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Beautiful Dreamers (1990)


Directed by John Kent Harrison

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Although the buildings of the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital regularly stand in for many different institutions in the productions that have filmed on the Lakeshore Grounds, Beautiful Dreamers is the only to use the property to share the story of a mental health facility. The film is loosely based on the true historical encounter between Canadian asylum superintendent, Dr. Maurice Bucke (played by Colm Feore), and American poet Walt Whitman (played by Rip Torn), in nineteenth century London, Ontario. At the time of filming, the property that was originally known as the London Asylum for the Insane was still in use as a mental health institution and so the cottages of the closed Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital (Mimico Asylum for the Insane) stood in for their London counterpart.

Filming on the Lakeshore Grounds

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Many exterior shots in Beautiful Dreamers are easily recognizable as the cottages of the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital. The men's gazebo that stands at the south end of the Cricket Pitch also makes a cameo, standing in for a train station platform.

Fun Trivia

Rip Torn (who plays Walt Whitman) was the only American actor in Beautiful Dreamers, the rest of the cast included prominent Canadian actors including Stratford veteran Colm Feore, Toronto actress Wendel Meldrum, and well-known names Sheila McCarthy, David Gardner, and Colin Fox.

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