(Above: Natalia Davidanko as the real life historical figure Mrs. Schanz being wrongfully commited into Blackwell’s Women’s Insane Asylum with the help of the nurse Miss Grupe played by Alexandra Callas.)
There isn’t a lot that remains of the old New York City Lunatic Asylum on Roosevelt Island– just the administrative building called “The Octagon”, which has since been remodeled.
The world largely has fearless journalist Nellie Bly to thank for the notorious Asylum’s demise.
(Above: Caroline Barry as Nellie Bly being processed by Bellevue Nurse played by Heidi Kravitz for her final journey to Blackwell’s Island Women’s Insane Asylum.)
In 1887, at 23, reporter Nellie Bly, working for Joseph Pulitzer, went undercover in Blackwell’s Island Women’s Insane Asylum to expose corruption, abuse and murder. She brought down the system and opened doors to all women working in journalism to this day.
(Real life historical figures brought to life. Above: Russian born actress Alexandra Callas as the sadistic nurse Grupe, Center: lauded Caroline Barry as fearless Nellie Bly, Bottom of screen: Natalia Davidanko as Mrs. Schanz, Left: Summer Cropper as Miss McCarten in 10 Days in a Madhouse).
The new gripping historical biopic directed by Timothy Hines is a close telling of Nellie boy’s famous experience.
The movie pulls no punches as it follows Bly, step by step through her experience, spilling out with Bly’s report on the abuse and murder and the deep friendships she formed with women who had all but lost hope. Her expose sent shockwaves across America. Investigations were launched including one by the New York Grand Jury. As a result Blackwell’s was torn down and eventually the island in the New York East River was renamed Roosevelt Island. Bly went on to become the most famous reporter in the world and never flinched from risking her life to expose the treatment of women and those with no voice. She went on to be the first woman reporter on the front lines in WW1 under heavy artillery shelling for over 60 days at one point.
Audiences have been moved to tears and critics have raved over the intense emotion of the movie based on Nellie Bly’s first story working undercover for Jospeh Pulitzer, 10 Days in a madhouse. Especially heaping praise on the exquisite performance of newcomer Caroline Barry who all but channels Nellie Bly.
Ms. Magazine’s critic said of Barry, “…this movie is a must-see. Nellie Bly’s heroism and courage truly come to life on the screen, thanks to the work of talented up-and-coming actor Caroline Barry. Barry is instantly magnetic as Bly, and it’s hard not to root for and fall in love with her character as the story progresses.”
Caroline Barry stars opposite Christopher Lambert who gives us an aloof and troubled doctor E.C. Dent, the superintendent of Blackwell’s. Ms. Barry as Bly takes on the sadistic and tragic Nurse Grupe deftly performed by Russian born actress, Alexandra Callas.
(Above: Caroline Barry as Nellie Bly with Keith White as attorney Peter A. Hendricks.)
10 Days in a Madhouse opened Geena Davis’ Bentonville film festival celebrating women and diversity to a sold out show and a strong audience ovation. With a support cast of over 90 percent women is strong with deeply moving portrayals turned in by Jessa Campbell as Tillie Mayard, Natalia Davidenko as Mrs. Louise Schanz, Talya Mar as Bridget McGuinness, Julia Chantrey as Anne Neville, Darlene Sellers as Matilda, Andi Morrow as Leona Fox, Christopher Beeson as doctor Ingram, David Garver as doctor Kinier, sociopathic ward doctor played by David Mitchum Brown, Summer Cropper as Miss McCarten, Darrell Salk (son of the creator of the polio vaccine, Jonas Salk), Bob Olin as Pulitzer’s editor who sends Nellie on her journey, Keith White who provides viewers with a stoic and confident Peter A. Hendricks Esq., Pulitzer’s attorney who walks a razor’s edge to get Nellie Bly out of the human ratrap passing for a Women’s Asylum and actor Sam Davidow as Pulitzer (who coincidentally is a relative of Pulitzer himself) and many more.
See 10 Days in a Madhouse this weekend. Starts this Friday in North Hollywood at the Laemmle NoHo 7 Theater. Opening March 4th.
Company Name: Cafe Pictures
Contact Person: Susan Goforth
Address:5868 Bowcroft Street, Unit 4
City: Culver City
Country: United States