New film focuses on lobotomy

April 29, 2004 at 12:14 PM
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NEW YORK, April 29 (UPI) -- A U.S. filmmaker has produced a fictional movie about a real-life controversial doctor who toured the country performing lobotomies in the mid-1900s.

Richard Ledes's film, "A Hole In One," about the career of neurologist Dr. Walter Freeman, will premiere Sunday at New York's TriBeCa Film Festival, the New York Times reported Thursday.

Veteran rock singer Meat Loaf stars in the film about a woman, played by Michelle Williams, who opts for a lobotomy to deal with the emotional pain caused by her murderous boyfriend (Meat Loaf).

Freeman is credited with pioneering outpatient lobotomies in the late 1940s by eliminating the need to drill holes in the skull for the procedure. Instead, Freeman anesthetized the patient with electric shock and then, using a mallet, used an ice pick above the patient's eyes to bore into the frontal lobes of the brain, moving the pick around to destroy brain cells.

The patient, who was never quite the same, was able to leave the doctor's office the same day.

Before Freeman lost his medical license in the 1960s, he drove around the United States in a camper van he called the lobotomobile.

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