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Sybil 

A young woman whose childhood was so harrowing to her that she developed sixteen different personalities is treated by a doctor.
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Popularity
4,631 ( 303)

On Disc

at Amazon

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1976  
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Joanne Woodward ...  Dr. Cornelia Wilbur 2 episodes, 1976
Sally Field ...  Sybil 2 episodes, 1976
Brad Davis ...  Richard 2 episodes, 1976
Martine Bartlett ...  Hattie 2 episodes, 1976
Jane Hoffman Jane Hoffman ...  Frieda Dorsett 2 episodes, 1976
Charles Lane ...  Dr. Quinoness 2 episodes, 1976
Jessamine Milner Jessamine Milner ...  Grandma Dorsett 2 episodes, 1976
William Prince ...  Willard Dorsett 2 episodes, 1976
Penelope Allen ...  Miss Penny 2 episodes, 1976
Camila Ashland ...  Cam 2 episodes, 1976
Tommy Crebbs Tommy Crebbs ...  Matthew 2 episodes, 1976
Gina Petrushka Gina Petrushka ...  Dr. Lazarus 2 episodes, 1976
Harold Pruett Harold Pruett ...  Danny 2 episodes, 1976
Natasha Ryan ...  Child Sybil 2 episodes, 1976
Paul Tulley Paul Tulley ...  Dr. Castle 2 episodes, 1976
Anne Beesley ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Virginia Campbell Virginia Campbell ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Missy Karn Missy Karn ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Tasha Lee Tasha Lee ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Cathy Lynn Lesko Cathy Lynn Lesko ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Rachel Longaker Rachel Longaker ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Jennifer McAllister Jennifer McAllister ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Kerry Muir Kerry Muir ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Karen Obediear Karen Obediear ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Tony Sherman Tony Sherman ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
Danny Stevenson Danny Stevenson ...  The Selves 2 episodes, 1976
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Storyline

The story tells of a young woman admitting to having blackouts, fearing they are getting worse. She is diagnosed as suffering from multiple personalities, as a result of severe abuse at the hands of her mother, whom her psychiatrist, Cornelia Wilbur, believes was schizophrenic. The movie Sibyl is based upon author Flora Rheta Schreiber's biography of Shirley Ardell Mason, an American psychiatric patient, suffering from multiple personality disorder. The book, also called Sibyl, was in its turn based largely on the actual accounts of psychiatric treatment that Shirley Ardell Mason underwent, documented by American psychiatrist Cornelia Wilbur Written by Jim Berg

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 November 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sybil See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lorimar Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original television) | (theatrical) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to NPR website, in a new book, Sybil Exposed, writer Debbie Nathan argues that most of the story is based on a lie. See more »

Goofs

While Hattie is playing the piano near the end of the movie, her arm movements clearly do not match the rhythm of the music we hear. See more »

Quotes

Hattie: You better say 'God is love' real quick.
Child Sybil: God is love!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original TV-version ran two nights for a total of four hours (198 minutes minus the commercials). Most video copies are pared down in length, one running 122 minutes and another "expanded" to 132 minutes. Both these versions are missing key scenes such as:
  • The introduction of of the alternate personality "Vanessa"
  • Sybil's first date with Richard
  • Her recollection of her childhood sweetheart.
  • Sybil dissociating into the personality of an infant, leading to Dr. Wilbur's memorable statements "My god Sybil, what did that monster do to you? What happened in the green kitchen?"
  • Dr. Wilbur confronting Willard Dorsett over him having left his daughter in the care of such an obvious and dangerously disturbed woman as Hattie
  • Sybil's two male personalities arguing with Dr. Wilbur about them being able to father children
  • Sybil finally confronting and learning to accept all of her personalities while under hypnosis
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Spin City: Catcher in the Bronx (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Great Movie
23 July 2006 | by FhantomeSee all my reviews

I have D.I.D. Out of the many portrayals and interviews that people in the media are exposed to, Sybil is about as close to the real thing that I've seen. Although I do tire seeing people with DID/MPD being portrayed as helpless and totally out of it. I have several friends that have DID and none of them are as portrayed in the media. I am a Paramedic and police dispatcher and have been for ten years... before that, I worked as a therapist as a social worker. I've always held a job and on those rare instances when the entire personality system does fall apart (all puns intended), there is almost always someone inside the personality system to take the reins. That's what is inherent about DID... the ability to persevere and "act normally" through the rough stuff. Sybil paved the way for future generations the way that Joanne Woodward paved the way for her generation into a better understanding of the way that DID works. I'm happy that they released the DVD (although I have yet to purchase it) now on the 30th anniversary. It is a testament to the perseverance of the human condition in times of severe abuse. I only wish that I could have met Shirley Ardell Mason and congratulated her and thanked her for her courageousness.


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