The emotional story of a young man in a mental institution for teens who begins to understand his psychosis in the environment of others with mental and emotional problems. He finds intimacy with Lisa, a young woman suffering from dissociative identity disorder.


Frank Perry


Keir Dullea
as David Clemens
Janet Margolin
as Lisa Brandt
Howard Da Silva
as Dr. Swinford
Neva Patterson
as Mrs. Clemens
Richard McMurray
as Mr. Stewart Clemens
Nancy Nutter
as Maureen

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by moontube 10 /10

A powerful, emotionally charged film

Although I viewed this film over 40 years ago, it still comes back to my mind from time to time. It packs an emotional punch that is rarely seen in cinema today. The young Keir Dullea gives a very convincing performance as a highly intelligent, but mentally disturbed young man. The cinematography is excellent, burning images into the mind that are still there 40 years later. I recommend this film highly to anyone interested in the cinematic art, as well as those who enjoy a strong story. The fact that the film was shot in black and white is a definite plus. It tends to accentuate the starkness of David's world and subliminally takes the viewer into a world of absolutes, where shades of gray have no place.

Reviewed by michaelmilligan 8 /10

Loved it!

Janet Margolin as Lisa was not only beautiful, but her smile, as another commenter stated, "could light up the darkest room." It's true. She was very likable. While David wasn't "likable", he played his part very well, and became more sympathetic as the movie went on. This is one of those movies that is much better than you thought it might be. I loved it.

I also think the storyline was very well done. It kept you engrossed. The doctor was very meek in the best sense of the word - not responding to provocation by David in the least.

David's outbursts when touched were moving and very realistic - you believed he felt that way.

Lisa, frumpy dress, messy hair and all, was astonishingly beautiful in my eyes, and acted out her part perfectly.

All in all, I would watch the movie again. It's that good.

Reviewed by mindfire-3 10 /10

apparently greatly under-rated

how could this film only rate a 6.9 on imdb? this film is incredibly poignant and well done, from the fantastic story to the wonderful performances to the gorgeous black and white cinematography. there just aren't that many films out there that are this good. maybe the subject material of teenage mental illness is just too difficult for some or some people today can't relate to the characters who seem very different from today's teenagers. it is a rare thing to experience a movie that evokes such deep feelings from its audience. Frank and Eleanor Perry, this film's director and writer (and husband and wife team) had a penchant for disturbing, emotional conflicts. this film started their careers and was Oscar-nominated for both its direction and its screenplay. in our own way we are like these lost children, finding our way to the best start we can make in life.

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