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Inmates and staff at a posh asylum clash over love and lunacy.
At a private psychiatric clinic, Dr. Stewart McIver meets with a troubled young patient, Steven W. Holte, while Victoria Inch, the clinic's brisk administrator, orders new drapes for the institution's library. Stewart's wife Karen drops by and interrupts the session, and Steven becomes agitated at the sight of her. That evening, the McIvers quarrel bitterly, and after Karen accuses Stewart of neglecting her, he cancels their date for a concert and returns to the clinic for a meeting with the patients' committee. Stewart, who is trying to introduce a system of self-government among the institution's residents, listens as the patients propose designing and making the new drapes for the library themselves. Meanwhile, at the concert's intermission, Karen gets a call from her friend, influential clinic board member Regina Mitchell-Smythe, who will be coming to town the following week and proposes to handle the redecoration of the library herself. Delighted, Karen calls Victoria with the news, but the officious Victoria bristles at the interference and decides to complete the project herself. Karen then encounters medical director Douglas N. Devanal in the lobby and complains about Victoria's rudeness. Devanal appears sympathetic but is clearly interested in Karen, and asks her to meet him for cocktails the following day. In the morning, Steven speaks with Meg Faverson Rinehart, the clinic's new crafts director, who tells him that therapy helped her after her husband and son were killed in an accident four years earlier. Steven, a talented artist, creates designs to be used on the new curtains, and Meg and Stewart are impressed with his work. Meanwhile, Karen meets Devanal for cocktails, and vents her frustration over her relationship with Stewart. After work, Stewart stops by Meg's apartment to discuss the situation with Victoria and the curtains, then goes to Victoria's house and sternly reprimands her for standing in the way of the patients' project. Karen returns home late that evening and tells Stewart that she has straightened out the matter of the drapes with Devanal. Stewart angrily warns her that Devanal is a known womanizer, and after another bitter fight, the couple again retire to different rooms to sleep. The following day, Victoria confronts Devanal and demands to know if Stewart is really in charge of the clinic, as he told her the previous evening. Devanal, whose career is in a decline, confesses it is true, adding that he has even kept the transfer of power a secret from his wife. Shaken by the encounter with Victoria, Devanal begins to drink, and dictates a memo ordering that the patients' drapery project be cancelled. After going to the McIvers' home and making a futile pass at Karen, Devanal goes to a hotel room to get drunk. Meanwhile, Steven learns about the memo and flies into a rage, and Stewart angrily revokes Devanal's orders. Devanal calls Victoria and instructs her to prepare a negative report on Stewart that can be used to ambush him at the upcoming board meeting. Stewart visits Meg in the art studio and, after speaking wistfully of the early years of his marriage, says he is going to have to fight Devanal for control of the clinic. Meg invites him to her apartment for a drink, and they fall into an embrace. When Karen later calls the clinic and learns that Stewart is with Meg, she goes to the clinic library and hangs the drapes Regina sent her. In the morning, Stewart learns that Steven reacted badly when he saw the new drapes, smashing up the art studio and running away. A mood of unrest spreads among the patients, and Stewart is ripping down the drapes when Regina enters with Devanal. Stewart warns Devanal that he will hold him responsible if Steven commits suicide, then returns to his office to find Devanal's wife Edna waiting for him. Edna produces a damning report that details Devanal's professional shortcomings and marital indiscretions, and begs Stewart not to use it against her husband. Stewart examines the report and sees that it was written by Victoria. Stewart then goes to the river, where the police are searching for any sign of Steven. Meg joins him and, after sadly admitting that she was unintentionally using Stewart and Steven to replace her lost family, tells him their affair must end. Later, before the board meeting, Stewart speaks with Victoria, and at his urging, she does not present the report on Devanal. Stewart tells the board that he plans to continue the self-government program, adding that he now sees that an analyst's effectiveness is related to the way he lives his own life. After Stewart leaves, Devanal hands Regina his letter of resignation. Stewart and Karen go for a drive and talk out their problems, and when they return home, find a bedraggled Steven waiting for them. Stewart and Karen take the exhausted young man into their home and put him to bed on the couch, using one of Regina's drapes as a blanket.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||World premiere in Pittsburgh, PA: 15 Jun 1955|
|Release Date:||1955||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Color (Eastmancolor)||Distributions Co:||Loew's Inc.|
|Sound:||Stereo||Production Co:||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.|
|Duration(mins):||122 or 124||Country:||United States|
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