Movies Portraying Personality Disorders

Personality Disorders exist wherever people live and are part of our culture. It should come as no surprise that many popular characters in movies and fiction portray some of the characteristic behaviors of people with personality disorders.

Over the years, the Movies have given us some colorful vocabulary such as Bunny Boiling, Gaslighting and Flying Monkeys to describe some of the strange aspects of living with an individual who suffers from a personality disorder.

This page contains descriptions of some popular movies with links to YouTube trailers and clips related to personality disorders which may be of interest to our readers.

Movies Portraying Antisocial Personality Disorder Traits

Girl, Interrupted - Girl, Interrupted is a 1999 Columbia Pictures movie which chronicles the experiences of a teenage girl with Borderline Personality Disorder, who is admitted to a mental health institution after attempting suicide.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is an 1886 book written by Robert Louis Stevenson which has been adapted into numerous movies and stage productions. The story portrays the mild-mannered Doctor Henry Jekyll, who unleashes his monstrous alternate identity, Edward Hyde, by taking a chemical potion.

Rachel Getting Married - Rachel Getting Married is a 2008 Sony Pictures Classics Release starring Anne Hathaway which chronicles the events surrounding the appearance of a young woman who suffers from Antisocial Personality Disorder at her sister's wedding.

The Silence of the Lambs - The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 thriller starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster which features a psychopathic serial killer, Hannibal Lecter, who advises a young FBI agent as she tries to stop another serial killer.

Movies Portraying Borderline Personality Disorder Traits

A Streetcar Named Desire - A Streetcar Named Desire is a is a 1947 play written by Tennessee Williams, later adapted for film, which tells the story of a woman who displays histrionic and borderline traits, who goes to live with her codependent sister and her narcissistic husband.

Fatal Attraction - Fatal Attraction is a 1987 Movie Thriller starring Glenn Close & Michael Douglas about Dan Gallagher, a New York Lawyer (played by Michael Douglas) who is stalked by Alex Forrest (played by Glenn Close) with whom he has had an affair. The story portrays Alex's increasingly unstable behavior as a result of having Borderline Personality Disorder and feeling abandoned by Dan.

Girl, Interrupted - Girl, Interrupted is a 1999 Columbia Pictures movie which chronicles the experiences of a teenage girl with Borderline Personality Disorder, who is admitted to a mental health institution after attempting suicide.

Mommie Dearest - Mommie Dearest is a 1981 biography of Hollywood Actress Joan Crawford, played by Faye Dunaway, who, according to the account in the movie, exhibited Obsessive Compulsive, Borderline and Narcissistic Traits.

Single White Female - Single White Female is a 1992 Columbia Pictures Release starring Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh which portrays the events after a young woman takes in a roommate who exhibits some of the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD) including mirroring, impulsivity and fear of abandonment.

The Wizard of Oz - The Wizard of Oz is a 1944 movie starring Judy Garland which is sometimes used as a metaphor to describe the disconnect between the dissociated reality of the personality-disordered individual (Oz) and the real world experienced by the Non-PD (Kansas). The metaphor is based on the iconic phrase: "Toto - I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more".

Movies Portraying Histrionic Personality Disorder Traits

A Streetcar Named Desire - A Streetcar Named Desire is a is a 1947 play written by Tennessee Williams, later adapted for film, which tells the story of a woman who displays histrionic and borderline traits, who goes to live with her codependent sister and her narcissistic husband.

Gone With The Wind - Gone With The Wind is a 1939 romantic epic starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, set in the American Civil War portraying the story of Scarlett O'Hara, a southern woman who manifests symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD).

Movies Portraying Narcissistic Personality Disorder Traits

A Streetcar Named Desire - A Streetcar Named Desire is a is a 1947 play written by Tennessee Williams, later adapted for film, which tells the story of a woman who displays histrionic and borderline traits, who goes to live with her codependent sister and her narcissistic husband.

Black Swan - Black Swan is a 2010 psychological thriller about a ballet dancer, played by Natalie Portman, who discovers a dark side to herself as she struggles to please her overbearing narcissitic mother, played by Barbara Hershey.

Charlie Brown - Charlie Brown is the lead character in Charles M. Schulz's classic "Peanuts" cartoons who is generally portrayed as feeling insecure and seeking acceptance. Charlie Brown's character contrasts with the somewhat narcissistic character of Lucy and their relationship is sometimes used to illustrate the relationship between personality-disordered and non-personality-disordered people.

Gaslight - Gaslight is a 1944 MGM suspense thriller set in 19th Century London in which the villain, Gregory Anton (Charles Boyer), in an attempt to cover up his crimes, actively tries to convince his new wife, Paula (Ingrid Bergman) that she is losing her mind. Gaslight gave it's name to the practice known as Gaslighting.

Mommie Dearest - Mommie Dearest is a 1981 biography of Hollywood Actress Joan Crawford, played by Faye Dunaway, who, according to the account in the movie, exhibited Obsessive Compulsive, Borderline and Narcissistic Traits.

Schindler's List - Schindler's List is a 1993 drama which chronicles the suffering of Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II and Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who rescued over a thousand of them by employing them in his factories. The movie includes a striking portrayal of Amon Göth, a narcissistic SS officer and camp director, played by Ralph Fiennes.

Movies Portraying Avoidant Personality Disorder (AvPD)

The Remains of the Day - The Remains of the Day is a 1993 Columbia Pictures Release, starring Anthony Hopkins & Emma Thompson which portrays the life of a head butler in an English Manor who manifests some of the traits of schizoid personality disorder.

Zelig - Zelig is a 1983 movie written and directed by Woody Allen who portrays a man who avoids revealing his own self by adapting his personality to mirror anyone whom he is interacting with.

Movies Portraying Dependent Personality Disorder Traits

Single White Female - Single White Female is a 1992 Columbia Pictures Release starring Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh which portrays the events after a young woman takes in a roommate who exhibits some of the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD) including mirroring, impulsivity and fear of abandonment.

Movies Portraying Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Traits

Strictly speaking, these movies portray individuals with the closely related Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

As Good As It Gets - As Good As It Gets s a 1997 romantic comedy starring Jack Nicholson who portrays an obsessive-compulsive author and Helen Hunt, who plays a waitress who has to deal with him.

Mommie Dearest - Mommie Dearest is a 1981 biography of Hollywood Actress Joan Crawford, played by Faye Dunaway, who, according to the account in the movie, exhibited Obsessive Compulsive, Borderline and Narcissistic Traits.

Sleeping With The Enemy - Sleeping with the Enemy is a 1991 psychological thriller starring Julia Roberts, who tries to escape from her abusive husband, who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.

The Aviator - The Aviator is a 2004 drama film starring Leonardo DiCaprio based on the life of aviation pioneer Howard Hughes, a successful inventor, film producer and aviation pioneer who exhibits a number of severe obsessive-compulsive traits.

Movies Portraying Paranoid Personality Disorder Traits

The Caine Mutiny - The Caine Mutiny is a 1954 World War II drama which portrays the paranoia of a fictitious naval officer Phillip Queeg, played by Humphrey Bogart.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre - The Treasure of the Sierra Madre tells the story of 3 American prospectors searching for gold in Mexico. One of the prospectors, Fred Dobbs, played by Humphrey Bogart, exhibits paranoid traits.

Movies Portraying Schizoid Personality Disorder Traits

The Remains of the Day - The Remains of the Day is a 1993 Columbia Pictures Release, starring Anthony Hopkins & Emma Thompson which portrays the life of a head butler in an English Manor who manifests some of the traits of schizoid personality disorder.

The English Patient - The English Patient is a 1996 Miramax movie which portrays the life of a wounded World War II pilot who demonstrates schizoid traits and his relationship with his caretaker nurse.

Movies Portraying Schizotypal Personality Disorder Traits

Taxi Driver - Taxi Driver is a 1976 movie starring Robert de Niro about a troubled Vietnam veteran with schizotypal traits who works as a cab driver in New York City.

The Apostle - The Apostle is a 1997 drama written, directed and starring Robert Duvall, about an evangelical itinerant preacher with schizotypal trailts who commits a violent crime then moves to Louisiana in an attempt to build a new life.

Other Related Movies

Obedience - In 1961 and 1962, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram performed a famous series of experiments which demonstrated that about 2 out of 3 people will perform a cruel action towards another person if instructed to do so by someone whom they regard as an authority figure. This demonstrated that most people are prone to doing something they do not want to do, even something they would normally regard as "wrong", just because they are told to do it by an assertive or authoritative person.

Sybil -Sybil is a 1976 movie which portrays the life of a woman who claims to suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) / Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).