Shutter Island Shutter Island (The Movie 2010)
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Film Date :   February 19, 2010
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Shutter Island

Shutter Island is a psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane. Production started in March . Shutter Island was originally slated to be released on October , , but Paramount pushed the release date to February , .[] Paramount head executive Brad Grey blamed the recent economic downturn as the main decision behind the delayed release date.

In , two U.S. Marshals, Edward "Teddy" Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), investigate the disappearance of a patient named Rachel Solando from a hospital for the criminally insane on an island in Massachusetts. She was admitted to the hospital after drowning her three children and lived in the hospital, still thinking that they were alive and that she still at her home. Teddy has his own personal reason for going; Andrew Laeddis, another patient, started a house fire that killed his wife. Dr. John Cawley (Ben Kingsley), the compound's chief doctor, serves as their administrative guide. When Rachel is found, a storm hits and the marshals are stranded.

Teddy recalls seeing a lighthouse when he arrived and sets out to infiltrate it after receiving hints that sinister human experiments are taking place inside. However, Teddy and Chuck have a disagreement over its importance and soon separate. Teddy realizes that he cannot reach it from his current location and returns to find Chuck fallen at the bottom of a cliff. He scales down and finds no trace of the body. Teddy discovers a cave where the real Rachel Solando is hiding out. She explains that she is being kept there because she knows experiments are being done on the patients. She tells him how Teddy has been drugged via cigarettes, alcohol, and what Teddy thought to believe was aspirin. Teddy, believing Chuck has been captured by the island staff, sets off to find him and figure out a way to escape. Teddy searches the lighthouse, but finds it completely empty. At the top, Dr. Cawley is waiting for him.

The doctor explains what really is happening at Shutter Island; Teddy is actually a delusional mental patient in the hospital named Andrew Laeddis. He murdered his manic depressive wife Dolores Chanal (Michelle Williams) after she drowned their three children. He created a life where he was a hero to cope with the pain of losing his family. He has been patient at the hospital for two years, and the doctors decided to try a roleplay experiment to allow him to live out his delusional fantasy in order to coerce him back to reality. The man he believed to be Chuck Aule is really a physician named Dr. Sheehan, who has been overseeing his treatment. Laeddis's memory clears up and he seems to make peace with his past.

However, in the final scene he appears to relapse to a delusional state, and the administrator decides to lobotomize him. His last words to Dr. Sheehan indicate that he chose to "die a hero, rather than live as a monster."


Feature film rights to the novel Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane were first optioned to Columbia Pictures in , but the rights lapsed back to the author. The author's representatives then sold the rights to the production company Phoenix Pictures, who hired screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis to script the novel for a film adaptation. The project was in development for a year. By October , the project had developed into a co-production between the studios Columbia Pictures and Paramount Pictures. Director Martin Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who had worked together on three films, were both attracted to Shutter Island as their next collaboration. Locations in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Nova Scotia were scouted. Production began on March , .
In order to film World War II flashback scenes of DiCaprio's character, a former soldier, production took place in Taunton, Massachusetts.

Scorsese filmed the scenes in old industrial buildings in Taunton's Whittenton Mills Complex to replicate Dachau, a World War II concentration camp seen in flashbacks. Extras portraying the Dachau prisoners were called back to reshoot a scene in July, due to the film of one scene being damaged due to an improperly sealed film shipping container. Scenes were filmed at the old Medfield State Hospital in Medfield, Massachusetts. Originally, scenes were going to be shot at the old Worcester State Hospital, but the filming would have gone on during the demolition of the surrounding buildings, so filming was impractical. Borderland State park in North Easton, Massachusetts was used for the cabin scene. Peddocks Island was used as a setting for the story's island and East Point, in Nahant, Massachusetts for the lighthouse scenes.

Filming ended on July ,2010
No original soundtrack was written for the film. Instead, Scorsese made use of his long time collaborator Robbie Robertson to create an ensemble of previously recorded material to use in the film. According to a statement on Paramount's website: "The collection of modern classical music [on the soundtrack album] was hand-selected by Robertson, who is proud of its scope and sound. 'This may be the most outrageous and beautiful soundtrack I’ve ever heard.' [Robertson stated].


  • Leonardo DiCaprio as U.S. Marshal Edward "Teddy" Daniels/ Andrew Laeddis 
  • Mark Ruffalo as U.S. Marshal Chuck Aule/ Dr. Sheehan
  • Ben Kingsley as the hospital's chief psychiatrist, Dr. John Cawley
  • Michelle Williams as Dolores Chanal, Daniels' wife
  • Emily Mortimer as the escaped patient Rachel Solando
  • Max von Sydow as Dr. Jeremiah Naehring, one of the hospital's top physicians
  • Jackie Earle Haley as mutilated patient George Noyce
  • Ted Levine as the warden of the Hospital
  • John Carroll Lynch as McPherson, deputy warden of the hospital
  • Elias Koteas as Andrew Laeddis
  • Patricia Clarkson as the 2nd Rachel Solando



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