David and Lisa Movie Review Summary

Actors: Keir Dullea, Janet Margolin

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of David and Lisa

David Clemens is taken to a mental treatment center by his mother. David has a terrible fear of being touched. He thinks that if anyone touches him, he'll be killed. He starts having sessions with Dr. Swinford, the head of the facility. David is completely contemptuous of psychiatry. He feels he's smarter than everyone, so the sessions don't go well. He also refuses to warm up to the other patients, young people around his own age. Instead, he keeps to himself.
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One day, he notices a girl, Lisa. She's dancing around, talking in rhyme. When one of the doctors tries to talk to her normally, she becomes agitated. A few days later, Lisa passes a note to David, asking him to play with her. For some reason, David is intrigued. He agrees to play, but since he didn't say it in rhyme, she gets mad and goes away. Later, he gets the hang of things and starts speaking to her in rhyme. He figures out that she's schizophrenic. She thinks that if she doesn't talk in rhyme, she'll turn into "Muriel" another side of herself. David has a hard time talking constantly in rhyme. When he asks her if he can talk normally, she gets angry and threatens to touch him. But, they soon make up when David agrees to keep speaking in rhyme. They join the rest of the students on an outing to a museum, where people begin to mock them for being mentally ill.

David continues his sessions with Dr. Swinford. He tells of a recurring nightmare where he uses the hands of a clock to chop people's heads off. He's killed a lot of different people in the dream. David shows that he's obsessed with clocks. He plans on building a clock with a radio controlled device to allow people to know the exact time every minute of the day. Dr. Swinford asks who would be interested in knowing the exact time all the time. David replies that he would. He confesses that he sees time is the enemy. It slowly marches towards a person's death. He figures if he can find a way to stop time, he can find a way to keep from dying. He already has stopped people from being able to hurt him. That's why he won't let people touch him. Dr. Swinford tries to get him to confess that he's afraid of being hurt emotionally, not physically. But, he leaves the room.

David slowly begins to open up to Dr. Swinford, and to continue his friendship with Lisa. He even begins to relate to the other people there. But, his mother comes and takes him back home. When he hears that she's coming, he asks Dr. Swinford if he'll let that happen. He shows that he hopes Dr. Swinford will fight to keep him there. When Dr. Swinford says that she has a right as his mother, David feels betrayed. He goes home, and spends his time listening to his mother demean his father. David winds up in bed, almost catatonic. He finally runs away, back to the treatment center. He has finally learned to trust Dr. Swinford. His parents allow him to stay. He starts up his friendship with Lisa again. She even accepts him not speaking in rhyme, although she still won't speak any other way.

David also begins to open up to the other kids. One day, he and another boy are spending time together when Lisa comes and bothers them. David gets frustrated and yells at her. Lisa runs away. Everyone goes looking for her. David is upset and worried, but he remembers the museum they went to and suggests looking for her there. When he goes, he finds her, and tries to get her to come back with him, but realises he has to put his trust in her as well for both of them to be healed.
The review of this Movie prepared by Angela Tircuit

Script Analysis of David and Lisa

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Plot & Themes

Inner struggle or disability    -   Yes Brain/Body not working?    -   mental illness

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Age:    -   a teen Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally ill


United States    -   Yes Misc setting    -   mental hospital

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing

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