Three Christs

Started by Deb, January 19, 2020, 04:27:58 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Saw a movie poster for this up in Boulder last week and finally looked into the movie. I was hoping it was going to go down the Seth path. Well, actually it's completely different, takes place in a mental institution in the 50s. Not great reviews, but it would be entertaining to watch once it comes to Netflix.  :o


Deb, thanks for bringing this to our attention. This is a review on IMDB:

"Based on the actual events documented in the book "The Three Christs of Ypsilanti" by Social Psychologist Milton Rokeach, the film turns ground-breaking work from 60 years ago into a generic, somewhat bland big screen production ... albeit with a talented cast. Director Jon Avnet (FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, 1991) co-wrote the script with Eric Nazarian, and they evidently believed the strong cast would be enough. Instead, we get what in days past would have been described as the TV movie of the week.

The actual story is quite interesting. Dr. Alan Stone (the dramatized version of Dr. Rokeach) is played here by a blond-haired Richard Gere. Dr. Stone comes to Michigan's Ypsilanti State Hospital in 1959 to study delusions of schizophrenics. Up to that time, we are informed that only extreme treatments were utilized, with minimal psychoanalysis practiced. Dr, Stone's approach is through therapeutic treatments. Specifically, he arranges for group therapy consisting of only three patients - each who claims to be God/Christ. Leon (Walton Goggins) demands to be addressed as God. He is the most perceptive of the three, though it's quite clear, he mostly wants a friend. Joseph (Peter Dinklage) says he is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, though he speaks with a British accent, listens to opera, and wants only to return to England (a place he's never been). Clyde (Bradley Whitford) claims to be Christ "not from Nazareth", and he spends much of each day in the shower attempting to scrub away a stench that only he can smell.

The film is at its best, and really only works, when the doctor and the three patients are in session. It allows the actors to play off each other, and explores the premise of how they go about working through the confusion of having each believe the same thing ... while allowing Dr Stone's approach to play out. Where things get murky and clog up the pacing are with the number of additional characters who bring nothing of substance to the story. Stone's wife Ruth (Julianna Margulies in a throwaway role) pops up periodically with alcoholic tendencies or a pep talk for hubby. Stone's young research assistant Becky (Charlotte Hope, "Game of Thrones") seems to be present only as an object of desire for all the Gods, and to remind us of the era's drug experimentation. And beyond those, Stone carries on a constant battle with hospital administrators played by Kevin Pollack, Stephen Root, and a rarely-seen-these-days Jane Alexander (we shouldn't forget she's a 4-time Oscar nominee)."


Thanks Sena for fleshing out this topic with the IMDB review. I had a feeling you'd be interested in this movie. The idea that it's based on a true story adds to my interest.

When I saw the poster for the movie my first thought was the return of the Christ personality and the three individuals that made it. Also that Seth said people will "not know" who he is and he will not be touting his past to the masses. Good thing, that would surely end in a diagnoses of schizophrenia.


My step-sister, who had brain damage, lived at Ypsilanti State Hospital for a number of years until she walked out when she turned 18. So I visited the hospital a lot when I was a kid. Primarily for that reason, I might be interested in checking out the movie.


Wow. Just another synchronicity.

Just wow.