When I was a kid I mistakenly saw a TOO INTENSE movie at The Flick theater in Colorado Springs. Its imagery haunts me to this day, and I seek a revisit to exorcise a few scenes from by brain. Problem: I don’t know the title of the movie. I do remember the setting was an “insane asylum”; there was an intense straight-jacket “fitting” scene; a scalding water bath scene; and a “dungeon” where lost souls could look up through a grate at passersby. Seems it was based on the biography of a famous historical figure. Perhaps a music composer. Help. Thank you.
I believe the film you asked about is Ken Russell’s The Music Lovers (1971). Russell directed a number of garish, surreal films about classical composers in the 1970’s. The Music Lovers was inspired by the life of the Russian composer Tchaikovsky, and the movie is filled with adult imagery that would certainly disturb a young viewer. Richard Chamberlain played the gay Tchaikovsky, and Glenda Jackson played his nymphomaniac wife whom he could never satisfy. She ended her days confined to an insane asylum. As a child, Tchaikovsky saw his mother die a horrible death, immersed in scalding water to cure her cholera.
I have to admit it has been over 40 years since I last saw the movie, and I don’t specifically remember the straight jacket fitting scene. The entire movie is available on youtube if you want watch it there, but you have to sign into google to view it because of the film’s mature content. I don’t have an youtube account, so I wasn’t able to skim through the movie to check for a straight jacket scene.