cover image Psychiatry and the Cinema

Psychiatry and the Cinema

Krin Gabbard, Glen O. Gabbard. University of Chicago Press, $25 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-226-27790-5

The authorsKrin Gabbard teaches comparative literature at the State University of New York; Glen Gabbard, his brother, is a psychoanalyst at the C. F. Menninger Memorial Hospital in Kansascombine their areas of expertise in this two-part study: the first half examines the depictions of psychiatry and its practitioners in film from earliest days to the 1980s; and the second, which will prove less interesting to general readers, offers in-depth psychological analyses of seven films, including three by Woody Allen. The historical portion reveals three distinct eras. Up to 1957, psychiatrists were portrayed either as benevolent guidance counselors or as incompetent, often malevolent, quacks. In what the Gabbards term the ""Golden Age,'' from 1958 to 1964, psychiatric healers were treated sympathetically. From 1965 to the film Ordinary People, they were shown almost exclusively as evil, exploitative or as agents of a repressive society. An intriguing, instructive work. Photos not seen by PW. (July)