In the New York Times online obituary this week for Peter Breck, there is sparse mention of his motion picture performances. His most famous role, was not even listed.
Breck’s portrayal of the reporter going undercover into a mental institution to solve a murder, in Sam Fuller’s Shock Corridor was a significant performance of the 1960s.Fuller’s film showed explicit electro-therapy, cases of erotic dementia , manic sensualism as well as acute dementia by an African American patient.
Breck delivers a tour de force performance of a man slowly becoming part of the fabric of his story. Alongside Shock Corridor, Breck also appeared in Thunder Road – as a rival driver in the moonshine business. He gained top billing as the owner of the purebred collie Lad, in Lad, A Dog– the film based on a 1919 novel by Albert Payson. Fans of Mystery Science Theatre 3000, may recognise him from the film The Crawling Hand – about a severed hand that comes back to life.
He was also the lead role in the cult classic Terminal City Ricochet (1990).
In 1996, the National Film Preservation Board included ‘Shock Corridor’ on its National Film Registry.
In Fuller’s 1964 film ‘The Naked Kiss’ – the theatre near the bus shelter is showing Shock Corridor. At the start of Bertolucci’s ‘The Dreamers’ (2003) – Shock Corridor is screening on the television.
The Trailer for Shock Corridor
The Trailer for Thunder Road
The Trailer for Lad, A Dog.
The Trailer for The Crawling Hand
The Trailer for Terminal City Ricochet
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