Just think of the wild assortment of movie characters that you have seen over the years. Is it any surprise to see that some of them needed a psychiatrist? That is my focus in today’s Phenomenal 5. When putting this together I was surprised at the number of movie psychiatrists that came to mind. It was truly painful to leave a couple of them off, but that is the name of the game. Obviously with so many I wouldn’t consider this the definitive list. But I gladly call each of these movie psychiatrists phenomenal.
#5 – Dr. Malcolm Crowe (“The Sixth Sense”)
Dr. Malcolm Crowe was an accomplished and honored child psychiatrist. But all of his confidence is shattered after a tragic incident involving a former patient. Months after the tragedy he reluctantly begins treating a 9-year old boy whose case is very similar to that of his former patient. The two develop an almost therapeutic relationship that is tender, compelling, but also opens things up to some real eerie suspense. Crowe is a fantastic character and a shining example of what M. Night Shyamalan is capable of. Now if only we could see that side of him again.
#4 – Dr. Leo Marvin (“What About Bob”)
One of my favorite comedies of the 1990s was “What About Bob”. Bill Murray plays a happy-go-lucky man battling all sorts of different phobias. You name it, Bob probably fears it. He is passed on to Dr. Leo Marvin, a psychiatrist who is getting a lot of praise for his work and his successful new book. The problem is he never had a patient like Bob. Bob obsesses over his new doctor to the point of secretly following Dr. Marvin as he vacations with his family. Bob just never goes away and throughout the movie we watch him drive the doctor he loves insane. Richard Dreyfuss is fantastic in the role of Dr. Marvin and his wacky chemistry with Murray is undeniable.
#3 – Dr. Sean Maguire (“Good Will Hunting”)
Knowing Robin Williams and the assortment of roles he has played over his career, you would think he would be a lot more comfortable playing the patient instead of the psychiatrist. Surprisingly though, he is absolutely brilliant as Dr. Sean Maguire in the 1997 drama “Good Will Hunting”. Williams would go on to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of the caring but aggressive therapist. Will Hunting (Matt Damon) has ran off a number of well-meaning psychiatrists, but when Dr. Sean shows he can take Will’s punishment the lines of communication begin to open up. Williams and Damon share a number of great scenes that drive the film as a whole.
#2 – Dr. Samuel Loomis (“Halloween”)
If you met Dr. Loomis on the streets of Haddonfield, Illinois you would probably think he was the insane one. That is until you saw the trail of grisly murders and terror left by psychotic killer Michael Myers. Dr. Loomis was Michael’s psychiatrist during his 15 years as a patient in Grove Sanitarium. No one knows Michael better than Loomis. When Michael escapes the hospital Loomis uses that knowledge to predict Michael will return to his home town. Boy was he right. Loomis frantically searches the small town while also trying to convince local law enforcement that they have a real problem on their hands. Donald Pleasence is a hoot and he gives Dr. Samuel Loomis a ton of character.
#1 – Dr. Hannibal Lecter (“The Silence of the Lambs”)
Of all the assignments to get as one of your first in the FBI! Agent Clarice Starling is tasked with interviewing the incarcerated Dr. Hannibal Lecter in hopes of gleaning information about a wanted serial killer named Buffalo Bill. Dr. Lecter is a former psychiatrist who had to leave his practice due to problems with cannibalism and some serial killing of his own. Dr. Lecter uses an assortment of creepy mindgames on Agent Starling while at the same time developing a very odd relationship with her. Lecter is disturbing and sometimes downright terrifying. Anthony Hopkins won the Oscar for his performance which is still unsettling and unforgettable.
So there they are. The doctors are in. Which of these psychiatrists would have made your list? Who did I miss? Please take time to share you picks in the comments section below.
Fine list, Keith. I shudder to think about having Lector’s focus of attention, though 😉 I know I’d like to have Dr. Curtis McCabe (Kurt Russell, VANILLA SKY) on my side.
Oh that’s a good one. Did t think about him. I would have liked to sneak in Ben Kingsley from Shutter Island but there just wasn’t room.
Hi Keith, Happy Father’s Day my friend!
I haven’t seen #2 & #4 but totally agree w/ the rest. I LOVE Bruce Willis’ understated performance in The Sixth Sense.
Thanks so much Ruth. I don’t think you would care for “Halloween” but you really should check out “What About Bob”. It is sooo funny!
Yeah that sounds like something I’d enjoy! But you’re right, definitely not gonna see Halloween, he..he..
Of course! I was a tad confused about the subject of this list, but once I read it, I completely understood! Couldn’t agree more :). Love Good Will Hunting!
Thanks man. It was fun to put it together. It’s kind of an obscure list but I think that’s what I enjoyed about it. Thanks for reading.
Superb list man. I actually often forget Hannibal’s psychiatric background. There is no way any other film psychiatrist could top him, as I find his character to be one of the best in film of all time. He’s so chilling.
Hopkins was sensational, wasn’t he? Chilling and uncomfortable describe him well. And I agree, Lecter is a landmark character for sure.
Wow! Some varied, excellent choices, Keith. Robin Williams has played a psych twice. Remember him with Robert DeNiro in 1990, Awakenings? And I LOVE Ingrid Bergman in Spellbound as the psychiatrist to a young Gregory Peck….
OH what a great mention Cindy!!! Bergman is great for the list. Completely forgot about Spellbound! Thanks so much for mentioning it.
Judd Hirsh in Ordinary People is the kind of therapist that you would want, although not as spectacularly noticeable as the ones you listed.
Nice!!! Another that completely slipped by me. Great mention!
The first one I immediately thought of was Ben Sobel (if I remember the name correctly) from Analyze This 🙂
LOL. Good one. Turns out there were several ‘list-worthy’ movie psychiatrists that I missed.
Fantastic list here Keith! Definitely some solid picks, though Lecter remains my favourite. Too fascinating!
Fascinating, entrancing, creepy, uncomfortable, evil…so many adjectives to define him. Great, great character.
So intricately written. I am actually currently reading The Silence of the Lambs, and it is fantastic!
Ooooooh I bet the book is really good.
It’s really, really good. I am seriously impressed with how close Red Dragon’s movie was to the book, and up until now (halfway), it seems that The Silence of the Lambs movie was just as loyal. So interesting.
I’m glad you brought it up. I had it on my ‘must read’ list at one point but let it slip. Gonna remedy that soon.
Yes 😀 It is well worth it.
Do you like the series?
Honestly “Silence” is the only one I’m familiar with.
Oh no I mean the TV series Hannibal that they have done! Either way, the show and the movies are all fascinating!
OH! No I haven’t watched it which is odd since I am a HUGE fan of Mads.
Oh you really should. It is phenomenal! I am a HUGE fan of it, and Mads is just amazing!
Excellent choices. One of recent vintage that I enjoyed was Catherine Zeta-Jones’ villainous turn in Side Effects.
Oh yes, “Side Effects”. I had a very love-hate relationship with that movie. LOL.
All are very, very good. And you’re number 1 is definitely the best. 🙂
Great work, Keith!
Thanks man. Kinda hard to beat Hannibal isn’t it? Wouldn’t want him as my doctor though.
Completely love this list! I may have put your #5 at #1 though 😀
Hey thanks man. I’m just glad at least one of mine would make your list! 😉
Great list! Dr. Hannibal Lecter is very controversial, of course, but each of the psychiatrists on your list truly stands out. It may be very far from obvious, but I find Dr Roth (Peter Stormare) in ‘Premonition’ always really spooky, and when I think of any psychiatrists at all in film, ‘Spellbound”s Dr. Constance Petersen comes to mind.
Peterson is a great mention. He absolutely stands out. Great mention!
Fantastic post! #1 made me laugh out loud — well played. I would include the psychiatrist in Ordinary People. We was funny and kind and really made a difference in Conner’s life.
Great addition. That’s one I missed. Thanks so much for taking time to comment. Always appreciated.
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