The Snake Pit

The Snake Pit ★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Haviland gives a wonderful performance that rarely stoops to the stereotypical behavior many actors in the classic era took to portray those with mental illness. The film always tackles a lot of shortcomings of the mental health system at the time although it is more concerned with a single character than explicitly advocating for any major changes.

The film is heavily stepped in the Freudian psychoanalysis of its time (a picture of Freud is literally hanging in the head doctor's office) and simplifies Haviland's mental illness done to a relationship with her parents. I would have preferred a more ambiguous ending but suspect the film was trying to normalize mental health issues and went with a clean-cut happy finish.