Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
In Two Minds (1967)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Kate Winter talks distractedly and tearfully about her poor relationship with her mother, to a psychologist who is examining her case history. Her father is then interviewed.

Kate goes to the hairdresser but walks out before anyone can attend to her. Her parents accuse her of drinking. Her mother calls in a doctor. "She's brought shame on this house, on her mother and father, we've only tried to do our best for her".

Kate tells the doctor her mother thinks she's a whore, and it transpires she has had an abortion. The doctor interviews Jake, an actor with whom Kate has had a brief relationship. When distressed, Kate refers to herself in the third person. Her parents seem unable to cope with the adult Kate has become; her mother fondly remembers the sweet and obedient little girl she once was. Her father tells the doctor he has always felt excluded from the family by his wife. Her family thought she had married beneath her.

Jake had encouraged Kate to leave home, but she said she could not do that to her parents. Her elder sister had left home at 17. One day, after being locked out all night, Kate threw a bread knife at her mother. She was sent for examination at a psychiatric hospital. Kate had wanted to keep her baby but her mother had 'persuaded' her otherwise; she didn't want to be lumbered with bringing it up. She accuses her father of rejecting her because she wasn't a boy and her mother of killing her baby.

Kate tells the doctor about the 'other' Kate, the one who is 'bad'. Her sister Mary talks to the doctor. She left home to get away from the parents. She tells Kate she should leave home too and live with her. She thinks Kate is weak to stay.

Kate wants to return to the sanctuary of the hospital. She thinks she is immoral. It transpires that the father of her child was Peter, a writer. She is radiant when she tells the doctor about him. She says that she "suffers for it" whenever she takes any sort of stand against the world. She never told Peter about the child.

She returns to the hospital, to be safe and looked after. When talking to the doctors, the 'other' Kate takes over and sexually propositions them. Walking in the grounds she meets another patient, Paul, who tells her about his electric shock treatment. The conversation turns to sexual matters and they agree to meet the next day. The nurse is concerned and tries to stop Kate meeting Paul. Kate has a kind of fit and is sedated. When her parents visit, the nurse is on their side, criticising Kate for her behaviour. Her mother says she is disappointed in her: she has no self-control.

When Kate next sees the doctor, it is as a case study, in front of medical students in a lecture theatre. The doctor discusses her impersonally and finds no direct relationship between her symptoms and her home environment. Kate is given electric shock treatment. Some of the students question the doctor's conclusions.