Synopsis: A woman wanders the streets of Los Angeles in some sort of emotional distress. She is also under some delusion as she approaches many men, strangers who she calls "David". Eventually, an ambulance is called, the attendants who take her to the hospital, where she is eventually placed in the psychiatric ward. Placing her under some medication to help her remember, Dr. Harvey Willard, the psychiatrist on duty, is able to get some semblance of a story out of her over the ensuing days. This phase of her life begins just over a year ago when she, single RN Louise Howell, is under the employ of wealthy Dean Graham to take care of his chronically ill and largely bedridden wife, Pauline Graham, at their lake house outside of Washington, DC. Due to her circumstances, Pauline believes that Dean and Louise are carrying on an affair behind her back. Louise can see that Dean does have feelings for her that way in his loneliness. The "David" in question is David Sutton, a civil engineer who lives acr
Director(s): Curtis Bernhardt
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min

Watch your step.

- David?

- Watch your step.

I'm looking for David.

He ain't in here, lady.

- David?

- You're mistaken.


I've been looking everywhere for you.

I thought I'd lost you.

David? My name isn't David, lady.


Okay. You, lady?


Would you reach me the sugar?

Hey, you. Say, you drunk?

Here's your coffee.

Hey, what's the matter with you?

- She looks sick.

- Are you sick or something?

- Where did you pick her up?

- Sixth and Main.

Does she show any signs of physical injury?

Not as far as we could make out.

How many fingers?

Pulse low and irregular.

What's your name?

Can you hear me?

It looks like a coma.

- Diabetic?

- I don't think so.

- It's a non-traumatic stupor.

- Take her to Psycho.

How many does this make?

Twenty today. One manic, three seniles...

- six alcoholics, and 10 schizos.

- Going up all the time.

This civilization of ours is a worse disease

than heart trouble or tuberculosis.

We can't escape it. Well, what have we here?

Catatonic stupor. She was

in shock, but she's out now.

I see.

Beautiful woman, intelligent...


Frustrated, just like the others

we've seen. It's always the same.

Problem of some kind.

Simple, perhaps, but she was unable

to cope with it. And now this.

Complete confusion.

Hypoactive deep reflexes throughout.

Catatonic posturing,

waxy flexibility of the extremities.

Your diagnosis was correct,

Craig. Let me see the chart.

"Name unknown.

Previous medical history, unknown.

"Age, education, profession,

if any, unknown." All unknown.

"Patient's clothing bears labe

l from stores in Washington, D.C.

"Woman who saw her on the street said

she was asking for a man called David."

That's something to go on, at least.

Not much, but something.



Well, hello, there.

I'm Dr. Willard. We're going to help you.

Feeling better?

Better? Much better.

You come from Washington,

don't you? Washington, D. C.

Where do you live in Washington?

Well, what's this?

You're married, aren't you?

What's your husband's name?

Is your husband's name David?

What's your name?

You can talk, you know. You just did.

You said "David."

Now you don't say anything.

Why is that?

Well, tell me this, at least.

How do you feel?

I said, "How do you feel?"



That's fine, go on.


You can't find the words, can you?

You want to, but you can't.

Something preventing you, is that it?

Just nod your head if I'm right.

I see.

We'll have to do something about that.

She shows marked thought blocking,

almost complete mutism.

Now, then...

in order to help you, we've got to

find out something about you...

and to find out about you...

we've got to make it possible

for you to talk.

We'll try narcosynthesis.

Seven-and-a-half grains

in 10 cc's of sterile distilled water.

Yes, Dr. Willard.

That's fine. It's not going to hurt.

It will just help you to tell us

what we want to know.

Don't you want to talk to us?

In a few seconds you're

going to be able to talk.

I want you to tell me what you're thinking.

Every time I see the reaction

to this treatment...

I get exactly the same thrill

that I did the first time.

Miss Rosen...

elevate the head of the bed, please.

Now watch, Craig.

There! That's better, isn't it?

Now you can think much more clearly,

can't you?

That's much better.

Much better.

It's all right. You're in a hospital.


What hospital?


You became very ill in a restaurant.

Don't you remember?


I don't believe you.

- I'd like to leave now.

- All right.

You help us to make you well again,

then you can leave.

That's fair enough, isn't it?

What's your name?

Louise Howell.

You live in Washington?

Why are you in Los Angeles?

- To get away from them.

- From them?

- They must never know.

- What mustn't they ever know?

That's why I came here.

I wanted to disappear.

- They must never know.

- Now, now.

Don't get excited.

What is it you don't want them to know?

I'm not going to tell you everything.

All right. You just tell me

what you want to, that's all.

Tell me about... David.

- David?

- Yes. Who is David?

Someone's playing Schumann on the piano.

- I don't like it.

- No one's playing the piano, really.


Listen. There.

Hear it?

I don't like it.

Make them play it softer.

That's better. It's nice.

That's fine. Tell me...

who was playing the piano?


We were swimming, it was cold.

Now he's playing Schumann.

What're you doing? Louise?

I'm getting dressed, it's almost time to go.

We never seem to have enough time together.


I said, we never seem to have

enough time together.

The days aren't long enough.

Not our days.

The others are too long.

You aren't even listening.

I'm making love to the piano.

One of my more attractive

minor accomplishments.

For Miss Louise Howell, Schumann.

And for the other women you've known?

The other women? It depends. Gershwin...

something light and frivolous, Mozart.

But for you, Schumann.

- Tenderness.

- Thank you.

I wish I hadn't gotten dressed.

We could go swimming again.

It would be lovely swimming

in the moonlight. Beautiful.

It would be too cold.

You haven't enough romance in your soul.

- Why don't you go?

- Alone?

It wouldn't be any fun that way.

Besides, I have to leave soon.

Will you miss me?

Will you be lonely?

Do you love me?

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Silvia Richards

Silvia Richards was a screenwriter who worked on a number of films in the 1940s and 1950s, including the film noir Ruby Gentry and the Western Rancho Notorious. She also wrote for television in the 1950s and early 1960s. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Possessed" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Jun 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/possessed_16113>.

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