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The Three Faces of Eve

CastJoan Woodward, Lee J. Cobb
Year released1957
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Spoiler alert!

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Dr. Luther shares his psychiatric office with Dr. Day, a neurologist, and consults with him frequently during Eve's treatment which bares no resemblance to psychoanalysis. In fact during most encounters psychiatrist and patient converse freely. Dr. Luther uses no particular psychotherapy technique or intervention except when he hypnotizes Eve, attempting to access repressed memory of presumed childhood trauma. He stands much of the time. Eve White and Jane mostly sit upright, but Eve Black roams the office freely. Luther talks freely about himself, frequently answering Eve's questions directly, but he maintains boundaries in the face of frequent assaults on them by Eve Black in particular. He does not prescribe ECT or medication. The apparent cure seems to occur almost by chance.

Dr. Luther involves Eve's first husband Ralph in the first encounter and occasionally thereafter, but only to gain his perspective on his patient (0:05).

We learn in the initial encounter that Eve "lost a baby" four months prior (0:06), but this seemingly important event does not come up again. However, her attempt to strangle her daughter Bonnie (0:12) leads to precautions to ensure the girl's safety mentioned throughout the story.

Eve tells Dr. Luther she believes she may be going crazy because she hears voices, but with further probing she admits there is only one familiar female voice that tells her to do things (0:15) like leave her husband and run away. Luther reassures her that truly ill patients do not experience their hallucinations as alien (0:17), followed by the first switch to Eve Black (0:18) who, unlike passive Eve White, is assertive, seductive, confidant, uninhibited and happy. When she practically chases Dr. Luther from the office., he excuse himself to seek consultation from Dr. Day next door (0:21). We discover that Eve Black knows Eve White, but Eve White only knows Eve Black from the voice she has described. Eve Black declares she intends to stay "out" and admits that at times she cannot come out (0:23).

Eve White returns, having been admitted to hospital. In the day room Dr. Luther asks her about her marriage (0:25). He asks her directly about whether she has experienced someone else "inside" her (0:28). Dr. Luther meets with Eve Black in her hospital room (0:30). Addressing her seductive behavior directly, he threatens involuntary commitment (0:31) but admits he does not know how to treat her condition (0:32). When he shows his exasperation Eve White returns (0:33).

Dr. Luther first mentions multiple personality disorder to Eve (0:33) then to Ralph, attributing the problem to as yet undiscovered childhood experience. He explains that she cannot control the problem, that she is not crazy or psychotic. He lapses into psychiatric jargon but aborts the conversation when he realizes Ralph cannot understand him and takes him to meet with his wife (0:36). He then summons Eve Black who stands up to Ralph when he attempts to assert control over her.

The two physicians consult again (0:57). They agree that neither alter comprises a complete, healthy, functioning personality and that they find no opportunity for addressing the root cause of her illness in her "abnormally normal history" (0:58).

Eve Black, meeting again with Dr. Luther, showing him her bandaged wrist, explains that she stopped Eve White from killing herself with a razor blade the night before (0:58). Eve White then admits she has been "very low" (1:00). Dr. Luther hypnotizes her, takes notes. When a third alter emerges, he takes her to Dr. Day (1:02). They agree to call her Jane (1:05). In contrast to the two Eves she seems thoughtful, steady, undepressed but mature, and actively interested in solving the mystery. She has lost the southern accent.

In another encounter Eve White tells Dr. Luther Jane will survive (1:10). When Jane cannot recall her childhood he hypnotizes her again (1:15). She begins to recall a disturbing experience but cannot describe it fully (1:19). Dr. Luther admits that he likes Jane and Eve Black, but when the latter asks him to take her out he again cites professional boundaries indicating that would be "against the rules" (1:21), but then he accepts Eve Black's gift of her red dress. Is this a boundary violation?

Eve screams (1:25). Dr. Luther holds her. The film flashes back to Eve as a young girl and the repressed memory of her mother forcing her, against her objections, to kiss the corpse of her dead aunt (1:26). The apparent abreaction allows Jane to recount detailed memories from throughout her childhood to Dr. Luther (1:28).

Reference in Far from HeavenOutrageous!

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