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Zelig

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Cast
Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, John Buckwalter, Marvin Chatinover, Stanley Swerdlow, Paul Nevens, Howard Erskine, Patrick Horgan, Richard Whiting
Released
1983
Bruno Bettelheim | F Scott Fitzgerald | Sigmund Freud | Adolf Hitler | Woody Allen | carisoprodol | Somadril
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

Narrator: “Present at the party is Scott Fitzgerald.” (0:02)

Narrator: “He is restrained with a straightjacket... At 7AM Dr. Eudora Fletcher, a psychiatrist, makes her usual rounds.”
”As a young psychiatrist, Dr. Eudora Fletcher is fascinated by Leonard Zelig.” (0:06)

Zelig tells Fletcher, “I’m a psychiatrist.”
”I work mostly with delusional paranoids.”
”I’ve written quite a few psychoanalytic papers... I worked with Freud in Vienna. We broke over the concept of penis envy. Freud felt that it should be limited to women.”
Fletcher: ”It was just a conglomeration of psychological double talk...” (0:07)

Narrator: “Though brother Jack has a nervous breakdown, and sister Ruth becomes a shoplifter and alcoholic Leonard Zelig appears to have adjusted to life.” (0:08)

Narrator: “ With the doctors watching, Zelig becomes a perfect psychiatrist.” (0:09)

Narrator: “Although the doctors claim to have the situation in hand no two can agree on a diagnosis.”
Doctor Birsky: “Now this patient is suffering from a brain tumor...”
Pallbearers carry Birsky’s coffin.” (0:10)

Narrator: “... Fletcher begins to feel that the patient might be suffering, not from a physiological disorder, but from a psychological one.” (0:11)

News: “Hospital patient astonishes medical world. Ordinary man displays remarkable traits.” (0:11)

Reporter: “As the men discuss their obesity an initially reticent Zelig joins in...” (0:12)

Narrator: “Trying a new approach Dr. Fletcher places the subject under hypnosis.” (0:13)

Headline: “ZELIG SAID TO SUFFER UNIQUE MENTAL DISORDER” (0:14)

Fletcher interviews Zelig under hypnotic trance. (0:17)

Hospital spokesmaNarrator: “We believe that any change in Zelig’s condition is going to be brought about through certain experimental drugs...”
Narrator: “Zelig is treated with the experimental drug Somadril hydrate. He undergoes severe mood changes.” (0:18)

Narrator: “... Martinez displays his usual panic in the arena... the bull gives himself a brain concussion... That evening, in a jealous rage, Martin Geist returns... takes his own life.” (0:27)

Narrator: “From this cramped vantage point, photographer Paul Deghuee will record the famous White Room Sessions -- a remarkable document in the history of psychotherapy.” (0:32)

Psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim: “The question whether Zelig was a psychotic or merely extremely neurotic was... endlessly discussed...” (0:32)

Zelig in session with Fletcher. Zelig tells her he is there “To discuss psychiatry, right?”
“Perhaps you’ve read my latest paper on delusional paranoia. Turns out the entire thing is mental.”
Fletcher: “You’re a patient, and I’m the doctor.”
Zelig: “I have an interesting case, treating two sets of Siamese twins with split personalities...” (0:33)

Session with Fletcher. Zelig: “I teach a course at the psychiatric institute on masturbation.”
”You’re trying to hypnotize me.” (0:35)

Fletcher writes, “Leonard continues to insist he is a doctor, and even refuses to let me hypnotize him.” (0:35)

Paul, referring to Fletcher and Zelig: “She was moody and nervous... He was reading books on psychiatry.”
Narrator: “She is unable to think of anything but her patient... [Fletcher’s fiance] is put off by her total obsession with Zelig.” (0:36)

In a session Fletcher reverses roles with Zelig.
Narrator: “Playing on Zelig’s identity disorder Dr. Fletcher has manipulated him into momentary disorientation. With his guard lowered, she quickly puts him under hypnosis. Using post hypnotic suggestion, she will now be able to induce a trance at will.”(0:37)

In a trance Zelig tells Fletcher, “My father beat my sister, my brother and me. My mother beat my father...” (0:40)

Narrator: “Dr. Fletcher’s therapy consists of a two-pronged attack. In the trance state...” (0:40)

Fletcher tells hypnotized Zelig, “You will be completely honest. You will be in a deep trance.”
Zelig: “I want to go to bed with you.
”I love you.”
”You’re all mixed up and nervous...” (0:41)

Fletcher: “I was very nervous, because in his waking state he never remembered anything from his trance state...” (0:45)

Reporter: “The beautiful and brilliant young psychiatrist never lost faith... that Leonard Zelig was suffering from a mental disorder... rare footage of Zelig hypnotized. The patient and healer have become fast friends... a resounding success for psychiatry...” (0:47)

Reporter: “... the mother of Eudora Fletcher... the famous psychiatrist so much in the news...”
Fletcher’s mother: ”... but she was a very moody child.”
Referring to Eudora’s father: ”John had problems, depression. He drank.” (0:49)

Historian John Blum: “And of course the Freudians had a ball. They could interpret him in any way they pleased.” (0:54)

Author Susan Sontag: “I don’t know if you could call it a triumph of psychotherapy. It’s more like a triumph of aesthetic instincts...” (0:54)

Author Irving Howe, referring to Zelig: “I mean he wanted to assimilate like crazy.” (0:55) 

Narrator, referring to Fletcher: “She and her patient have fallen in love...” (0:55)

Narrator, referring to Lita Fox: “He had married her while under a different personality.” (0:57)

Narrator: “That Zelig could be responsible for the behaviour of each of the personalities that he assumed means dozens of lawsuits.” (0:59)

Fletcher: “We saw Grand Hotel...” (1:04)

Adolf Hitler (1:04)

SS officer Oswald Pohl: “Hitler’s speech was ruined... and Hitler was extremely upset...” (1:08)

Zelig addresses the crowd: “I’ve never flown before in my life, and it shows exactly what you can do if you’re a total psychotic.” (1:11)

Narrator: “‘Wanting only to be liked, he distorted himself beyond measure,’ wrote Scott Fitzgerald.” (1:13)

Closing title: “She continued practicing psychoanalysis...” (1:14)