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The Cobweb Theatrical release poster Directed by Vincente Minnelli Produced by John Houseman Jud Kinberg Written by John Paxton William Gibson (novel) Starring Richard Widmark Lauren Bacall Charles Boyer Gloria Grahame Music by Leonard Rosenman Cinematography George Folsey Editing by Harold F. Kress Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Release date(s) July 15, 1955 Running time 124 minutes Country United States Language English The Cobweb (1955) is a MGM film.[1][2] It was directed by Vincente Minnelli and based on a novel by William Gibson. The film features an elite cast, revolving around the disturbed psyches of inmates and staff members at a posh psychiatric clinic. Stewart McIver (Richard Widmark) leads the way as the head of the clinic, while his wife Karen (Gloria Grahame) takes it upon herself to select new drapes for the hospital's library. These seemingly ordinary drapes set off a melodrama with an equal amount of love and lunacy. The opening credits are followed by the following onscreen words: "The trouble began." At the end of the film, the words appear onscreen. "The trouble was over" Contents 1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Music 4 Trivia 5 See also 6 References 7 External links // Plot Dr. Stewart McIver is now in charge of a psychiatric facility, one run for many years by medical director Dr. Douglas Devanal. McIver must address the needs of a number of disturbed patients, among them Steven Holte, a possibly suicidal artist, and the self-loathing Mr. Capp. All of his responsibilities keep McIver so busy that his wife, Karen, feels increasingly frustrated and ignored. When new drapes are needed for the clinic's library, the dour and penny-pinching Victoria Inch orders unattractive ones. Karen McIver takes it upon herself to buy a more expensive and colorful set instead, gaining the approval of chairman of the board Regina Mitchell-Smythe but without the knowledge of her husband. What should be an insignifcant matter is complicated further by Dr. McIver giving the patients, principally Stevie, permission to design and create the new drapes themselves. Personalities clash. Dr. Devanal, who has a drinking problem, has been having an affair with his secretary Miss Cobb and makes a clumsy pass at McIver's wife as well. McIver begins to fall in love with Meg Rinehart, a member of his staff. Vicki Inch privately schemes to expose the unseemly behavior of Devanal at the next meeting of the board and issues a veiled threat to do so to McIver as well, while Devanal's wife mistakenly believes McIver to be behind the plot to discredit her husband. Having felt stable enough to go on a date with Sue Brett, another patient, Stevie Holt is very upset to discover that new drapes have been installed, not the ones his artwork was meant to inspire. He disappears, causing a search party to look for him and McIver to fear a suicide. In the end, Stevie reappears, the McIvers agree to work on their marriage and Miss Inch decides not to disclose everyone's actions. A grateful Dr. Devanal, his reputation intact, submits his resignation to the board. Cast Richard Widmark ... Dr. Stewart McIver Lauren Bacall ......... Meg Rinehart Charles Boyer ........ Dr. Devanal Gloria Grahame ...... Karen McIver Lillian Gish ............. Victoria Inch John Kerr ............... Steven W. Holte Susan Strasberg ..... Sue Brett Oscar Levant ......... Mr. Capp Tommy Rettig ........ Mark McIver Paul Stewart .......... Dr. Otto Wolff Adele Jergens .......... Miss Cobb Mabel Albertson ........... Regina Mitchell-Smythe Fay Wray .............. Edna Devanal Music The score was composed, conducted and orchestrated by Leonard Rosenman. The music distinguishes itself by "having the first predominantly twelve-tone score ever written for a motion picture." [3] The first release of portions of the score was on MGM Records on LP in 1957. The complete score in stereo was issued on cd in 2003, on Film Score Monthly records. Trivia Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles. (March 2008) Robert Taylor was originally cast as Stewart, with Lana Turner and Grace Kelly in the lead female roles. James Dean was also set to play the troubled psychiatric patient, Steven. MGM and Warner Brothers, Dean's studio, were unable to agree on a financial arrangement. Joanne Dru was briefly considered for the role of Karen. In their memoirs, both director Minnelli and producer Houseman recalled that the first version of the film ran nearly two-and-a-half hours. Houseman wrote that when Minnelli refused to cut the film, he edited it himself: "When I ran it for him after hacking close to half an hour out of the film, including entire scenes that he had shot with loving care, he made a violent, lachrymose scene in the projection room, accusing me of insensitivity and treachery. I offered to let him recut the film, but he refused." Summing up the re-editing of the film in his memoir, Minnelli wrote merely, "We somehow managed to bring it down to a more manageable size." The Cobweb marked the film debut of John Kerr and Susan Strasberg, the daughter of famed Actors Studio head Lee Strasberg. The picture also marked Oscar Levant's last screen appearance. Minnelli wrote in his memoir that he suggested that the role of Mr. Capp be tailored to Levant's well-publicized psychological problems: "He would more or less be playing himself." The neurotic Oscar Levant, playing a patient with a mother fixation, proved as difficult as his character. During one battle, Levant snapped at Minnelli, "Don't try to tell me how to play crazy! I'm crazier than you could ever hope to be!" This was Lillian Gish's first film for MGM since The Wind in 1928. See also Lillian Gish filmography References ^ Variety film review; June 8, 1955, page 6. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; June 11, 1955, page 94. ^ Bond, Jeff (2003). Release notes for The Cobweb/Edge of the City by Leonard Rosenman, p. 12 (CD insert notes). Culver City, California, U.S.A.: Film Score Monthly (Vol. 6, No. 14). External links The Cobweb at IMDB Various LP and cd releases of music from the film v • d • e Films directed by Vincente Minnelli 1940s Cabin in the Sky (1943) · I Dood It (1943) · Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) · The Clock (1945) · Ziegfeld Follies (1945) · Yolanda and the Thief (1945) · Undercurrent (1946) · The Pirate (1948) · Madame Bovary (1949) 1950s Father of the Bride (1950) · Father's Little Dividend (1951) · An American in Paris (1951) · The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) · The Story of Three Loves (1953) · The Band Wagon (1953) · The Long, Long Trailer (1953) · Brigadoon (1954) · The Cobweb (1955) · Kismet (1955) · Lust for Life (1956) · Tea and Sympathy (1956) · Designing Woman (1957) · Gigi (1958) · The Reluctant Debutante (1958) · Some Came Running (1958) 1960s Home from the Hill (1960) · Bells Are Ringing (1960) · Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962) · Two Weeks in Another Town (1962) · The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963) · Goodbye Charlie (1964) · The Sandpiper (1965) 1970s On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970) · A Matter of Time (1976)