Three Christs (2020) Movie Script

I, Dr. Alan Stone, am guilty
for underestimating
the enigma that is the mind.
But I am not guilty
of the accusations
leveled against me.
I arrived
at Ypsilanti State Hospital
the summer of 1959.
I'd left teaching
to begin an ambitious study
of delusional patients.
Ypsilanti's most famous
structure was the water tower
referred to by the locals
as the "Brick Dick."
What did Lenny Bruce say?
"In the halls of justice
the only justice
is in the halls."
My defense for this hearing
really a witch hunt
begins my first night
at Ypsilanti.
Sorry to disturb you, Dr. Stone.
My name's Benny.
The attending physician
is off-ward.
We need help with a patient,
Joseph Cassel
he's down here on C-18.
Alright, put it down,
Mr. Cassel.
You're... you're gonna be fine.
I, Jesus of Nazareth
spill my blood to save you.
Away, you heathens
who electrocute me.
Who do you think you are?
Thank you, Dr. Francisco.
Saving someone
who doesn't want to live.
Some irony.
You must be
the new guy from MSU.
- Stone, right?
- That's right.
No electrocution.
What in God's name would
cause you to miss Lenny Bruce's
only night in Michigan?
Well, actually,
it was a patient's life.
Of course.
Jesus Christ.
Life in a mental hospital?
And that, Alan?
That is life
in a state mental hospital.
Enjoy yourself, Ruth.
Enjoy yourself.
I don't want
the children to hear.
On second thought,
maybe you were right.
Sir! Excuse me, sir!
You saved me from electrocution.
My gratitude is infinite.
Here is a present
an aria for you,
the sweetness of it all.
Thank you.
No, no, not giving it to you.
Play it. Play it.
I would really like to help you,
Please address me
as my proper name
Jesus Christ,
the righteous one am I.
Jesus. Died a long time ago,
didn't he?
You... you are mistaken.
Listen, listen to Jussi Bjorling
and Robert Merrill
sing "Au fond du temple saint"
from Bizet's
"The Pearl Fishers."
Good morning.
I'm Dr. Stone.
Please take a seat.
Thank you, Mr. Benson.
My name is Christ
but I am not from Nazareth
to be precise.
Well, I'm sorry, but your actual
name is Mr. Clyde Benson.
So if I refer to you
by your actual name
you won't speak?
Alright then, I think our time
together is finished.
You may go back to your ward.
You'll wonder
where the yellow went
When you brush your teeth
with wet cement
Wet cement.
Wet cement?
- Funny, right?
- That is funny.
Brusha brusha brusha
here's the new Ipana
With the brand new flavor
it's dandy for your teeth
Yum pa pa pa pa
My kids like that one.
Two, two different toothpastes.
Can there be two Jesus'?
There can be
but only one son of God.
That's my point.
Then why am I tortured
by a pretender in our midst?
- Mr. Cassel.
- That's his name.
But he goes by a fraudulent one,
does he not?
And now you are silent.
Yes. Yes, now I am.
Freud said there were
two basic instincts.
- What were they again?
- You know the answer.
Tell me anyway.
Sex and aggression.
Well, now I have two patients
who believe
they're Jesus Christ.
What do you plan
to do about that?
Why don't you tell me,
Ms. Summa Cum Laude?
Will you ever get over
that I'm smarter than you?
Help me, my son.
I, your Lord Christ
the righteous one, beg thee
to curtail this barbarism.
They are frying my notes.
Benny, what happened?
What happened? What happened?
Joseph got into a fight
with Clyde Benson
who also claims
he's Jesus Christ.
Joseph got upset and said there
could only be one Jesus
and then Benson
broke his record.
Dr. Francisco,
is shock really necessary?
Mr. Cassel became uncontrollable
over that broken vinyl.
Is there a problem?
Do you have some magical cure
you're not sharing?
Please allow me
to leave Michigan
and return to England.
Be seated, please.
So you've left academia
to join us
at Ypsilanti State Hospital.
- Yes.
- Welcome.
Thank you, Dr. Orbus.
Your papers make
for interesting reading.
What can I do for you?
Well, I've received multiple
grants from Michigan State
to include schizophrenics
in my identity studies.
I need your support.
What kind of support?
Additional manpower.
And your word that electroshock
will never be used
on my patients.
Your article states.
"Institutions are a warehouse
for mental patients
run like an automotive factory."
You don't think that sounds
just a tad disrespectful
if not insulting?
I wrote truthfully.
Ever worked in a state facility?
I'm sorry, was I factually
incorrect about the procedure?
You haven't worked
in a state facility.
As someone who does, please,
how would you suggest
we offer more humane care
to over 4100 patients
we, a staff
of five psychiatrists?
I understand the scope of
your problems, believe me I do.
Your supervisor invited me here.
Dr. Rogers. Certainly.
Why not look to improve
the quality
of the care that you offer here?
Because the methods that we use
which are standard nationwide
are not good enough?
How did you refer to us?
unfeeling conformists."
Such restraint.
I have no additional manpower.
And if you create an unsafe
environment for my patients
you'll be removed.
Dr. Rogers won't overrule me
on that.
I'm told I make a really good
second impression.
Ah, schizophrenia
is a mental condition
that makes it hard
to tell the difference
between what's real
and not real
uh, think clearly
have appropriate
emotional responses
act normally
in social situations.
Okay, you are graduating
from Eastern Michigan College
with a degree in psychology.
Full scholarship,
excellent grades
with a year hiatus.
I had some family issues.
I... I have recommendations.
Oh, excellent ones.
May I ask what kind of issues?
Do I have to answer?
No. No, you don't.
You understand
just how difficult
working with paranoid
schizophrenics can be.
I know they lack inhibitions,
and their speech is bizarre.
Their words actually hide
the meaning
of what they're thinking.
These patients may appear
to see right through you
pinpoint your doubts, your
sexual impulses, your fears.
They tend to be
highly perceptive.
For instance,
you say that you have an issue
they may intuit what it is
or challenge you aggressively.
It's very important for me
to help people.
Won't I learn how to do that
if I work on this project?
Why do you wanna work
with paranoid schizophrenics?
Because they're so lonely.
Whatever happens..
You cannot be seduced
into their world
you will be unable to help them.
And if it ever becomes too much,
too personal
too difficult,
you will have to withdraw.
Does that mean I'm hired?
Yes, Ms. Anderson,
you're hired.
I'm Becky. I won't let you down.
Find out
if there are other patients
in the Michigan Mental Health
who claim to be Jesus Christ.
Leon Gabor. That's it?
Ah, we've got three
Cinderella's, two Eisenhower's
one Duke Ellington, but only
one more Jesus in Michigan.
Good job.
Good morning.
My name is Dr. Stone.
This is my research assistant,
Ms. Anderson.
Would you like to sit down,
Mr. Gabor?
- I'd like to get to know you.
- Why?
Maybe if I understand you better
perhaps I can be of help to you.
You wanna be my friend?
I'd like to be your doctor.
But not my friend.
- Friendly doctor.
- Why not my friend?
Well, because there are
certain boundaries
between a doctor
and his patient, Mr. Gabor.
Address me by my righteous name.
God, to you.
I don't believe you're God.
So you don't acknowledge
who I am
yet you want me
to acknowledge who you are.
Were you born a doctor, Stone?
What is a stone? A rock?
Was it even your birth name?
What is your name?
Who are you?
I am a doctor.
I'm here to treat you.
And I really have no need
to win a debate with you.
So you won't tell me
who is treating me
yet you insist that I am not
who I tell you that I am.
Huh. Do you even believe in God?
That's not easy to answer.
Yes or no works for me.
I believe in the mystery.
But not God.
- I believe in nature.
- But not God?
I believe in science,
cause and effect.
But not God.
I find it very hard to believe
in an all-powerful God
who allows children to suffer..
Wars to be fought
in his name.
I went to war, set people free
that I'd never met
and now I'm being imprisoned
by people that I do not know.
I went to war too.
Tried to save the lives
of soldiers
who were dying for people
they didn't know either.
And you liked that?
Saving people?
Make you feel good?
Make you feel powerful?
And how about you,
Ms. Anderson?
Do you believe in God?
How are Ruth and the girls
adjusting to the move?
Well, Molly is questioning
the duck-and-cover drill
at the moment.
Yeah, the apple doesn't fall
far from the tree.
Now, what's your project?
Well, I interviewed three
who believe
they're Jesus Christ.
I wanna put the three of them
in a room..
And study their behavior.
- Three Christ's?
- Yeah.
What do you think will happen?
I don't have a clue.
They aren't who they are,
so who are they?
- Yeah.
- It's interesting.
Maybe one of them
will dominate the others
force them to change
their identities.
Maybe... maybe we will learn
enough that we can help them
give up their delusions.
Alright. Wait. Stop.
You're not talking about
the Holy Grail, right?
Curing schizophrenia?
It... it is an offshoot
of Dr. Laing's work,
no question about it.
But it's an aggressive
but humane approach.
There's no shock, no drugs.
Alan, you can't cross
the boundaries
of normal clinical protocol.
Did you invite me here?
Did you, did you
encourage me to come here
and do research,
to work with the neglected
those who truly need care?
- The tough cases, right?
- I did.
- Yes, you did.
- And I want you to.
But there are limits
you can't exceed.
I will respect them.
My intention is to separate
the three Christ's
from the general population.
Can you fund any shortfall
in expenses?
Your last paper attacks the very
field that pays your bills.
You want me to cover
your overages?
Will you?
Can you get along
with one of
the "bureaucratic unfeeling
conformists", Dr. Orbus?
If you tell him
not to treat my patients.
Alan, I brought you here
because I respect you,
Please be careful.
Joseph Cassel.
Born in Canada to parents
who were of normal height.
Joseph left home,
tried to enlist in the Army.
They laughed at him,
mocked him.
He accused his wife, Eleanor,
of poisoning him.
He sat on her,
pinned her arms to the ground
and was arrested
and hospitalized.
Diagnosis, schizophrenia.
Paranoid type.
Prognosis for recovery, poor.
Mr. Clyde Benson.
Joined the Navy.
Served in the Far East.
His wife, Beverly,
died a gruesome death
following an abortion.
Clyde complained
of a horrid smell
from the decaying fetus.
He was arrested for drunkenness
while he screamed that he was
a filthy piece of stench.
He was committed.
Diagnosis, schizophrenia.
Paranoid type.
Prognosis for recovery... poor.
Leon Gabor. Leon's mother
was a religious fanatic.
She'd lock Leon in a room
when she went out to work
as a scrubwoman.
Against his mother's wishes,
he joined the Army.
He earned four ribbons,
four combat stars
for exposure to enemy fire.
When he returned from the war
his mother began
to pray over him
keeping him from sleeping.
He became violent,
told his mother
she should start
worshipping him, as Jesus.
She tried to stop him,
he threatened to strangle her
Leon was committed.
Diagnosis, schizophrenia.
Paranoid type.
Prognosis, questionable.
Three delusional men
who claim a religious identity
are to be treated by a doctor
who doesn't believe
in organized religion.
Will they be able to sit
in the same room and get along?
Will I be able
to offer these men..
A means to find themselves..
To experience some
companionship, hope, joy?
Good morning. Good morning.
Good morning.
Good morning. Good morning.
You all know me
and my research assistant.
Ms. Becky Anderson.
And we also have Neil Byers
and Louis Bowman
who are helping us out today.
- Is that working?
- Yes, sir.
Then go ahead and start it.
Thank you, Louis.
I have transferred each of you
from the general population.
Ward C-18 here to D-23.
You will be
the only patients here.
We will have our meetings
in this room
in the hope that you will come
to a better understanding
of yourselves.
- Joseph, any questions?
- Are you hard of hearing, sir?
Why do my requests
fall on deaf ears?
You will note
my one and rightful name.
Please address me as Jesus
Christ of Nazareth. Much obliged.
Did our father send a boy
to do a man's job?
No, he did not.
Clyde, you understand
why we're here?
A... are you hard of hearing,
- No, Clyde, I am not.
- Please address me correctly.
Ah, my name is Christ,
if you must know
but I am not from Nazareth.
Ha, ha, ha.
A rigid dupe faith.
Well, you wouldn't be working
for Senator McCarthy
now, would you, sir?
On the news today...
He's dead, you idiot.
Shaking off.
I'm shaking off
all of your negativity
and all of your squelches,
all of your squelching
all of your squelches.
Your ferocity
may be the source
of this odor
of decaying flesh.
Alright, why don't we talk about
where you were born
about your families?
Leon, would you like to
start us out, please?
Take the girl and stop her
from looking at me.
There is desire
in her wet parts.
I must push back the missile.
That will help.
I am writing Dr. Orbus to
request a transfer to England.
Ah! Okay.
Au fond du temple saint
Shut up.
Knock it off. Knock it off!
Do you see the way
that your sister
crosses and uncrosses her legs?
Lust creeps in and out of her.
Stop it
or I will not be responsible
for her moist response
to my scent.
Her scent is pleasing.
Ms. Anderson is assisting me.
Oh, I'll bet she is.
She is raping my thoughts.
They are my thoughts,
you did not ask my permission
and you cannot have them.
You're right. You're right.
I'm... I'm recording
our conversations
with your permission
so that I can study
why each of you believes
you are Jesus Christ.
And you will do this
because you are my patient
and I am your doctor.
So what makes you a doctor,
Stone? A piece of paper?
If I were to burn it,
would you still be a doctor
or would you be a fake,
a phony, a paper mache?
I am who I am.
Well, then why do you need
a piece of paper
to prove to others
who you are?
You are not Mozart
your notes don't ring true,
Mr. Leon Gabor.
Address me as your Lord
your God,
your King of Kings!
By all means,
be who you want to be.
We do not have false hollowed
out gods in Great Britain.
Oh, you're from Canada,
you midget.
- No, no, no.
No! No!
Scha... Schafer is the one beer
to have..
Let go! Let go! Let go!
Okay. Calm down.
Come on, come on, come on.
No! No! Stop!
Let go! Let go! Let go!
Stop! Stop!
It's okay. It's alright.
The orderlies must be inside.
They'll inhibit the patients,
you can't do that.
The patients' safety
is my responsibility
and mine alone.
Not Dr. Rogers'.
Either the orderlies are
inside, or
I'll have to terminate
the experiment.
Fine. Got it.
I am planning on publishing
the results of my work.
I would like to have the
backing, if possible...
No, you won't.
I will not have you doing
a hatchet job on Ypsilanti.
- I have no intention of that.
- This is not a debate.
There will be no paper.
I don't know
why I'm getting so worked up.
My physician
says that the stress kills.
Maybe I should meditate
or something.
I don't mean to be
such an obstacle
to everything you propose,
I truly don't.
In fact..
These are letters
from patient Cassel..
And, uh, perhaps they'll be
of some use to you.
You know what would be nice?
If they could just sit,
play cards together.
You should go home, Becky.
I'm, uh, not finished.
Oh. This is your
new research material?
- That's not what it...
- "Sick Comics."
Mike Nichols, Elaine May,
Lenny Bruce?
Why are you so interested
in Lenny Bruce?
'Cause he's warped.
He's funny, he tells the truth.
And he's from Brooklyn.
Is it possible
to really understand
someone else's delusion?
I think the closest I ever got
was when I experimented with LSD.
I can heat up dinner
if you're hungry.
No, thanks.
I almost wish I was working on
this project with you
instead of grading
chemistry papers.
Hey, it's brave and important,
what you're doing.
Teacher says,
"Take your medicine."
Alright, Ms. Anderson.
Session One.
November 11th, 1959.
Oh, Leon. Leon, Leon.
Grand Inquisitor.
He will debate, confront,
and taunt you
wanting to provoke
an inappropriate response
but that is his means
of protection.
His attraction to Becky
has thrown him off stride.
It sets off a lot of mixed
sexual feelings.
Come on, Pogo Stick,
I'll be late.
- I'm not a pogo stick.
- Pogo.
- Dad, tell her to stop.
- Stop.
I'm trying to make her stronger
because the boys call her
four eyes, and she cries.
Which boys? I'll have a chat
with the principal.
Shirley, sweetheart,
I call you names too, you know.
Yeah, but I like when you do it.
- Why?
- Because it's fun with you.
If you know who you are..
It doesn't matter
what the boys say.
Here. Listen to your father.
For Dr. Orbus, kindly, sir.
He has yet to respond,
which is most disrespectful.
How is a man supposed to live
away from his English home?
Like the rest of us.
Please, good doctor,
don't let him destroy my letters
and send me down the drain
with them.
Rotor Rooter
that's the name
And away the troubles
down the drain
Roto Rooter sewer service
My good doctor,
someone, and I'm not saying who
stole my glasses.
They weren't stolen,
they were broken.
And you had a fight with Leon.
Alright, Clyde... would you
like to come over
and sit next to Joseph?
Would you do that?
It would make me very happy
if you did that.
Please, could you come?
Come on!
Thank you.
Clyde, what do you think about
Joseph's claim
to be Jesus Christ?
I am the Lord God
but call me what you will.
Joseph is, uh... very nice
but... little.
But duplicity runs in his veins.
A fraudulent one is he.
Joseph? Are you alright
with Clyde sitting next to you?
There is room for this gentleman
just not in my chair,
if you please, Mr. Clyde Benson.
My odor returns.
Keep your distance. Ho!
- I don't smell anything.
- Nor I.
Well, it's very deep, sir,
it's very deep.
Electronic interference upstairs
another Shocky Boy.
Dr. Francisco powers up
his Frankenstick.
Welcome back, Leon.
Okay, today's goal
is to use your words.
Gabor, don't punch our Cassel.
Do you have a headache, Leon?
No, sir, just shaking it off
the cosmic energy
for the hollowed out gods
and I do not wish to
have any disfigured bodies
being carried out of this place.
You are a dupe, a re-rise hick
next to me. Be careful.
Someone, I'm not saying who,
stole my deck of cards.
What are you writing?
Notes for Dr. Stone.
Will those notes
contain my thoughts?
And would those notes,
my thoughts belong to you
or to me?
To Dr. Stone.
He owns my thoughts.
Well, I think he owns the notes.
No, no. No. No closer.
You frighten everyone.
You made your point
now go back and sit down.
May I?
What, the pen?
It is still warm from your hand
filled with my thoughts..
Which you have taken from me.
They're your thoughts.
No one here owns them, only you.
You're right.
You will not be the center of
attention in England with me.
I am not engaged to you, sir
but to the one who makes
flowers grow
in the concrete desert.
The reason I'm having
these meetings
is there can only be one Jesus.
- Only one God.
- One God, two rerise hicks.
So if we don't start
responding to names.
Shocky Boy will rev up
his generators again?
No Shocky Boy, no.
If, if you spend time together
you don't fight with each other,
maybe play cards.
Stoney Boy.
When you finger fornicate
your wife
is it Ms. Becky's face
that you see?
Is she your orifice
to disfigure?
True love cannot be denied.
Thank you, Leon.
The topic of conversation
today is roots.
Is it possible that
my phonograph and my records
could be brought here?
Because if music
were playing now..
We would all be divine.
No opera.
That's quite interesting,
the dynamic.
- Challenging, as well.
- Definitely.
And they haven't been fighting
even while living
in the same ward.
I need to speed things up.
I am not going to, uh,
confront them anymore
I'm going to encourage them
to engage each other. Friendly.
Let them run the meetings.
You know, chairman for a day.
I like that. Yeah.
You and Orbus getting on?
Funny you should ask that.
I need to avoid
any conflict with him
about publishing the results
of my work.
And you want..
It to be my idea.
Yeah, well, just getting along.
Alan, you are entirely
but always surprising.
How is that?
My nature?
The transcripts you requested.
Oh, thanks. Thank you.
Something else on your mind?
What Leon says about you
thinking about me when..
Leon responds to you
and he notices
that I respond to you
and vice versa.
He's testing us.
But don't worry,
we will never cross that line.
I know that.
Very kind of you to invite us,
Mrs. Rogers.
Oh. Vicky, please.
He admires your husband.
And they worked so closely
together in Korea.
Where's Dr. Orbus' wife?
Oh, that's very sad.
She passed almost two years ago
it's a very difficult time
for him.
Drinks have arrived, ladies.
- Thank you.
- Your timing is impeccable.
Dr. Stone, there's an urgent
phone call from the hospital.
Get off of me!
Take his arm and pull him down.
He refuses to get
out of the shower.
I wouldn't let him be
forcibly removed.
- That's what you wanted, right?
- Yeah.
No, that's great. Thank you.
Can you get me
transferred to laundry?
The smells in this kitchen
are nauseating.
Well, we can discuss that,
but you need to come out now.
Well, you don't have to believe
in God
to fear the Devil's Frankenstick
I'll tell you that.
I know, but I promise you
I won't let.
Shocky Boy power up
his Frankenstick.
Stay away. I don't, I don't
wanna infect you with my stench.
I don't infect that easily.
You stay away.
I'm alone in here.
Leave me alone.
I'm alone in here.
I don't wanna smell.
I don't wanna smell!
Okay. Don't move.
You don't have to move.
You don't have to move.
I'm just gonna
turn the water off.
Don't move. Don't move.
Don't move. Don't move.
Don't move.
- Stay where you are.
- You don't have to move.
You're gonna be okay.
Here you go.
There you go.
Here you go.
Here you go.
Yeah. Yeah.
Beverly called me Death.
She died from my seed.
No. No, no, no, no, no.
Please don't hurt
yourself again. Please.
Do you have a picture
of Beverly?
I hear she was very beautiful.
She was so beautiful.
I have a picture in my box.
Aw, yeah, she is beautiful.
Becky, what are you doing here?
- Ah, I'm sorry. I..
- For what?
I was out with friends
and... and I couldn't sleep.
- What is this?
- Um..
Just some scribbles
trying to make sense
of our sessions.
May I?
It's good. Yeah.
You're starting to get
a sense of paranoids.
They need the space.
"The perimeter of safety"
is how you described it.
That's what I said.
- Dr. Stone.
- Yup?
You mentioned
that you had taken LSD.
How did it help you to
understand your patients better?
I lost the sense of my own
physical boundaries
I... I... I hallucinated
like they do, I think.
Should I try it?
Would it help me understand them
better also?
No. Unless I'm there
to watch over you.
Is everybody happy?
- Yes!
- Yes!
- You need some sleep.
- Yeah.
I'll just get a shower.
Alright, let's see.
Shirley, did you get
your lunch together?
- I'm not Shirley.
- I'm Shirley.
Wait a minute, are you sure
you're Shirley and not Molly?
Yes, dad.
Are you, are you sure
that you're not Shirley?
- You're silly.
- No. And you're Molly.
I am not.
If... if I changed your
name, are you still Shirley?
- Of course, Daddy.
- I know why you did that.
It's to teach Shirley
to not be hurt
by the names from the boys.
Mmm! Smarty pants!
I got two smarty pants' here.
I can't believe it.
Wow, you are so smart.
Okay, get your coats on.
Why won't Dr. Orbus respond
to my manly letters?
- I don't know.
- Are my words offensive?
Be careful what you say
or Shocky Boy will light you up.
- Did he light up Benson?
- No. No, he did not.
No, Clyde is feeling
much better now.
Can't the doctor
from near heaven
urge the highest Dr. Orbus
to hear me out?
How else will I return
to England?
I'll rot in here.
I'll urge him
to read your letters, okay?
My eternal gratitude, my son.
Words cannot convey
what notes can say.
Much obliged.
Hinkley news flash
the doctor was saved from stench
by your humble reporter.
He was most kindly.
Good to have you back, Clyde.
Gentlemen... this... is now
the chairman's chair.
From now on, I want one of you
to lead each of the meetings
and starting with a song.
Give it to me, I'll take it.
You know, that's a good idea,
but I think we should
have a vote
for the first chairman.
Truth is a chairman.
I nominate Ms. Anderson.
- She's a woman.
- I can attest.
I nominate Joseph,
on Joseph's request.
All favor.
Chairman Joseph.
Now let's start with a song.
Why don't we do that,
"America the Beautiful."
An English melody.
No, it isn't.
And it isn't opera.
Uh, this type is too small
for Jesus. I..
Oh beautiful
For spacious skies
For amber waves of grain
For purple
Mountain majesty
Above the fruited plain
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good
With brotherhood
From sea to shining sea
Joseph's been writing to you
for months now.
Can you respond to his letters?
I don't have time.
And I wouldn't know what to say.
But he wants access to you
you're the most important
authority figure here.
Look, I promised him
that you would respond.
Did you?
Well, that's a pickle.
Look, they're starting
the meeting without prompting.
Oh, the LSD's starting to work.
It's a small dose, the effects
will wear off quickly.
Onward Christian soldiers
Marching as to war
With the cross of Jesus
Leon, why are you here?
It's me, Becky.
Leon is in there.
That's your voice,
but not your body.
It's me. It's me.
Use your instincts.
It's me.
I'm right here. Okay?
I believe it's you.
I can't tell where you end
and I begin.
You're okay, you're fine.
Oh, hi, honey.
- Hi.
- I'm Ruth.
This is my assistant, Becky.
Thank you, nurse.
Becky, you know,
when we first met, uh
I asked you about
your family issues
and you preferred not to speak
about them. Drink this.
Some coffee, you'll feel better.
Nothing you say
will change my opinion of you.
Do you have mental illness
in your family?
Yes. My brother.
It spiraled out of control?
Did he take his life?
He did.
And that's why you wanna do
this kind of work?
- To help people, as you say?
- Yes.
Yeah. That's good.
That's a real good thing.
You know, because... because I
didn't help him or my mom
and everything fell apart.
I'm so sorry about your brother.
But you can't live for someone
who doesn't want to
or prevent them
from taking their lives.
And you can't blame yourself
for surviving.
I know this from experience.
The yeti tribe
is believed to live
in the Himalayan mountains.
It's a matriarchal society
where the yeti woman
is worshipped as a goddess.
No one's actually seen
the yetis
but their footprints
have been found
on a number of expeditions
to Mount Everest.
The female yeti or Madame Yeti
is said to possess
extraordinary strength.
And is able to lift animals
weighing hundreds of pounds.
Well, it's new, right?
Maybe a breakthrough.
Progress, for sure.
Is that why
you wanted to see me?
Yes. Absolutely.
You know, Joseph has been
writing letters to Dr. Orbus
who hasn't responded.
That's customary.
What if I respond as Dr. Orbus?
Why would you do that?
Because they're hurt and angry.
No one responds
to their letters.
You know, I could even give them
some suggestions
that might modify
their behavior.
I don't understand.
Why are you moving away
from identity study?
This is a radical,
untried approach.
These patients have been
responsive to suggestions.
Why don't we just go with that,
and push it further?
Alan, you're asking my approval
to get directly involved
in their delusional systems.
You promised me
not to cross the boundaries
of normal clinical protocol.
Jonas Salk
infected patients with viruses
to test the polio vaccine,
right here.
- In Ypisilanti in the '40s.
- That's correct. Yes.
Very risky.
Madame Curie, the same
thing, who worked with...
with x-rays.
No risk, no... no breakthroughs.
And if you do that, you'd force
me to cut off your funding.
When's the next board meeting?
Dr. Abrams arrives in the fall.
Might be wise to get her opinion
the recognized expert
in this field.
Alan... I'm disappointed in you.
Leon, you have a visitor.
That's my mother.
Why are you mad at me?
Why are you mad at me?
Mrs. Gabor, please.
What have I done?
I'm all alone.
Mrs. Gabor, calm down.
Alone, do you hear?
Mrs. Gabor.
What I have done to you?
No! No! No!
I was called
to attend a patient.
I'll treat him.
I'll treat him.
Shocky Boy, Shocky Boy,
Shocky Boy.
He's agitated, incoherent,
and needs to be controlled.
I said I will treat the patient.
What is and not a sin
of all the different,
the different
and the, things of the
all the different ways in which
which God would look
seen through the eyes
of the devil.
If you can calm yourself..
I can take the straps off.
Madame Yeti.
Who's Madame Yeti?
My wife.
You told me
that you were married
to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
No. No, no. Madame Yeti.
Or Madame R.I. Dung.
You can see her
on Channel One.
She said that I was
a pile of truthful idle dung.
Dr. Righteous Idle Dung
and I... I accepted.
It is comical
to a certain degree.
What kind of doctor is he,
you might ask?
- A doctor of shit.
- A doctor of shit.
You can call me Rex, or Dung.
Doctor... doctor,
Dr. Shit or, or Dr. Dung.
Mm. I like it.
What, you don't?
Well, the purpose
is for Leon
to give up his Christ delusion,
I think you shouldn't write
to Leon as Dr. Orbus.
It's too late for that,
I'm not going to discuss...
I think it should be
written as Madame Yeti.
Isn't Leon more likely
to follow a suggestion
from a woman, his wife,
than a man?
This... this is what I came up
"My dear husband,
I have been aware on Channel One
"that you have been watching me.
"And now, what a nice letter
you've sent me.
"I will meet you tomorrow
at 5 o'clock at the lake
if it pleases you.
Fondly, Madame Yeti Woman."
It's good.
No, it's better than good.
This is really spot on.
Uh, now, Joseph and Clyde.
You should write as Dr. Orbus.
I was killed last night
and got another body.
You look the same to me.
Pertaining to the internal
it is different.
I don't see it.
Mr. Cassel, do not put the penis
in the wrong hole
or else you'll wind up
a disfigured midget.
No offense.
None taken, but there's Ms.
Anderson to consider.
She's here. I can attest.
If I have hurt your feelings
through rude expression
it was due to using a word
that Mr. Cassel
can more readily understand
and strike at.
Please forgive the expression..
And the messenger.
My feelings aren't hurt.
No tears. I can attest.
Who's leading today?
Mr. Benson,
you wanna start us off?
No, I will not.
Okie doke.
Ah, that's better.
That's very considerate, Leon.
Three Christ's session,
September 10th, 1960.
- Mr. Chairman.
- Sure.
May I offer Dr. Orbus' response
to your letters?
No, you may not.
Thank you, good doctor, for
calling this most special meeting.
Madame Yeti.
Mr. Benson,
would you please refrain
from hawking merchandise?
Psychology used to
agitate his negative.
Do you have a, a time piece
that might be borrowed?
Sure, of course.
Clyde, if you can refrain from
showering more than once a day
I will be willing to discuss
your request
to work in the laundry
rather than the kitchen.
Sincerely yours, Dr. Orbus.
Icily light
sensibly right
crystal clear.
Crisp refresher.
Sir, it's 6:00 p.m. and Leon
hasn't showed up at the lake.
Where is he?
He's in the bathroom
masturbating again.
Do you think Joseph and Clyde
would be more suggestible?
I sure hope so.
Ballantine, Ballantine, beer.
"As you know, Joseph,
I don't share your beliefs
"that our institution
is an English stronghold.
"If you can visit the Chapel,
maybe yourself
"with the teachings
of the church more directly.
Yours truly, Dr. Orbus."
And you've been sending copies
of all these letters
to Dr. Orbus and Dr. Rogers?
What have you been writing up
for Leon?
Uh, I told him that Madame Yeti
was disappointed
but would give him
one more chance to meet
by the lake at 5:30 tomorrow.
That's good, I like it.
"Dear Dr. Orbus, I do believe
showering three times a day
"will lead to a diminishment
of the sewer gas
"to which I am prone.
"Farts, sir, are a questionable
fact of life
"but stinking is vile.
Christ, not of Nazareth."
I'm impressed.
That I've abstained
from the shower?
Has my stench returned?
What do you think?
"Dr. Orbus, a man must have
a hard-on
"in the presence
of a Ms. Anderson.
"Therefore, I formally request
that I am transferred
"back to my native country
of England.
Yours truly, Joseph Cassel."
I do not share your belief
that our institution
is an English stronghold
nor that you are a citizen
of England.
Bill, the Christ's are being
responsive to my suggestions.
If this continues, this could
be a real breakthrough
especially with Leon.
So please, hold off on doing
anything till the meeting
with Dr. Abrams.
Okay, to Joseph.
Uh, perhaps you can persuade
Leon and Clyde
to join you in your church
and share what you have been
Gentlemen, my body shall be
at the chapel shortly alone.
It would give me a supreme
sensation of good fortune
if you fellows, whose corpus are
here, were to join me.
You wouldn't be alone then.
Dr. Stone. Leon is a no-show.
- Okay. Thank you.
- Okay.
What do you think,
third time a charm?
Leon has been waiting
at the lake since 3:30 p.m..
Madame Yeti.
Ma... ma... madame.
Ah, Dr. Stone.
Please, have a seat.
Thank you.
Read that, if you wouldn't
mind, please.
What do you think?
Why are you responding
to Joseph's letter?
I could say
because he's writing to me.
But you've never done it before.
I am wondering if I should be
more involved going forward.
I did quite a bit of research
in my early days.
Some of it very
We could work even closer
together, as partners.
What do you think
of my letter to Joseph?
I think it's ill-advised
at this moment.
It's not consistent
with the voice I've been using.
As me.
Yes. As you.
The more you include me,
the more you involve me
the better equipped I'll be to
stop Dr. Rogers
from shutting you down.
Leon. Wanna chair
the meeting today?
Everyone in favor, vote aye.
- Nay.
- Aye, aye, aye.
Unanimous, congratulations.
Oh say can you see..
So it says
in the introduction here
there's ridicule
against my reincarnation.
"Three mental patients
each claiming to be
Jesus Christ have been
brought together... ".
"Today one-one subject has
changed his belief
"about being Christ
and has taken on another
another false identity,
and this patient... ".
"This patient claims the other
two are subject
"to electronic interference
"The third patient thinks
the other two are crazy."
They are in a mental hospital.
Sir, there-there appears to be
indirect warped psychology here.
My name,
Dr. Righteous-Idealed Dung
it's-it's not-it's not,
it's not here.
Yeah, well,
your names were withheld
to protect your privacy.
Well, I wish they had been
Because it would have changed
the entire picture
pertaining to my manliness.
I think you all know Dr. Orbus.
Continue, please. What was it
you were talking about?
They were just giving their
opinions of the article.
And what a wonderful article
it is.
Carry on.
Well, I just meant to drop off
the letters.
I will say how much I am
enjoying our correspondence
and terrific progress
being made.
Thank you, doctor.
My letters.
No, we'll pass them out
tomorrow. That's fine.
Tomorrow we'll do that.
I wish to speak
to God Morphey Anderson
by myself, with a pipe organ.
Three men who think they're
Jesus borders on the comical.
Thanks for coming over.
It's really helpful
for my meeting
with Dr. Abrams.
Uh, we need to do that rewrite
for Orbus this time.
Um, I already did.
Oh, you started the party
without me.
I'm fine. I'm fine.
Just some fun with the girls.
Hi, Becky.
Hi, Mrs. Stone.
- I'll get some coffee.
- That would be divine.
Alan is a prince. You know that.
I... I really should go.
He wasn't born one.
You should know the man
and not the myth
they're largely the same.
Come. Sit.
His mother drove him to excel
at school, to become a doctor.
But not just any doctor,
a great one.
She saved every penny she had
to send him
from Berlin to London.
Kid, with no money in a country
on the verge of war
with his homeland
and he, speaking in a very
conspicuous German accent.
It wasn't very pretty.
But he moved to Brooklyn.
And then the war broke out.
He enlisted in the Army,
served in the front lines
in Europe and then later
in Korea.
He came back different.
He never spoke about it,
not a word.
After the war, I was his
young research assistant
at Michigan State.
Those days that became nights,
that became mornings.
It was intoxicating
intimate, erotic.
I just had a drink.
Actually, quite a few.
I don't know
what I was thinking.
This must stop.
No more drinking, alright?
I will do anything for you,
for the kids
but this will end, now!
Your article's attracting quite
a bit of attention, and ink.
Predominantly negative,
Dr. Abrams.
Bill, I wanted to meet the mind
that dreamt this experiment up.
I'm honored.
You are writing letters
as someone
other than yourself to patients.
you're not on board with this?
That's correct.
And yet there is objective
that there is progress
being made
with your patients
in many areas.
Doctor, I... I'm really
exploring new territory...
I know what you're doing
and I probably know why
you're doing it.
What's your greatest anxiety?
That we, as a profession
drug and restrain patients
rather than treat them.
I don't think it's good enough,
not by a long shot.
Do you?
You're telling me and the entire
psychiatric hierarchy
to go fuck itself.
I like that.
Dr. Stone has agreed to let us
talk alone.
Well, I must admit, madame,
that the beaming smile
on your face is something that
I haven't
quite experienced before
in my life.
That's very kind of you.
What did you want to talk about?
I share Dr. Rogers' concern
about what your involvement with
the Christ delusional systems
is doing to them, to you
your judgment
and your conclusions.
The work I'm doing with the four
Christ's is really si..
Three Christ's,
the work I'm doing with
the three Christ's is singular.
I... I meant three.
I know what you meant. Do you?
Things are getting blurry.
You have a look of a man
on a journey, a descent.
Did you, when you were doing
your most demanding work?
There's a poem
by Emily Dickinson.
But Let A Splinter Swerve.
It's about the power
of an original idea
how it can move mountains
and leave a debris field
in its wake.
Your work is novel,
brilliant and dangerous.
You decide if the gains outweigh
the obvious risks.
Don't you want to leave Ypsi
and resume your life outside?
If you can use your given name,
control yourself
this could happen.
I won't, I won't touch it
no matter how close it comes.
I've thought of you nightly.
Making emissions into your
squelch chamber pleasantly.
And you me?
Leon, there are boundaries
that must be observed.
Yes, there are boundaries.
In Europe, during the war
duping caused me to degenerate
with a couple of soldiers
in a clubhouse.
And while I was kneeling
I noticed this boy's feet.
They were enormous
compared to mine.
He did it to me twice.
I was so frightened that I ran
out of there screaming
with my hair standing on end.
You know this feeling. How?
Did it happen to you? Rape?
You don't have to say.
God knows all.
But you can't lie, can you?
I don't lie.
You are full of truth.
Full of what makes
the desert bloom.
And I, humbly, sad that I am,
will do my best
to honor your sadness with what
little I have to offer.
Pipe organs can help if you need
to shake it off.
I should have kept my distance.
I crossed a boundary,
didn't I?
But sometimes we have to follow
our instincts.
Dr. Abrams left it up to me
to decide
whether to continue or not.
I'll carry on.
Will you? Can you?
I will.
There is one thing
I would like to do for Leon.
God Morphey heard me.
Chock Full o'Nuts
Is that heavenly coffee
Heavenly coffee
Heavenly coffee
Chock Full o'Nuts
Is that heavenly coffee
Better coffee
a millionaire's
Money can't buy
Chock Full o'Nuts
Is a heavenly coffee
Heavenly coffee
Heavenly coffee
Chock Full o'Nuts
Is that heavenly coffee
Better coffee
a millionaire's
Money can't buy
Chock Full o'Nuts
Is that heavenly coffee
Heavenly coffee
Heavenly coffee
Chock Full o'Nuts
Is that heavenly coffee
Carefully now. My toenail.
Careful. Oh!
Leon's mother passed away.
I never had a mother.
Thank you, gentlemen,
very much.
Please, have a seat.
Sorry, should I address you
as Jesus Christ?
If you must, but that's just
between us, please.
Because I am the righteous one.
Very good.
I've got great news.
Dr. Stone has encouraged me
to be more involved with you
because of the progress
you've made.
You are going to tell me that
I am free to leave
the hospital today.
Why don't we start
by you telling me
a little bit about yourself?
Have I done what you've
requested in your letters?
Have I done what you've
I... I suppose you have done
as we've requested.
In your letters you said I'd be
free to go to England.
Can I now?
Uh, no, you can't now.
In your letters you said I would
be free to go if you would...
Actually, I allowed Dr. Stone to
answer for me in those letters
because he was working
so closely with you.
You asked Dr. Stone
to lie to me for you?
Allow me to clarify.
When you've improved much more
than you have now
much more, then we can consider
your release.
Well, now, how... how
how can I, anyone know
when you are lying
and when you are not?
I'm telling you the truth.
So you won't unchain me.
I can't now, but I could.
Why do you twist the truth with
me, Dr. Orbus? Did I lie to you?
This is a very serious decision
you're asking...
Do I lie to you?
A serious man can only take
so much before he shatters.
Okay. Please,
if you'll just sit down...
Let me go. Let me go!
You must now
or everything will fall apart.
The center will not hold.
You do not know what's happening
because you are murdering
my mind.
- Call Dr. Francisco!
- No!
Dr. Stone.
No. No. I'm stopping this.
No more.
- Hey! Hey! Hey!
- You are not authorized.
You are not authorized
to do this!
How's Joseph?
Um, he's still heavily sedated.
Are you making fun of me?
No, I'm... I'm,
I had a concussion.
You're dressing
like a mental patient.
Who are you?
You're not Dr. Stone,
you changed your name.
To avoid being judged.
Your fake name judges you.
You couldn't protect Joseph.
What makes you think
you'll protect me?
No one is going to shock you.
A gowned patient can't
protect anyone.
Dr. Stone,
how are you feeling?
Just peachy keen.
Perhaps you should go back
to your room
and convalesce in comfort.
You're interested
in my well-being?
- Yes.
- Why?
There's pressure on me
to remove you from the hospital.
You interfered with an
authorized medical procedure..
I didn't authorize anything.
Not by me. No.
Patient Cassel assaulted me.
He was out of control.
He had no business being there.
What were you doing there,
Assisting you.
If I need your help,
I'll let you know.
Dr. Stone, this afternoon
was an unfortunate incident
I'm offering you
an olive branch.
Oh, I'm fine.
My music.
Could you play my music?
The devil tortured me.
And he said you were Judas.
You wrote the letters?
- Yes. I wrote the letters.
- I knew that.
Why? To save me,
not to hurt me.
To help you, always.
Your heart is pure.
Ooh! Listen to this aria.
There are two men consumed
with love for the same woman
Princess Leila.
They swear
never to see her again
and celebrate their friendship
like you and Gabor
and Ms. Anderson.
Becky bought these.
She thought they'd
make you happy.
Can you control yourself
with Dr. Orbus?
You must. You cannot give him
a reason to be punitive.
Three men saying
they are Christ.
Clyde said "So comical."
But now I have a new mission
to save you
from the devilish one.
Not a comedy.
I'm sorry, Dr. Stone? Please.
What is it?
I've been ordered to escort you
off hospital grounds.
- Orbus?
- Yes.
- Now?
- Yes. Immediately.
I know how unfair this is.
How wrong this is.
Watch over them.
Joseph. I wanted to apologize
for the other day.
I thought I met the devil.
He was an orderly in Kalamazoo.
I was wrong.
I was hoping we could get
a fresh start.
Would you allow me that?
You want me
to reinstate your privileges
against Dr. Orbus' will
on your project
which in my opinion
employs questionable tactics?
I can't do that
on a permanent basis.
What can you do?
Let's sit and talk.
About what?
Whatever comes to mind.
My mind or your mind?
In deference to Dr. Abrams,
I can hold a hearing
to adjudicate the matter.
Great. Great. That is great.
can you suspend the dismissal
order against me
until the hearing?
Yes. That would be
the proper course
of action prior
to a judgment.
- Who are you calling?
- Dr. Orbus.
So you can reinstate
my privileges.
Where is Dr. Stone?
He'll no longer be with us.
- Is he alive?
- Yes, of course.
Well, how do I know that?
May I see him?
- No, not now.
- Why?
I'm trying to explain.
He's being replaced.
By whom?
By me.
May we go to the bell tower?
I want to show you God's view.
Yeah, tell him to call back
right away.
Yeah. Thanks so much.
Now, you stay out of trouble
till the hearing.
Can you do that for me?
Why don't you come with me
down to..
We'll drive down there
right now.
You can talk to Orbus in person
and then there's no
Bill, can you do this for me,
May I speak to you alone?
Are you afraid of me, Dr. Orbus?
You, you are the most powerful
man in this institution.
No, I'm not afraid of you, no.
Can we speak confidentially?
- Doctor, I um...
- Benny, I won't hurt him.
Um, can we have some privacy,
- Dr. Orbus...
- I wasn't asking.
Did you make Dr. Stone
No, and I... I think
with my supervising you directly
you have a more experienced
doctor at your disposal.
Can you make me disappear?
I'm not... I'm not sure
I... I know what you mean.
Whenever you want,
you can run electricity
through my brain,
tie me in knots
pour poison into my veins,
make me forget my name.
And now there is no one
to protect me.
You have no arms, Dr. Orbus.
Do you know that?
Benny! Benny!
How can you soar
when you have no arms?
And to think,
I was chosen to save you.
God, no! No. No!
Get a doctor. Get a doctor.
Dr. Abrams was prophetic.
Let A Splinter Swerve.
The power of an original
And the debris that it leaves
in its wake.
When we first met, you saved me
from electrocution.
My gratitude was infinite.
It has grown with time.
My mission
is to repay your kindness
your caring, your love.
"My Pearl Fishers album
is now yours.
"Don't scratch it
and you too will soar.
Ruth and the kids were buffeted
by everything that I did
everything that happened.
My loss was theirs as well.
All this preparation.
I'm gonna just tell the truth.
Keep it simple, direct.
The following allegations
have been lodged.
A man has died, that's a fact,
not an allegation.
Alan, did you contravene a
direct order that Dr. Orbus gave?
He's dead. Why?
Was he terrified of... of being
shocked again?
Dr. Francisco was treating
an agitated patient.
According to your report, it
says that his final words were..
"You have no arms.
How can you soar with no arms?
"So to think that I, Joseph,
was chosen to save you.
- What do you think that means?
- Gibberish.
Why? Why are you making this
so difficult?
He said something.
You didn't hear it.
Our job is to interpret
and understand them.
And because you were
so possessed by the excitement
of having your name
in the headlines, you missed it.
You missed the cue to stop him
in the moment before he jumped.
What he was trying to say to you
is that your spirit cannot soar
and that he was chosen
to save you.
He died for your sins,
Dr. Orbus, like Jesus Christ.
Neologisms. Nonsense.
Bill, he wanted to take over
this project.
He wanted to bask in whatever
glory came out of it.
And because of that, he started
making terrible decisions.
He told Benny that he... he
wanted to be alone
with Joseph
up in the bell tower.
I don't have to listen
to this Jabberwocky.
No, you do not.
Bill, you gotta stop this
insecure doctor
from overmedicating
any more patients, shocking...
You want it polite or straight?
- Straight.
- You're fired.
Your experiment is terminated.
Dr. Orbus will stay
in his current position.
That's what the report
will read.
Alice has indeed fallen down
the rabbit hole.
Alice is still in terra firma.
Dr. Orbus will retire
within six months.
So he can maintain his dignity?
He has been stripped of all
decision-making authority
by Bill
who still believes in you.
I would like to arrange
a transfer to New York
for you, your family
and your patients..
I would like you to continue
to explore identity issues.
I can think of nothing more
I admire your empathic approach
to schizophrenics.
Although, any cure seems
very far away.
Let me be frank with you.
I now have very serious doubts
about my approach.
Is manipulation in the service
of therapy proper?
Is lying in any form acceptable?
Is giving hope when it's
highly unlikely
is... is that justifiable?
I, for one,
won't sit in judgment.
You think your patients
will continue in New York?
I don't know.
Why don't you ask them?
I'm asking
if you want to continue our work
in New York City.
If you feel that our time
together has been of value...
Leon, you don't wanna go back
to that crowded main ward.
Come with us, please.
It's all over.
The water lake is frozen.
My feet are... are stuck
in wet cement.
Wet cement. I cannot move.
It's alright then.
Leon, I don't want to leave you
and Clyde here alone.
I won't do that.
I wanna help you
and care for you.
I miss Joseph too.
My heart aches for him, okay.
Alan Stein.
My birth name.
Alan Stein.
My parents had a Jewish name.
They were murdered by the Nazis.
Before they were killed
they changed my name
to protect me.
They had me smuggled
out of the country.
Then you will be my friend?
I am your friend.
By the grace of Jesus Christ,
you are saved.
I, Rex, son of God
baptize you.
Dr. Dung.
Now let's go, I'm freezing.
Yeah, this way. Come. Come on.
Come on, we'll go back.
We'll get warm.
Mr. Benson, we are going away
with our new friends.
God Morphey and Dr. Alan Stein
formerly known as Dr. Alan
Stone, currently Dr. Dung.
To New York.
Is it closer to England?
It is.