Mad to Be Normal

Synopsis: During the 1960s, a renegade Scottish psychiatrist courts controversy within his profession for his approach to the field, and for the unique community he creates for his patients to inhabit.
Director(s): Robert Mullan
Production: Samuel Goldwyn Films
  3 wins.
Rotten Tomatoes:
106 min

["Season of the

Witch" by Donovan]

When I look out my window

Many sights to see

And when I look

inside my window

So many different people to be

That it's strange

It sure is strange

You've gotta pick

up every stitch

Oh, oh, oh, oh

Must be the

season of the witch

Must be the

season of the witch

Must be the

season of the witch

["You Really Got

Me" by The Kinks]

Girl, you really got me going

- Hi.

- Hi.

You got me so I don't

know what I'm doin' now

Hello, I'm Jim.

- Hi, Angie.

- Jim Roberts.

- So nice to meet you.

- Nice to meet you.

Are you a doctor yourself?

- Well, kind of.

- Yeah.

I have an academic interest--

Oh wow.

- In the field, yes.

- I can tell.


I can, I can introduce

you to him if you'd like.


- Yeah.

You really got me.

You really got me.

Let me tell you about Julie.

Ah, by the time I'd met her,

she'd been in a,

a mental hospital or

a bin for nine years.

She was mostly mute.

She was labeled a

chronic schizophrenic.

When she did speak,

she spoke in what's

called schizophrenise

which is a language which is

apparently nonsensical,

but if anyone does

actually look,

care to look, it does

actually make sense.

Anyway, she had

a very difficult

relationship with her mother,

who only responded positively

when Julie behaved perfectly,

so Julie never had

any difficulties

with eating or

sleeping or teething,

potty training,

walking or talking.

She was like an automaton.

But she felt that her true

self was being murdered.

"I wasn't mothered,

I was smothered.

"She wasn't a mother,

she was killing me,

"she was cutting out my tongue."

Because her mother

didn't let her develop,

to become independent,

Julie saw her as a

destructive black sun

blocking out all life.

- Freak!

- Give me the knife.

Put it down.

Raymond, put it down.

Raymond put it,

drop it!

Come on.


You alright?


Shall we?

Come on, good man, let's go.

That's it.

Well we're all here

to support each other,

so that, you know, but

that also means you can,

you can decide to engage or

not engage as you see fit.

Everyone has their own space

which they can retreat to.

You have your

own private space

that you can get away?

Everyone does, everyone

here has their own space.

Mm, that's nice.

I think that's important,

to give that sense of security.

We're very much

one community, one,

one group of people

living together

as best we can.

But sometimes you need to,

you need to be able

to be by yourself.

I think that's important.

Why did you say mothers

make their

children schizophrenic?

I get angry when

people misquote me.

I never said all mothers

make their children

schizophrenic, I never

said all families are bad,

despite what those fuckers say.

Which fuckers?

Those fuckers out to get me.

Raymond is enjoying

some role play.

He's Jesus, I'm Pontius Pilate.

He thinks I am going to

wash my hands of him,

which I won't do.

What's wrong with him?

Ask him.

There are many

people like Raymond

claiming to be the messiah

and they are

incarcerated, electrocuted,

drugged, restrained,

imprisoned against their will.

Why was he in prison?

Nah, it's not prison

it's a hospital.


It's meant to be a

cure not a punishment.

I had no idea.

Is it true you don't

prescribe any drugs?

No tranquilizers,

no, no sedatives of any kind

designed to deaden the mind.

And her?

She does have a name you know.


Maria, do you want to come

talk to our friend here?

Maria gave birth to a wee boy,

and what should have

been a happy time

became something very unhappy

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Robert Mullan

Robert Mullan (also Bob Mullan) is a British film director, writer and producer. He is also an author. He wrote and directed Letters to Sofija, Gitel and We Will Sing. He has produced over 40 documentaries, for the BBC, Granada, Anglia Television, Channel4 and for broadcasters outside the UK.His latest film is Mad to Be Normal, a biography of R. D. Laing with David Tennant in the lead role. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Mad to Be Normal" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 12 Apr. 2021. <>.

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