Tales that Witness Madness (1973)

Article 2796 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-2-2009
Posting Date: 4-9-2009
Directed by Freddie Francis
Featuring Jack Hawkins, Donald Pleasence, Georgia Brown
Country: UK

A director of an asylum presents four of his cases in an attempt to prove his theory.

I have to admit to rather liking this anthology movie, though it may be simply for having a different feel from the Amicus anthologies on which it was obviously modeled. This is not to say that the movie doesn’t have its problems. For one thing, the stories are fairly predictable. You know how the first story is going to end the second you discover the nature of the young boy’s imaginary friend. The third and the fourth stories (about a human-looking tree stump and a promise to a mother) pretty much follow the routes you’d expect. Only the second (about a portrait of a man named Uncle Albert and a bicycle) has the novelty of being unpredictable; unfortunately, it’s not particularly satisfying, as we never get an idea of exactly what Uncle Albert is trying to accomplish. The framing story is curious, and I’m not quite sure exactly what is happening when it winds down at the end of the movie. Yet, in its way, I found the whole thing entertaining enough, and it does have the advantage of not running on too long.


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