Dirk Bogarde plays research physiologist Dr Henry Longman, whose personality is changed by experiments on the effects of isolation in this captivating British sci-fi film.
Wearing a rubber suit – that, as Wendy Craig says, brings German cabaret to Oxford – Longman is suspended in a body-temperature bath that eliminates sensory experience and then exposed to lies about his wife (Mary Ure) that take root in a way that is said to offer evidence about brainwashing.
The stages of loneliness, panic and hallucination that Longman goes through in the isolation tank are very harrowing to watch – but no doctor in the world would be frivolous enough to undergo again an experiment that he knew had already seriously disturbed him merely for the sake of a Government layman who wanted to watch some fireworks, like Major Hall (John Clements). He would show him the existing experimental records instead.
The film boasts some fine performances from a strong cast of the UK’s acting greats – not to mention the screen debut of Edward Fox.
Dr Henry Longman