Bedlam (1946) - Rotten Tomatoes


Bedlam (1946)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Bedlam Photos

Movie Info

Nell Bowen, the spirited protege of rich Lord Mortimer, becomes interested in the conditions of notorious St. Mary's of Bethlehem Asylum (Bedlam). Encouraged by the Quaker Hannay, she tries to bring support to reforming Bedlam, but the cruel Master Sims who runs it has her committed there. The inmates, however, have the last say.

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Boris Karloff
as Master George Sims
Anna Lee
as Nell Bowen
Billy House
as Lord Mortimer
Jason Robards Sr.
as Oliver Todd
Jason Robards Sr.
as Oliver Todd
Glenn Vernon
as The Gilded Boy
Joan Newton
as Dorothea
Ian Wolfe
as Sidney Long
Leyland Hodgson
as John Wilkes
Elizabeth Russell
as Mistress Simms
Polly Bailey
as Scrub Woman
John Beck
as Solomon
Robert Clarke
as Dan the Dog
Ellen Corby
as Queen of the Artichokes
Bruce Edwards
as The Warder
George Holmes
as 2nd Stonemason
Donna Lee
as Cockney Girl
Nan Leslie
as Cockney Girl
James Logan
as Bailiff
John Meredith
as 1st Maniac
Tommy Noonan
as 1st Stonemason
Frank Pharr
as 2nd Commissioner
Victor Travers
as Sims' Friend
John W. Goldsworthy
as Chief Commissioner
Harry Harvey
as John Gray
John Ince
as Judge
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Critic Reviews for Bedlam

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (3)

Nicholas Musaraca's excellent cinematography contributes a number of fine effects, and there's a strange and witty aside on the invention of movies.

November 14, 2007 | Full Review…

While the film has a tendency to wander into unadulterated Hollywoodisms in spots, it is a generally straight-forward and imaginative estimate of a two-century-old sociological theme.

March 25, 2006 | Full Review…

Robson's notably unpoetic direction doesn't help, either; yet few Hollywood films ever had such ambition.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Attempts to balance horror with social conscience in a way that doesn't always work, but Lee and Karloff make for excellent foils, and it's thrilling to watch the two of them go toe to toe in a kind of proto-One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

November 29, 2021 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Another top-flight performance from Karloff.

October 29, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

...Mark Robson's film finally rolls over to reveal a modern heart in the right place...

February 20, 2021 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Bedlam


an interesting film, more a gothic costume drama than horror and producer val lewton's last film for rko. the story takes place in st mary bethlehem in london, a notorious madhouse. in the 18th century people were allowed to visit 'the loonies' as they were known and the hospital was a popular tourist attraction. anna lee plays an opinionated woman who objects to boris karloff's treatment of his patients and ends by being committed herself. the story was inspired by william hogarth's paintings of bedlam in the rake's progress and some of his works are used in the film. altho not nearly as lurid as it could have been it was banned in britain for many years. conditions for the mentally ill improved in the following century due to the efforts of the quakers and reaction to the madness of king george III

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


A very poor story executed decently. Tries to be a horror film at times and tries to be a politcal statement at times, while shoehorning in a love story. It fails at becoming any of these, but it does have some pretty decent scenes - mostly the ones with Karloff (of course).

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer


Although it sounds like a good story, it isn't such a good movie. The only good actor is Karloff, and the movie is somewhat strange and somewhat boring.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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