Altered States

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Released 1980

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Movie Summary

Director:
Ken Russell
Released:
1980
Rating:
R
Altered States is a dark 1980 drama starring William Hurt as a Harvard researcher using his own mind as a test subject. Professor Eddie Jessup (William Hurt) decides he wants to explore consciousness through the use of hallucinogenic drugs inside an isolation tank. Jessup believes he has entered a world beyond intellect, he experiences profound visions, some blasphemous, some primal, with each experiment taking him deeper into an alternative world. His wife, Emily (Blair Brown), begins to notice strange changes when he is outside the tank and in his physical state. Concerned for his well-being, she tries, along with his colleagues Arthur Rosenberg (Bob Balaban) and Mason Parrish (Charles Haid), to convince him to stop before damaging his mind and his reputation. After one startling trip, Jessup emerges from the tank transformed and goes on a rampage, but still insists on taking the experiment further. Director Ken Russell ("Tommy") directs this psychedelic horror story from writer Paddy Chayefsky ("Network").

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Themes

Cult, Psychological