Our Favorite Movies

Already watched our interviews and eager for more? While there are many bibliographies of books on bipolar, film lists are harder to find, so we’ve put together this collection of recommended movies, including both documentaries and narrative films.


Ride the Tiger: A Guide Through the Bipolar Brain (2016)
Directed by Ed Moore. Produced by PBS, 1 part, 1 hour.

The Secret Life of The Manic Depressive (2006)
Starring Stephen Fry, who has BP. Produced by BBC, 2 parts, 1 hour each.

A Summer in the Cage (2007)
Directed by Ben Selkow. A feature-length documentary chronicling Selkow’s friend Sam and his battle with BP. The film follows Sam for seven years.

Older Films – first instances of BP on film

Fear Strikes Out (1957)
Directed by Robert Mulligan. Starring Anthony Perkins and Karl Malden. The true story of the life of Jimmy Piersall, who battled mental illness to achieve stardom in major league baseball.

Home Before Dark (1958)
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Starring Jean Simmons. A woman is released from a sanitarium a year after suffering a mental breakdown, but the lack of support from those closest to her threatens her fragile recovery.

A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
Directed by John Cassavetes. Starring Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk. A blue collar man tries to deal with his wife’s mental instability. He fights to keep a semblance of normality in the face of her bizarre behavior, but when her actions affect their children, he has her committed.

Recent Films

Touched with Fire (2015)
Directed by Paul Dalio. Starring Luke Kirby and Katie Holmes. Two bipolar patients meet in a psychiatric hospital and begin a romance that brings out all of the beauty and horror of their condition.

Infinitely Polar Bear (2014)
Directed by Maya Forbes. Starring Mark Ruffalo. A bipolar father tries to win back his wife by attempting to take full responsibility of their two young, spirited daughters, who don’t make the overwhelming task any easier.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Directed by David O. Russell. Starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

Michael Clayton (2007)
Directed by Tony Gilroy. Starring George Clooney and Tom Wilkinson. A law firm brings in its “fixer” to remedy the situation after a lawyer has a breakdown while representing a chemical company that he knows is guilty in a multibillion-dollar class action suit.

The Ghost and the Whale (2017)
Directed by Anthony Gaudioso and James Gaudioso. Starring Jonathan Pryce. A man, Joseph, loses his wife at sea, then spirals deep into a world of confusion.

Repentance (2013)
Directed by Phillipe Caland. Starring Forest Whitaker. A successful author and spiritual advisor takes on a troubled man as a client, completely unaware that the man’s fixation on his mother’s death will soon put his life in jeopardy.

Mad Love (1995)
Directed by Antonia Bird. Starring Drew Barrymore and Chris O’Donnell. Drew Barrymore plays a high school student who has been hospitalized after a suicide attempt. Her boyfriend helps her escape and tries to cope with her increasingly intense emotions and actions as they head toward Mexico.

Mr. Jones (1993)
Directed by Mike Figgis. Starring Richard Gere and Lena Olin. After being arrested during a manic episode, a man who suffers from bipolar disorder is treated by a psychiatrist who begins to develop romantic feelings towards him.