William Gibson's novel The Cobweb was brought to the screen by MGM with an impressive, hand-picked cast. Richard Widmark plays the head of a posh psychiatric clinic. Widmark's wife Gloria Grahame jockeys for the honor of selecting new drapes for the hospital's library.
One wouldn't think that such a trivial decision would spark so much melodrama; but thanks to those drapes, we are allowed to probe the disturbed psyches of martinet business affairs director Lillian Gish, philandering doctor Charles Boyer, lonely activities director Lauren Bacall, and suicidal patient John Kerr.
Oscar Levant, who spent most of his life in and out of little white rooms, is ideally cast as a neurotic musician, while Fay Wray has a superb cameo as Boyer's long-suffering wife. Cobweb served as the screen debuts for both John Kerr and Susan Strasberg.