrett, induces his stripper girl friend, Cathy, to pose as his sister and have him committed to a mental institution so he can investigate the unsolved knife murder of one of the patients. Three inmates witnessed the crime: Stuart, a former soldier brainwashed in Korea who now believes he is a Civil War general; Trent, a Negro broken by the ordeal of having been the first nonwhite to enroll at a southern university; and Boden, a former nuclear scientist whose mind has deteriorated to that of a 6-year-old child. While pretending to be a patient, Barrett is attacked by a group of nymphomaniacs, placed in a straitjacket after a riot, and forced to undergo shock therapy. Eventually he learns from Boden that the murderer is a hospital attendant, Wilkes, whose motivation arose from the need to suppress the revelation that he was having sexual relations with some of the female patients. After extracting a confession from Wilkes, Barrett is released and goes on to write an exposé, which is awarded a Pulitzer Prize. But the experience has been too much for him: he suffers a mental collapse and is returned to the ... +


An ambitious newspaperman, Johnny Barrett, induces his stripper girl friend, Cathy, to pose as his sister and have him committed to a mental institution so he can investigate the unsolved knife murder of one of the patients. Three inmates witnessed the crime: Stuart, a former soldier brainwashed in Korea who now believes he is a Civil War general; Trent, a Negro broken by the ordeal of having been the first nonwhite to enroll at a southern university; and Boden, a former nuclear scientist whose mind has deteriorated to that of a 6-year-old child. While pretending to be a patient, Barrett is attacked by a group of nymphomaniacs, placed in a straitjacket after a riot, and forced to undergo shock therapy. Eventually he learns from Boden that the murderer is a hospital attendant, Wilkes, whose motivation arose from the need to suppress the revelation that he was having sexual relations with some of the female patients. After extracting a confession from Wilkes, Barrett is released and goes on to write an exposé, which is awarded a Pulitzer Prize. But the experience has been too much for him: he suffers a mental collapse and is returned to the institution. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.