Nisha Rathode (Editor)

The Caretakers

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This

Director  Hall Bartlett
Music director  Elmer Bernstein
Language  English
5/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama
Screenplay  Jerry Paris
Country  United States
The Caretakers movie poster

Release date  August 21, 1963 (1963-08-21)
Based on  The Caretakers  by Dariel Telfer
Writer  Henry F. Greenberg (screenplay), Hall Bartlett (screen story), Jerry Paris (screen story), Dariel Telfer (book)
Cast  Robert Stack (Dr. Donovan MacLeod), Polly Bergen (Lorna Melford), Joan Crawford (Lucretia Terry), Janis Paige (Marion), Diane McBain (Alison Horne), Van Williams (Dr. Larry Denning)
Similar movies  Johanna, Self/less, Thank You for Smoking, Mission: Impossible III, Straight Outta Compton, The Expendables 3
Tagline  Now the screen tells what makes a woman - and what breaks her!

Joan crawford the caretakers 1963

The Caretakers, released in the UK as Borderlines, is a 1963 American drama film starring Robert Stack, Polly Bergen, Diane McBain, Joan Crawford and Janis Paige in a story about a mental hospital.


The Caretakers movie scenes

The screenplay was adapted by Henry F. Greenberg from a story by Hall Bartlett and Jerry Paris based on the 1959 novel The Caretakers by Dariel Telfer. The film was produced and directed by Bartlett, co-produced by Paris and distributed by United Artists. The Caretakers is reminiscent of a 20th Century Fox film set in a similar hospital, The Snake Pit (1948). The on-screen text in opening credits states: "Dedicated to the caretakers whose research and sacrifice discover truth. For Beba, Alice, Paul, Cathy, Laurie, Pearl, Margaret, Warren, Arthur".

The Caretakers wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters2824p2824p

Intro to 1963 the caretakers


Optimistic psychiatrist Dr. Donovan MacLeod wants to prove his theory that mental patients can benefit from group therapy. His method of treatment, with no violence or punishment, is met with a great deal of resistance from his unyielding and self-righteous head nurse, Lucretia Terry, who believes in traditional methods such as strait-jackets and padded cells for treating the mentally ill.

Head of the hospital Dr. Harrington is weak-willed. Terry's assistant, nurse Bracken, supports her superior's stand. After much trial and error and the harrowing near-rape of a patient, MacLeod's ideas prevail in spite of the opposition and meet some success.

Patients include a distraught mother, Lorna Medford; a former prostitute, Marion; a pyromaniac, Edna, and a former schoolteacher, Irene.


  • Virginia Munshin as Ruth
  • Ellen Corby as Irene
  • Barbara Barrie as Edna
  • Herbert Marshall as Dr. Harrington
  • Sharon Hugueny as Connie
  • Robert Vaughn as Jim Melford
  • Susan Oliver asCathy
  • Ana St. Clair as Ana
  • Constance Ford as Nurse Bracken
  • Van Williams as Dr. Larry Denning
  • Diane McBain as Alison
  • Janis Paige as Marion
  • Joan Crawford as Lucretia Terry
  • Polly Bergen as Lorna Melford
  • Robert Stack as Dr. Donovan MacLeod
  • Production

    Co-writer/co-producer Jerry Paris also appears in The Caretakers as a passerby Lorna bumps into on the street.

    Joan Crawford arranged for each day's scenes with veteran actor Herbert Marshall, an old friend who was in frail health, to be shot first, thus allowing him to finish his work early in the day.

    Crawford was on the board of directors of PepsiCo and Pepsi-Cola product placements include a scene at the hospital picnic, which features a wagon dispensing the soft drink.


    Variety commented, "Miss Crawford doesn't so much play her handful of scenes as she dresses for them, looking as if she were en route to a Pepsi board meeting", and called the film a "superficial, ineptly-plotted drama" Bosley Crowther of The New York Times noted, "Altogether, this woman's melodrama is shallow, showy, and cheap - a badly commercial exploitation of very sensitive material."

    Despite some negative reviews, the film went on to gross over $3 million worldwide, ranking #57 on Variety's list of top grossing films.

    Awards and nominations

    The Caretakers received an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White:Lucien Ballard. It also received Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Motion Picture Actress - Drama: Polly Bergen, and Best Motion Picture Director: Hall Bartlett.

    DVD release

    The Caretakers was released on Region 1 DVD on April 15, 2010, through as part of the MGM Limited Edition Collection.


    The Caretakers Wikipedia
    The Caretakers IMDb The Caretakers