USA Today - 01/04/1991
"...A major cult movie shot in glorious black-and-white by Stanley Cortez..."
Uncut - 01/01/2005
"Carved from noir shadows and crazed camera angles..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Seeking a Pulitzer Prize, a reporter has himself committed to a mental hospital to investigate a murder. As he closes in on the killer, madness closes in on him. Writer/director/producer Samuel Fuller masterfully charts the uneasy terrain between sanity and dementia. Criterion is proud to present Shock Corridor in a gorgeous, black and white widescreen transfer with its rarely-seen color sequences.
Samuel Fuller's honest, visionary pulp film uses an insane asylum as a metaphor for American society. The inmates include a black man who thinks he's a white supremacist, a Korean War Vet who thinks he's a Civil War Confederate general, and a nuclear physicist who has reverted to childhood. This microcosm, which Fuller created in 1963, has lost none of its force over time. In addition, the film's treatment of journalistic hubris foreshadows the contemporary problem of media becoming corrupted by its compliant association with governmental elites. In SHOCK CORRIDOR, a journalist (Peter Breck) hoping to get a scoop on a murder suspect has himself committed to a mental institution where the inmates have information on the culprit. As the film unfolds, the purity of the hero's mission is undercut by his own monomaniacal ego. Things go terribly awry, and although he gets his story, he pays a high price for his success.
Star Constance Towers was director Samuel Fuller's wife at the time of production.
The color "dream" sequences in the film were originally shot by Fuller in Brazil in 1954 for his scrapped film TIGRERO, which was to star John Wayne. Fuller revisits the locations for that film with Jim Jarmusch in Mika Kaurismaki's 1994 documentary, TIGRERO: A FILM THAT WAS NEVER MADE.
SHOCK CORRIDOR was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1996.
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