So Psyched!

December 15, 2011

Nice cigar, Viggo.

In “A Dangerous Method,” out Friday, Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender play Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung in a world where those men were hot. Those real-life grandfathers of psychiatry begat these great therapists in film.

Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Some evil geniuses have M.D.s. While imagining the shrink of “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) killing people is easy, thanks to Anthony Hopkins’ performance, we do have trouble picturing him filling out insurance forms.

Dr. Oatman
As therapist to John Cusack’s hit man in 1997’s “Grosse Point Blank,” Alan Arkin gives advice like “I am at home with the me” and “Don’t kill anybody.”

Dr. Brodsky
It’s good to try to rehabilitate criminals, but Carl Duering’s character in “A Clockwork Orange” takes things a bit too far. Anyone who’s seen this 1971 classic has surely reconsidered even thinking about being naughty.

Dr. Leo Marvin
Richard Dreyfuss played a psychiatrist with the world’s most annoying patient (Bill Murray) in 1991’s “What About Bob?” Seems like someone needed to learn to establish respectful boundaries.

Nurse Ratched
She may not technically be a therapist. Or a human. But in 1975’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Louise Fletcher went toe-to-toe with Jack Nicholson in a mental hospital. And technically won. Kind of.

Kristen Page-Kirby covers film for The Washington Post Express.
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Katie Aberbach · December 15, 2011