Mental institutions have long been an alluring backdrop for many film scripts. Here are two in which the characters actually desired to be placed within those asylum walls. These movies truly set the bar for the genre.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) is directed by Milos Forman, and stars Jack Nicholson. This iconic film rallies an ensemble cast of epic proportions. A prisoner wishing to skirt work detail opts for a stay at the mental institution. His rebellious spirit eventually leads him to champion the cause of his mental brethren. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is often referenced, and is an absolute must-see for everyone and their sisters.
Shock Corridor (1963) is directed by Samuel Fuller, and stars Peter Breck. A journalist seeking fast fame decides to infiltrate the asylum to reveal its conditions. Instead, the provocative place eventually takes hold of his psyche. This was shot at the height of Fuller’s surreal filmmaking, a period during which he was pushing all the boundaries. It cost him here at home for a time, careerwise, but he became a darling to the French, and then to film buffs of future generations.