10 Great Movies On Mental Illness

Mental illness is one of the great taboos in today’s society. Good mainstream portrayals of mental illness are extremely rare and tend to exaggerate the condition of the sufferer. However, there have been some great portrayals of mental illness which don’t hide away their factual and shocking nature. Here is a list of 10 great movies on mental illness.

A Streetcar Named Desire 1951 (61)Photo by S.blu

1. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

A Streetcar Named Desire is enjoyable to watch, since it is a pure piece of drama. Vivienne Leigh’s excellent performance as Blanche Dubois will leave you speechless. She is a fading beauty, an alcoholic who is a man eater and lives in a world of illusions and fantasies. While she keeps up a façade of demureness, inside she’s cracking.

Blanche runs into trouble with Stanley (played by Marlon Brando), who is her sister’s macho, brooding husband who hates her pretence and superior air towards him. On the other hand, her sister Stella is frightened by his domination of her but she’s powerfully sexually attracted to him. Two of them have a tit for tat rivalry.

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  • Big daddy

    if this is 10 GREAT movies on mental illness, why did you include a Beautiful Mind, which by your own assessment, and mine as well, is a terrible movie about the illness???? Bad job.

    • Shazza

      he has schizophrenia why the story was the way it was.. It was in his eyes.. If you know anyone with it , it would been easier to see and understand it.. A lot probably couldn’t follow it because they don’t understand that mental illness.. That is the best movie for Schizophrenia

      • Big daddy

        actually a family member of mine has it. 1) you don’t diagnose it “through their eyes”. lol…wtf.2) you sure as hell don’t manage it the way they showed it in the movie “just tell yourself those things you see aren’t real and youll be ok”. it was a crap movie that panders to ppl like you that THINK you understand the illness but don’t. movie mental illness is a lot sweeter, less devastating, and more manageable than real mental illness.

  • Clara Bell

    I hate that many of the descriptions have spoilers

  • Clara Bell

    I hate that most of the descriptions have spoilers. It wasn’t necessary to tell how “the one who flew over the cuckoo’s nest” ended. That ruins if for people who haven’t seen. Other movies that should have been considered for this list: Rain man, Sybil, Forrest Gump, out of darkness…

  • ’80s Trebek

    So many left off the list:

    The Expendables
    Anything with Kevin James and/or Adam Sandler

  • Kmac Mac

    How about “Ordinary People?” The foreign film, “Mommy,” was also really good.


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