Back to top


Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones, Rupert Everett, Ashley Jensen, Sheridan Smith, Gemma Jones
Play It Again, Sam
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

Physician Mortimer asks a nurse, referring to Dr. Richardson, "Is he mad?" (0:03)

Mortimer tells physician Robert, referring to Robert's daughter Charlotte, "That woman was..."
Robert completes the sentence: "... hysterical."
Mortimer: "The Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum."
"But tell me, doctor, what do you know of hysteria?"
Robert: "Nymphomania, frigidity, melancholia, anxiety." (0:12)

A phrenology bust rests on a small table.
Robert tells Mortimer, referring to the interest of his daughter Emily, "Phrenology."
"I can assure you, phrenology is an accurate science, doctor." (0:12)

Mortimer's inventor friend Edmund toasts him as "handmaid to anxious middle-aged women."
Mortimer, toasting Edmund: "Bachelor, benefactor, miserable student, sometime drunkard..."
Robert asks patient Mrs. Parsons, "Still feeling anxious?"
Mrs. Parsons: "Yes, quite anxious, doctor." (0:18) 
Robert tells Mortimer, "Throughout history, the medical establishment has offered hysterical women a veritable smorgasbord of treatments... mesmerization..."
"... most effective treatment we can offer."
"... physiological reaction to the treatment."
"... thereby inducing the hysterical paroxysm." (0:19)

Mortimer tells Emily, "Music, philosophy, phrenology." (0:24)

Emily with phrenology bust. (0:33)

Mortimer tells Charlotte and patient Fanny, "Normally I don't recommend extreme drunkenness..."
Fanny swoons from pain.
Mortimer: "Hysteria is a disabling condition suffered by half the women in this city."
Charlotte: "If you ever get bored of nervous housewives..." (0:37)

Charlotte tells Mortimer, "I'm afraid you'll find no cases of hysteria here." (0:45)

Mortimer asks Robert, "What better place to start than with these women whom we know to suffer from hysteria?" (1:00)

Charlotte tells Mortimer, "According to your definition, hysteria seems to cover everything from insomnia to toothache.." (1:06)

Emily tells Lady St. John-Smythe, "Phrenology."
"Phrenology is a treasure map to the personality..." (1:10)

Robert tells Mortimer, referring to Charlotte, that he must testify "The truth, that she's hysterical."
Mortimer: "Sir, they will send her to a sanitorium." (1:14)

Prosecuting attorney Squyers tells Charlotte, "Your symptoms are showing."
Kathie tells the judge, "Your Honor, Charlotte Dalrymple clearly suffers from... incurable hysteria."
Mortimer: "I'm a medical doctor whose practice consists of treating women diagnosed with hysteria."
Squyers: "Is it true, Dr. Granville, that incurable cases of hysteria demand institutionalization and surgical hysterectomy?
"In your professional opinion, doctor, as an expert in the field of hysteria..."
"Your Honor, based on this evidence, I find that I must recommend that Charlotte Dalrymple be remanded to the Chalmsford Institute For the Criminally Insane."
"Would you not characterize that as hysterical?"
Mortimer: "... it is my professional opinion that hysteria is fiction... a catch-all diagnosis..."
Judge: "Mr. Squyers, I find your case for hysteria wanting." (1:17)

Emily tells Mortimer, "I'm sorry. I've given up phrenology."
"Phrenology" (1:25)

Ending text: "Medical diagnosis of hysteria officially ended in 1952." (1:33)