Sybil

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This began life as a two-part TV movie (here edited down from 198 minutes) based on the true story of the eleven-year treatment by psychiatrist Cornelia Wilbur of Sybil Dorsett and her sixteen warring personalities. As Dr Wilbur, Joanne Woodward (who had herself essayed a schizophrenic role in The Three Faces of Eve back in 1957) is fascinating, because she employs a theatrical stillness around which all Sally Field’s agonised personalities flutter like trapped birds. Field herself resists the temptation to let go and ham. The result is essentially a classic two-hander: moving despite the surrounding schlock.

Release details

Duration: 132 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Daniel Petrie
Screenwriter: Stewart Stern
Cast: Joanne Woodward
Sally Field
Brad Davis
Martine Bartlett
Jane Hoffman
Charles Lane
William Prince

Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Biff

I saw this film when I was about 13 and it has stayed with me. It was one of the most shocking films I had ever seen. It's always very hard to be presented with images of child cruelty, paritcularly of such a sadistic nature but somehow the exceptional cast managed to deal with the plot and actually leave you with a feeling of hope at the end.

Biff

I saw this film when I was about 13 and it has stayed with me. It was one of the most shocking films I had ever seen. It's always very hard to be presented with images of child cruelty, paritcularly of such a sadistic nature but somehow the exceptional cast managed to deal with the plot and actually leave you with a feeling of hope at the end.