Best Split Personality Films ever made
written by Souranath Banerjee
Best Split Personality Films: On June 11, 1990, in the U.S. State of Wisconsin, a man (29) and a woman (26) had consensual sex in the man’s car. But a few days later the man was arrested for sexual
assault! Unfortunately the woman was suffering from multiple personality disorder, she had 21 different personalities and 2 of them (personalities aged 20 and 6) did not give consent to that physical act! (The trail of Mark Peterson)
Well, there are many such unusual cases recorded of people who suffer from multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder, and are commonly known as split personalities. The person affected from such a neurosis has his/her personality dissociated into two or more distinct parts each of which becomes dominant and controls behavior from time to time to the exclusion of the other parts.
Many movies have been made to highlight this special medical condition, some based on actual cases while others are conjured out of pure fiction. Here are some other Best Split Personality Films are listed below. Have a look!
Note: I have not included the imaginary character’s world dramas/thrillers in this list, the likes of Fight Club (1999), A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), Identity (2003) and Shutter Island (2010).
10. Psycho (1960)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz719b9QUqY
As the famous quote says ‘A boy’s best friend is his mother.’
The infamous Bates motel is the residence of Mr.Norman (Anthony Perkins) and his jealous Mother and anybody who wants to get involved with them are at risk!
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, undoubtedly the most popular and thrilling split personality movie ever made!
9. Split (2016)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84TouqfIsiI
Three girls are kidnapped by a man with multiple personalities, 23 different personas to be precise. And still counting!
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, one of his latest mediocre movies, though I personally think it is the acting of James McAvoy that makes the movie worth a watch.
unfortunately the movie aims more for thrills than authentically portraying the disorder.
8. Me, Myself & Irene (2000)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssx_riw1Y9Y
A funny take on a man’s extremely contrast split personalities and twisting his state of dissociative identity disorder into some hilarious comic effect.
Directed by Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly, and starring none other than Jim Carrey as two personas – the polite cop and his maniacal alter-ego!
Entertainment at its best!
7. Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase (1990)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR9o_UZ3GRg
Based on true events, adopted from the autobiographical account written by Truddi Chase, in the book named When Rabbit Howls, the Troops for Truddi Chase.
Directed by Lamont Johnson and brilliantly performed by Shelley Long, her character being haunted by the sexual and psychological abuse afflicted on her as a child by her stepfather, tends to develop multiple personalities as a kind of defence mechanism to shut down the past horrible memories.
A highly underrated TV movie that perfectly portrays the torment and suffering of a person having dissociative identity disorder.
6. Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0DopZosR84
A remake of the 1993 Malayalam film Manichithrathazhu.
A newly married man returns to his ancestral palace along with his wife, ignoring the various ghost stories rumored about the place. But then can there be any truth in these stories or is it the work of one disturbed mind?
Directed by Priyadarshan, a very entertaining film that intelligently delves with the split personality aspect of human mind and how to take control over it.
5. Frankie & Alice (2010)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y10yyl_MJ4Q
Directed by Geoffrey Sax, Stellan Skarsgård as the doctor and Halle Berry‘s best performance till date, portraying the character of a go-go dancer suffering from mood swings and sudden black outs which reveals to the fact that she is having multiple personalities.
An underrated film that succeeds in depicting the tragic life of a person with dissociative identity disorder with a certain degree of honesty.
4. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqqZ0yFqY04
Based on the famous novel ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ written by Robert Louis Stevenson – this is the tale of a unique scientific experiment, a magic potion that effectively splits a person into two different personalities – the sober and gentle Dr Jekyll and his alter ego Mr Hyde!
Directed by Rouben Mamoulian, and performed by Fredric March who won an Oscar for his superb acting – this is one of the earliest movie that gave us a glimpse of a person suffering from split personality.
3. David and Lisa (1962)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox39j2wwhy0
A love-story blooming inside a mental asylum between two teenage patients – the boy David (Keir Dullea) suffering from the fear of death while the girl Lisa (Janet Margolin) who has a split personality disorder.
Directed by Frank Perry, a brilliant film that goes deep into the psyche of such emotionally disturbed teenagers and delves in the process of medically treating them along with enough love and patience.
2. The Three Faces of Eve (1957)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-B0_m6fW94
‘I’m Eve’ written by Christine Costner Sizemore is the autobiographical book on which this movie is based on.
Directed by Nunnally Johnson, and performed by Joanne Woodward who won an oscar for her part playing a woman who has three prominent personalities that come out at regular intervals and each of these personas are aware of the other two!
- Sybil (1976)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kPIDt3yu1M
Child abuse has been the prime factor in such cases, and in an unconscious urge to block away the painful memories of childhood a person deliberately creates the other personalities. And that is exactly what happened to Shirley Ardell Mason on whose real life the novel/ movie is based on.
Directed by Daniel Petrie, and exceptionally well performed by Sally Field this mini series is the best and most authentic case study of a person suffering from multiple personality disorder. Sybil, the central character developed sixteen different personalities and was treated by a doctor named Dr. Cornelia Wilbur.
and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)
+1. Primal Fear (1996)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnmTi7hSjrA
A priest murdered and all the evidence points to an alter-boy as the murderer but then the defense lawyer finds that the accused is suffering from multiple personality disorder!
Directed by Gregory Hoblit, this one is a superb drama with some pretty unexpected twists. Richard Gere and Laura Linney give great performances but the one to look for in this film is Edward Norton, a star was born!
Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com, www.imdb.com.