The Key (1957)

15 Feb
Director  Nat Campus, Don Haldane
Producer  Harry Milt, National Association for Mental Health (US)
Length  29 Minutes
B&W/Color  B&W
UO Library Catalog description:
Call #  FILM Mc57
Genre  Instructional
Rare  Yes
Online  No
Copyright status  Public Domain
Physical condition  Good (slight warp, emulsion faded)
Oregon-related  No


Cinematic opening, dramatic score. Voice-over narration uses dramatic and personal language to confront public attitudes on mental illness and ‘modern’ psychiatric wards. Use of characters and constant reminder of “people”; our patient “Moira,” “my ward,” and the “three-quarter million . . . crowding our hopsitals” – more patients than other illnesses combined. This film would have served to assuage concerns surrounding psychiatry, the increasingly popular visual format and cinematic tailoring an opportunity to convincingly show rather than tell, of the modern practices of an oft-maligned field and the familiarity and humanity of the modern patient.

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