Back to Life. In this 40s film, Bud Lambert, a skilled tradesman working in a factory, suddenly goes off his nut, as the British like to put it. He begins hearing voices and lashing out at his coworkers and his wife. So they put him in a mental hospital and from then on, everything goes swimmingly. He learns to trust his therapist, and gains self-esteem after fixing the loom in the occupational therapy shop. The staff think he’s ready to go home, but what about his old job? Will they take him back? This film focuses less on the treatment he gets in the hospital, and more on vocational rehabilitation. Unfortunately, the film undercuts its message somewhat by focusing on such a perfect patient—nothing goes wrong with Bud once he begins treatment, and he is able to return to his old job with no trouble whatsoever. I’m sure most real cases were a wee bit more complicated than that. Still, the film has a certain charm that comes from the bad acting (done by mental health professionals who are obviously not professional actors) and the positive way it tries to present psychiatric treatment and patients. Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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