2011 R 1h 39m Blu-ray / DVD


2011 R 1h 39m Blu-ray / DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
In 1880s London, forward-thinking young doctor Mortimer Granville has a difficult time keeping a job until he and an inventor friend concoct an electrifying solution to the rampant "hysteria" affecting England's sexually and socially repressed women.
Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones, Rupert Everett, Ashley Jensen, Sheridan Smith, Gemma Jones
Tanya Wexler
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1
English SDH
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 2.35:1
English, English SDH, Hindi
English: DTS-HD Master Audio
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them. R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 17+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 17+
age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Hysteria is a comedy-romance set in the 1880s that deals with the invention of the vibrator. Although the movie (akin to The Full Monty) manages to coyly avoid actually saying anything vulgar or showing any nudity, it has very strong suggestions of sexuality, as male doctors provide orgasms for female patients in an attempt to treat "hysteria." The doctors touch and massage the women behind a discreet screen, while they remain otherwise clothed. There's a bit of violence (male debt collectors beat up an old lady in one scene), and some social and comical drinking. Even though the movie isn't graphic, teens should be mature enough to understand something about sexuality before viewing.

Sexual Content

Hysteria is all about female sexuality, but it's very coy about actually showing any nudity or directly saying anything vulgar. Even so, women -- diagnosed with the vague condition "hysteria" -- visit the doctor to have orgasms, and the male doctors (working under a discreet screen), masturbate and massage them to achieve this. Otherwise, they remain clothed. The dialogue during these scenes is almost exclusively made up of discreet innuendo. Additionally, a former prostitute propositions the hero, but using only innuendo and gestures. The most physical thing shown, aside from a romantic kiss, are two ducks having sex in a pond. During the end credits, there are photos of vibrators throughout history.


Debt collectors beat up an old woman, and a young woman punches a cop in the face. Viewers see images of a primitive hospital, with leeches, blood, and festering wounds. There's general arguing and a reference to splitting someone's head with an axe.


Since the movie is set in 1880, language is limited to historical slang/swearing such as "stiff prick," "bugger," and "bloody hell."

Social Behavior

It's possible to see a message about women's liberation or women's sexuality, but Hysteria's arc is mostly focused on very traditional Hollywood things: men getting ahead in the world, getting rich, and finding romance. That said, most characters do learn that they can choose their own path in life.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

A supporting character is said to be a drunk, but he's rarely actually seen drinking. Otherwise, characters drink socially (whisky, rum, champagne, and port), and there's discussion of doctors and the pills they prescribe.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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