1948, this film was a breakthrough. For Olivia, this was a particularly
difficult film requiring the most preparation. At the time, it
was considered a very risky subject that marked the beginning
for films to deal with mental illness.
film attempts, and I think succeeds, to stress the despair
of the mentally ill and the inadequate facilities extended
to them as seen through the main character's eyes, Virginia
title of the story comes from the ancient habit of throwing
lunatics into a snake pit in order to shock them into sanity.
This is dramatized in one memorable overhead shot that focuses
on Virginia in the middle of a crowd or whirling, noisy women.
The camera pulls back to achieve the effect of a pit.