The Lathe of Heaven

Synopsis: George Orr, a man whose dreams can change waking reality, tries to suppress this unpredictable gift with drugs. Dr. Haber, an assigned psychiatrist, discovers the gift to be real and hypnotically induces Mr. Orr to change reality for the benefit of mankind --- with bizarre and frightening results.
Genre: Sci-Fi
Production: New Video
  1 nomination.
105 min



Hey, George! Not a bad day?

- Better than most. - Going around to your therapy?

- Yeh, I'm gonna see an neirologist. - An o what neirologist?

Can I see?

What'll they think up next?

Excuse me, do you know where Willamette East Tower is?

Dr. Haber.

First floor, second elevator, please.

Hold it!

- Hello! - Yes?

I have an appointment with Dr. Haber.

- Name, please. - George Orr.

Dr. Haber's expecting you. It's the last office on your right.

You can hang your raincoat over there.

Thank you.

Doctor, see overdose.


- Dr. Haber? - Oh! Mr. Orr!

It's a pleasure to meet you. Come in.

Would you have a sit?

Do you smoke? The brown filters are tranks, the white are denicks.

Oh, no, thank you. I don't smoke.

Good. It's tough enough in here already.

Damn electric heating system on a freeze again, I'm afraid.

Well, it's ok!

Don't be nervous, Mr. Orr.

Your punishment is no worse than a few sessions with me.

That's better. Do you have your VT card?

Oh. Yes, here.

So, mixing Phenobarbital and Dexedrine?

Quite a dangerous concoction, won't you say?

Mr. Orr?

You have a dream problem, don't you?

- How did you know? - No great wit,

I'm an oneirologist, Mr. Orr, a dream specialist.

They always send the dreamers to me.

- Well, all I want is to stop dreaming. - May I call you George?

Yeh, I guess

- Call me Bill, if you like. - Oh, well that's ok!

However you would feel comfortable.

Dr. Haber, what are we supposed to do here?

We are going to work together. We are going to build good relationship.

You're gonna let me inside, to poke around, find out what's causing those bad dreams of yours.

I assume that's what the problem is, bad dreams.

A sort of.

Why don't you tell me about it?

- You'd think I was insane. - I make no judgments, George.

I'm here to help you and that's all. Give it a try.

Suppose I dream, that there's no Dr. Haber.

Now, tomorrow, when I wake up, not only are you gone, but you never existed.

Pretty revealing, wouldn't you say?

- Oh, no, I didn't mean that, personally. - Perfectly ok.

You can tell me to go to hell, if you like. It's a part of building our trust.

- I didn't mean that. - I'd like you to lie down now, George.


It's all right, go on.

It's all right, George, just relax. Lie back.

Now, I want you to take deep breath and close your eyes.

Patient George Orr. Age 32, voluntary therapeutic treatment, drug abuse.

Recently good health, slightly undernourished, passive, repressed,

maybe in intelligence confining.

- You're relaxed, yes? - Yes. - Good.


I'd like you to tell me more about these dreams that change reality.

Think back to the first one. How old were you?

I was still living at home. Aunt Ethel,

my mother's sister was living with us, she was getting a divorce.

She'd been there about six weeks.

And she was always in the way,

she drove everybody crazy.

She kept making a joking play for me.

She was 30, kind of sexy,

she got me up tight. And she was always trying to turn me on.

And one night while we were watching television,

something happened.

How can I have done it! She was my aunt, for God's sake!

I used to have these dreams about her.

And that night I had a really vivid dream.

And then, when I woke up in the morning, aunt Ethel wasn't living with us,

she never had lived with us.

A telegram that had come from Los Angeles, my mother was crying.

Aunt Ethel had been killed in car crash.

And that was it.

It was my first effective dream.

And nobody else noticed that aunt Ethel had suddenly vanished?

My dreams change everything that comes before them. And nobody knows it was me.

I killed her.

George, I want you to understand something;

there is a difference between what you dream and what you do.

But not for me! It's the same thing.

And I can't control what I

What you can control is all of this guilt and anxiety.

That's exactly what we'll be working on together in the next few sessions.

- Dr. Haber, you can't help me. - George,

if I thought you're about to lose your balance,

I wouldn't let you out of here so quickly, believe me.

What I will do is give you a prescription for Meprobamate.

That will keep your dreams low-keyed without repressing the dream state entirely.

But it's only temporary. I expect to see you back here, same time next week.

I don't mean to kill her.

Mr. Orr.

Infraction of Federal regulations controlling dispensation of medications at autodrugstores.

- It says here, you've begun voluntary treatment with Dr. Haber, correct? - Yes.

You've surrendered your pharmacy card to authorities?


I've only have a prescription from Dr. Haber.

Here it is.

All right, I'll have to issue you a temporary pharmacy card.

But don't abuse it. And as is your right, if you have any complaints

here's an HEW approved list of public investigators.

Any other complaints?

- Just with my dreams. - Not my jurisdiction. Next!

- You gonna use that on me? - Correct!

This is what happens.

First, I'm going to hypnotize you and put you to sleep.

And you'll go through several stages of sleep,

the final one being the dream state or REM sleep.

And the Augmentor here will pass you quickly through those first stages and lock you into ram sleep.

You will allow me to hold you there and watch your brain at work.

- My brain? - Yes.

then I'll suggest a dream to you.

In your case, an effective dream.

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Diane English

Diane English (born May 18, 1948) is an American screenwriter, producer and director, best known for creating the television show Murphy Brown and writing and directing the 2008 feature film The Women. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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