Strait-jacket (1963)

black and white, 1.85:1
mono, English

An American horror film directed by William Castle. Production began on 22 July 1963 1Daily Variety28 June 1963 p.8


Lucy Harbin is released from psychiatric hospital after 20 years for the brutal axe murder of her husband and his lover. She tries to reconnect with her daughter Carol who witnessed the murder as a child as more murders happen around her. Is she as cured as her doctors think she is?


Directed by: William Castle
© William Castle Pictures
Columbia Pictures Corporation. William Castle Pictures
Produced by: William Castle
Associate Producer: Dona Holloway
Written by: Robert Bloch
Assistant Director: Herbert Greene
Director of Photography: Arthur Arling
Film Editor: Edwin Bryant
Music: Van Alexander
Sound Supervision: Charles J. Rice
Sound: Lambert Day
Make-up Created by: Ben Lane
Miss Crawford's Make-up by: Monty Westmore
Hairstyles by: Virginia Jones
Miss Crawford's Hairstyles by: Peggy Shannon
Special Effects: Richard Albain
Production Designer: Boris Leven
Set Decorator: Frank Tuttle

Joan Crawford (Lucy Harbin)
Diane Baker (Carol Harbin)
Leif Erickson (Bill Cutler)
Howard St. John (Raymond Fields)
John Anthony Hayes (Michael Fields)
Rochelle Hudson (Emily Cutler)
George Kennedy (Leo Krause)
Edith Atwater (Mrs Fields)
Mitchell Cox (Dr Anderson)

Alternative Titles

5 corpi senza testa – Italy
Almas Mortas – Brazil
Camisa de fuerza – Mexico
El caso de Lucy Harbin – Spain
La coupeuse de têtes – French Belgian title
Deli gömlegi – Turkey
Kényszerzubbonyban – Hungary
La meurtrière diabolique – France
Pente ptomata horis kefali – Greece
Spændetrøjen – Denmark
Volúpia do Crime – Portugal
Die Zwangsjacke – Austrian, West Germany


The Sunday Times 20 September 1964
[A] degrading affair, deprived of all gloss, the impulse to tawdrily titillate the basest emotion strand revealed as degenerate indeed. […] Rightly, it provokes derisive giggles in a modern, young audience but for those intrigued by the death pangs of a once notable genre, there it is – but be warned of its horribly lowering, drearily immoral impact. – from a review by Derek Prouse

Extracts included in
Battle-Axe: The Making of Strait-Jacket (2002)
Nightmare Theatre's Late Night Chill-o-Rama Horror Show Vol. 1 (1996)
Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film (2009)
Serial Mom (1994)
Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007)
William Castle, Hollywood Barnum (1987)

See also
Psycho (1960)



  • The Daily Cinema no.8954 (21 August 1964) p.9
  • Daily Variety 28 June 1963 p.8 – credits (Film production chart)
  • The Film Daily vol.124 no.3 (6 January 1964) p.4
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.178 no.32 (6 January 1964) p.3
  • Kine Weekly no.2967 (13 August 1964) p.10
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.31 no.368 (September 1964) p.136
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.231 no.1 (8 January 1964) p.962
  • Variety 15 January 1964


  • The Sunday Times 20 September 1964 – review by Derek Prouse


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.166-167
  • The Columbia Checklist: The Feature Films, Cartoons, Serials and Short Subjects of Columbia Pictures, 1922-1988 by Len D. Martin p.330
  • Columbia Pictures Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1928-1982 by Michael R. Pitts pp.229-231
  • Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.439
  •  by Walt Lee p.463 – credits
  • Sixties Shockers by Mark Clark and Bryan Senn pp.373-375
  • Step Right Up!… I'm Going to Scare the Pants Off America by William Castle pp.165-175