The Happiness Cage

The Happiness Cage is a 1972 American science fiction film directed by Bernard Girard. The film stars Christopher Walken in his first starring role and Joss Ackland. The film was also known as The Mind Snatchers.

The Happiness Cage
Poster of the movie The Happiness Cage.jpg
Directed byBernard Girard
Written byDennis Reardon
Ron Whyte
StarringChristopher Walken
Joss Ackland
Ralph Meeker
Distributed byCinerama Releasing Corporation
Release date
  • 1972 (1972)
Running time
94 minutes
United States[1]

This film is based on Dennis J. Reardon’s acclaimed play The Happiness Cage, which opened at Joseph Papp Public Theater’s Newman Theater in New York on October 4, 1970.[2][3]


The story takes place in a Veterans Hospital in Frankfurt, where experiments are being conducted by United States Army to drill into the patients’ skulls, attach wires, and alter their brains to create better soldiers and happier men — human robots. The patients are three veterans waiting to go into the operation clinic. The film contains some brilliant performances, according to the review in The New York Times.[2]

Dr. Frederick (Joss Ackland) is trying to find a way to ease the aggressive nature of soldiers by developing a microchip to access the pleasure centers of their brains.



  1. ^ "The Happiness Cage". American Film Institute. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b Thompson, Howard. ″Dennis Reardon's 'Happiness Cage' Is Better Suited to Stage″. New York Times. June 29, 1972.
  3. ^ The Happiness Cage Lortell Archives, Internet Off-Broadway Database

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