‘David and Lisa’

An early feature film exploring issues of mental illness and its treatment, David and Lisa sees committed performances from newcomers Keir Dullea (2001: A Space Odyssey, The Accidental Husband) and Janet Margolin (Annie Hall, Ghostbusters II) in the lead roles.

A highly intelligent David has an extreme fear of being touched. His psychosis sees him committed to an institution by a mother concerned for her social position. Lisa is a patient suffering from dissociative identity disorder. The two develop a trust that provides them with coping mechanisms.

A black and white world accentuating the starkness of institutional life is quietly and respectfully presented by director Frank Perry (Mommy Dearest, Diary of a Mad Housewife).There’s few fireworks (with the exception of the fabulously surreal dreams of David involving a huge clock and decapitation) with the film avoiding histrionic outburst stereotypes. David and Lisa is ultimately a warm, low-key feature with a great deal of welcome humanity.

Nominated for 2 Oscars in 1963 for best director and adapted screenplay.

Rating: 67%


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