12 Best Movies About Stockholm Syndrome (2022)

Stockholm Syndrome is probably the most popular among movie-goers because of abundance of content already available, in terms of the number of movies made around the theme. Unconventional Romance is viewed as a genre, often without understanding human nature in terms of context. However, it stems from our lack of understanding or not being able to discern among the gray areas between right and wrong. Which is why, when I see a director with a vision of a magnitude such that it imbues art, human psychology and empathy, I fall for it immediately.

And why not, creativity about the complexity of our minds is always welcome to pique our curiosity. More so, when the topic concerns and pokes social stigmas. So, here I have compiled a list of top movies about Stockholm Syndrome that I think understood the phenomenon enough to make indulgent movies and absolutely nailed it. You can watch some of these bestStockholm Syndrome movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

12. Highway (2014)

12 Best Movies About Stockholm Syndrome (1)

Imtiaz Ali is reason enough for my love of cinema, and that began with this movie. The social commentary in the movie is so layered that the subtlety of it still makes me think long and hard about it. The scene towards the end where Alia Bhatt confronts her demons still manages to run chills down my spine. Bollywood might or might not have successfully made any or many movies about Stockholm Syndrome but this is the only one I know and consider beautiful in terms of cinema. All of these twelve movies, for varied reasons are engrossing enough because of the one thing they have in common- it deals with our psyche.

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11. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

12 Best Movies About Stockholm Syndrome (2)

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I’m still confused if this movie involves Stockholm Syndrome or it is just a presumptuous commentary on the women of that era who weren’t supposed to have an opinion on who they should marry. What concerns me more about the movie is the dominance of patriarchy, men kidnapping women for them to end up falling for those men is what I’ve been rambling about for a while now. It isn’t particularly a movie that highlights the subject, but it sure is a fun watch.

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10. Sweet Hostage (1975)

12 Best Movies About Stockholm Syndrome (3)

It is an uncomfortable watch, not only because it has a very young Doris Mae (Linda Blair) taken hostage by an older man named Leonard (Martin Sheen) who is an escaped mental patient but because of the sheer chemistry they end up sharing. The tendency of Stockholm Syndrome is more a possibility when two individuals are in an environment where there is no sign of other individuals, and hence they start relying on each other. ‘Sweet Hostage’ is one of the less talked movies, I can’t understand why because even though I don’t think I can watch it again, it did hit me the one time I did actually watch it.

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9. The Night Porter (1974)

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Italian director Liliana Cavani plays with human psyche so as to make probably the most expressive film about Stockholm Syndrome, with performances capable of triggering the possibility of the audience developing a psychiatric disorder by just watching it. It is one movie where you can see the process taking place, you can see Charlotte Rampling (Lucia Atherton) developing the disorder, amidst a Nazi Concentration Camp in the backdrop.

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8. Overboard (1987)

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Famous for the rom-com it is considered, the emotional graphs in the movie are like a rollercoaster ride. And, despite that, the four kids never fail to make me laugh for Overboard is more a comedic take on both post-amnesia rich brat and Stockholm Syndrome that leads to her choosing a false pretense for her life over reality (because, who doesn’t want to get rid of the reality that is life). Overboard is such a fascinating screenplay, it ought to deserve your time.

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7. Interrogation (1982)

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Polish cinema deserves more audience is matter of fact, and if you wish to begin today, this is the movie you shall begin with. I’d watched it only a few days ago, not knowing that it is going to have Stockholm Syndrome in the plot. I’d watched it because I thought it was appalling enough a subject that a woman is unjustly arrested by secret police later to be interrogated and abused. However, with Antonina’s (Krystyna Janda) budding trust and sympathy towards her abuser, maybe I felt sympathetic too.

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6. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

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Forty four years ago, a six-day hostage drama inside a Stockholm bank grabbed worldwide headlines, and the surprising behavior exhibited by the four hostages toward their captors gave birth to the psychological phenomenon known as Stockholm Syndrome. This movie is akin to that incident, it is the nearest any movie I’ve seen that has come to the actual incident that happened in 1973. It is still fiction, though. Keeping the reality of it aside, ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ is one of the very few movies where I want to credit the acting more than the direction. (Watch it for Al Pacino’s wicked charm if nothing else.)

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5. Three Days of the Condor (1975)

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Robert Redfort in the movie is just another good guy who is stuck in a bad situation, and takes out his angst upon an innocent stranger who is able to see through the madness going on with him, and then falls for him like any other victim of Stockholm Syndrome. It is a conventional take, as I view it. But then again, ‘Three Days of the Condor’ is one of the only cult names that come up when it comes to movies on the subject, and classics are classics for a reason.

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4. Phantom of the Opera (2004)

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Here is a movie that I didn’t quite enjoy, but I don’t know many people who’s opinion is similar to mine. Probably because more than anything ‘Phantom of the Opera’ is Literature and people have been indulging in the story for what seems like since the dawn of humanity. It still makes the list because it would have been rather tough to complete it without this movie, because of the infinite opinions that surround it.

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3. Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990)

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This movie went from assault to a tinge of BDSM in what appears like a nanosecond. Pedro Almodovar is the only human capable of making a victim of Stockholm Syndrome sound more like a comedic anchor to counter what comes with Ricky’s (Antonio Banderas) mental illness. I’ve seen people calling it a ‘twisted’ Romantic Comedy, which a lot of movies with this subject are stereotyped into but are far from it. More than the subject though, watch it for the writing because calling it hysterical (although, complex) could be an understatement.

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2. Buffalo ‘66 (1998)

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This film would be cult status (not that it already isn’t) if Stockholm Syndrome was a genre of cinema. And, I say this because it was quoted to me by my psychology teacher while we were once having a discussion in class about the light cinema has shown psychology in. Vincent Gallo is an underrated genius, it goes without saying. What also maintains my interest in the film is the quirky writing. It was one of those films that you watch and come out thinking “I would’ve never been able to perceive this subject in this bizarre manner.”

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1. V for Vendetta (2005)

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Not only is ‘V for Vendetta’ considered a sort of benchmark in political thrillers, it is also one of the best book adaptations I’ve managed to come across. I say this as someone who isn’t quite a fan of book adaptations. With a dystopian British era in the backdrop, it showcases one of the most complex psychological disorders in a light that it isn’t tough for us to comprehend why Evey begins to defend V’s ways. As it tends to happen, Every becomes susceptible to V’s behaviour and purpose.

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FAQs

What Disney movie is about Stockholm syndrome? ›

"Beauty and the Beast," which was the first animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, was renamed "Stockholm Syndrome," a reference to the psychological phenomenon in which a hostage develops romantic feelings for his or her captor.

What are the two emotional responses that cause Stockholm syndrome? ›

Stockholm syndrome can manifest in several ways, including when the victims: perceive kindness or compassion from their captor or abuser. develop positive feelings towards the individual or group of individuals holding them captive or abusing them.

Who was the girl with Stockholm syndrome? ›

The most famous case of Stockholm syndrome may be when Patricia Hearst, a newspaper heiress, helped her kidnappers to rob multiple banks in 1970s. Hearst claimed she had been brainwashed and temporarily became an advocate for her captors' radical ideology.

What are the 3 components of Stockholm syndrome? ›

Symptoms and Causes

People who have Stockholm syndrome have: Positive feelings toward the captors or abusers. Sympathy for their captors' beliefs and behaviors. Negative feelings toward police or other authority figures.

Does Rapunzel have Stockholm Syndrome? ›

The other form of psychological manipulation that Rapunzel experiences is traumatic bonding, or “Stockholm Syndrome.” This is a common occurrence for trafficking victims, in which the victim undergoes cognitive distortions and develops positive feelings for their trafficker as a coping method.

Is Beauty and the Beast about Stockholm Syndrome? ›

The original telling of Beauty and the Beast is a story about Stockholm syndrome: Beauty is held captive by a creepy monster, but in time she leans to feel deep empathy for her captor and falls in love with him.

What is the opposite of Stockholm syndrome? ›

Lima syndrome is the exact inverse of Stockholm syndrome. In this case, hostage-takers or victimizers become sympathetic to the wishes and needs of the hostages or victims.

How do you break Stockholm syndrome? ›

How to Help People Who May Have Stockholm Syndrome
  1. Try psychoeducation. ...
  2. Avoid polarization. ...
  3. Use the Socratic method. ...
  4. Listen without judgment. ...
  5. Don't give advice. ...
  6. Address the cognitive dissonance. ...
  7. Identify the “hook.” Victims of Stockholm syndrome can become dedicated to a cause or an unspoken desire.
26 Sept 2018

How long does Stockholm syndrome take to kick in? ›

Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response. It occurs when hostages or abuse victims bond with their captors or abusers. This psychological connection develops over the course of the days, weeks, months, or even years of captivity or abuse.

Do dogs have Stockholm syndrome? ›

Many crated dogs become severely depressed and withdrawn and can suffer from separation anxiety or even Stockholm syndrome. Hyperactivity and behavioral issues are other common consequences of crating.

What is another word for Stockholm syndrome? ›

Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with them.

What is it called when you fall in love with your rescuer? ›

It's called “transference” where one begins to attaché romantic feelings to a person in a professional protector role such as a doctor, therapist, policeman and such.

What does Stockholm syndrome feel like? ›

A person who experiences Stockholm syndrome comes to bond with the captor and may experience feelings of love, empathy, or a desire to protect the captor. The hostage may also often develop negative feelings toward the police or other parties who are attempting rescue.

Can Stockholm syndrome happen in a relationship? ›

Stockholm Syndrome can be found in any interpersonal relationships. The abuser may be in any role in which the abuser is in a position of control or authority.

Is trauma bonding the same as Stockholm syndrome? ›

The term 'trauma bond' is also known as Stockholm Syndrome. It describes a deep bond which forms between a victim and their abuser. Victims of abuse often develop a strong sense of loyalty towards their abuser, despite the fact that the bond is damaging to them.

What mental illness does Cinderella have? ›

At the time of this posting, Cinderella holds a rating of 7.3 out of 10 on IMDb and a Tomatometer rating of 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Cinderella demonstrates dysphoria that is precipitated by the untimely death of her father [00:02:25] and perpetuated by the abject emotional abuse of her step-family.

What mental illness does Tinkerbell have? ›

Bell's psychotherapist developed diagnostic impressions, describing her presenting concerns as Schizoaffective Disorder, along with traits of Borderline Personality Disorder.

What Disney character has a mental illness? ›

Pocahontas and her Hallucinations

Yes, our brave girl and one of the strongest Disney characters possibly depicts two mental health conditions. Her conversations with the magical talking tree where she shares her strong hallucinations clearly marks the signs of schizophrenia.

Did Belle really love the beast? ›

Heartbroken over the Beast's death, Belle finally admitted her love for him, mere seconds before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose, which enabled the Enchantress's spell to be broken, and the Beast to be resurrected back to life as a human Prince and as a result, the castle and its residents return to their ...

How long was Belle imprisoned? ›

If you think that's too quick for a girl to fall in love with her captor who happens to be a giant beast, the live-action adaptation remedies the original film's questionable timeline a bit. Though it's never said how much time Belle spends at the castle, it's clearly more than two or three days.

Did Belle marry the beast? ›

the Beast reverts to a handsome prince, isn't such a high point of the original fairytale. Actually, it takes place about halfway through the book. Belle finally agrees to marry the Beast, and even after that romantic moment, he remains unchanged in form.

Is Helsinki syndrome Real? ›

Helsinki syndrome is a misnomer; it doesn't exist! This is great news for the global population at-large, as that means there is one less syndrome in the world for us to contend with, but bad news for those who glean all their knowledge from Bruce Willis films.

Is Helsinki syndrome the same as Stockholm syndrome? ›

Helsinki syndrome is a term sometimes used incorrectly instead of Stockholm syndrome. The confusion is often deliberate and used for ironic effect. It originates in the substitution of one Nordic capital (Stockholm, Sweden) for another (Helsinki, Finland).

What is the difference between Lima and Stockholm syndrome? ›

Rather than the hostages forming a positive bond with their captors, as happens in Stockholm syndrome, it appears that the reverse occurred —many of the captors began to feel sympathetic to their captives. This response was termed Lima syndrome.

How do you let go of a trauma bond? ›

Get professional help
  1. explore factors fueling the bond.
  2. work on setting boundaries.
  3. learn skills for building healthy relationships.
  4. confront self-criticism and self-blame.
  5. develop a self-care plan.
  6. address mental health symptoms related to long-term trauma and abuse.
24 Nov 2020

How do you escape a trauma bond? ›

Here are 13 steps from a therapist to help you break a trauma bond:
  1. Find Resources Around You. ...
  2. Communicate Your Needs Clearly & Assertively. ...
  3. Disengage & Retract From the Situation. ...
  4. Face Your Feelings. ...
  5. Validate Yourself. ...
  6. Talk to a Professional. ...
  7. Keep a Journal. ...
  8. Take Time to Grieve What You Lost.
14 Jul 2022

How do you tell if you are a victim of a narcissist? ›

With that in mind, here are 12 signs that might suggest you've experienced narcissistic abuse.
  1. They seem so perfect — at first. ...
  2. People doubt the abuse took place. ...
  3. They've started a smear campaign. ...
  4. You feel isolated. ...
  5. You freeze up. ...
  6. You have trouble making decisions. ...
  7. You always feel like you've done something wrong.

Can you have Stockholm syndrome without being kidnapped? ›

There isn't very much research on Stockholm syndrome, but it seems that it's not just people who are held hostage who experience it. It can happen in different settings. Child abuse.

What are the seven stages of trauma bonding? ›

First, we will explore the 7-stages of trauma bonding.
  • Love Bombing. At the start of the relationship, did they shower you with excess love, appreciation and gifts? ...
  • Trust and Dependency. ...
  • Criticism. ...
  • Gaslighting. ...
  • Resigning to Control. ...
  • Loss of Self. ...
  • Addiction. ...
  • Stop the Secret Self Blame.
14 Dec 2021

What was the first case of Stockholm syndrome? ›

The Norrmalmstorg robbery was a bank robbery and hostage crisis best known as the origin of the term Stockholm syndrome. It occurred at the Norrmalmstorg Square in Stockholm, Sweden, in August 1973 and was the first criminal event in Sweden to be covered by live television.

Is it OK to lock your dog in a room? ›

Again, dogs are social creatures and do not enjoy being by themselves all the time. DON'T expect your dog to “hold it” for more than 8 hrs! It's cruel to expect a dog to hold it for a long time until it's convenient for you to take him or her out. DON'T keep your dog inside a laundry room!

Do pets really love us? ›

In short, do our pets really “love” us, as we understand it? In a word, the answer is yes, according to clinical evidence. Food does play a large role in feelings of affection between pet and owner. But dog does not live by biscuit alone – and neither does a cat's affection depend solely on treats.

Do dogs actually love us? ›

And what the studies show is welcome news for all dog owners: Not only do dogs seem to love us back, they actually see us as their family. It turns out that dogs rely on humans more than they do their own kind for affection, protection and everything in between.

Who invented Stockholm syndrome? ›

Stockholm Syndrome was born by way of explanation. The phrase was reported to have been coined by criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot. Psychiatrist Dr Frank Ochberg was intrigued by the phenomenon and went on to define the syndrome for the FBI and Scotland Yard in the 1970s.

What does Stockholm mean in English? ›

The name itself is simple enough to translate to “Stock,” coming from the old Swedish word “Stokker,” which means log or pole, and “Holm,” meaning “island or islet.” With the modern day city of Stockholm being spread across fourteen different islands and with even more in the archipelago and surrounding area, the “holm ...

Why is it called Stockholm syndrome? ›

The origin of the term Stockholm Syndrome arose in the aftermath of a well-documented robbery which took place in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1973. Four hostages were kept captive in the bank whilst their captors had a six-day stand-off with the police.

Is white knight syndrome real? ›

The White Knight Syndrome is a characteristic that is shared by many people. It is the compulsive need to rescue someone, especially a potential life partner. There are four subtypes of this syndrome. The White Knight Syndrome is a characteristic that is shared by many people.

How do you deal with a white knight? ›

Becoming self-aware is the first step towards combating white knight syndrome. Pay attention to how you tend to respond to other people's distress, watch how much you feel you need to control other people “for their own good.” Be careful with how you disguise your tendency to micromanage as good intentions.

What is transference in a relationship? ›

Transference is when someone redirects their feelings about one person onto someone else. During a therapy session, it usually refers to a person transferring their feelings about someone else onto their therapist.

How does Belle have Stockholm Syndrome? ›

Belle Has Stockholm Syndrome? | Beauty and the Beast Theory

What mental illness does Belle have? ›

Belle has clearly shown symptoms of Schizoid Personality Disorder, Stockholm Syndrome and Schizophrenia which can be treated by a biological therapeutic approach or a psychoactive drug approach and therapy. From the beginning Belle's characteristics reveals anti-social behaviors perhaps even a personality disorder.

What was Belle's condition? ›

Unlike Belle, who is confined to the castle grounds, but is otherwise independent, the real-life captives who experience Stockholm syndrome are at first controlled and tormented to the extent that they feel completely helpless. “They can't talk. They can't eat.

What is the Beauty and the Beast based on? ›

Petrus Gonsalvus and his wife Catherine met in 1500s France. Their widely-known story is thought to have inspired Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve's 1740 French fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.

What is the opposite of Stockholm Syndrome? ›

Lima syndrome is the exact inverse of Stockholm syndrome. In this case, hostage-takers or victimizers become sympathetic to the wishes and needs of the hostages or victims.

What is Scotland syndrome? ›

It occurs when hostages or abuse victims bond with their captors or abusers. This psychological connection develops over the course of the days, weeks, months, or even years of captivity or abuse.

Is Stockholm Syndrome an illness? ›

Stockholm syndrome isn't a psychological diagnosis. Instead, it is a way of understanding the emotional response some people have towards a captor or abuser. Sometimes people who are held prisoner or are subject to abuse can have feelings of sympathy or other positive feelings toward the captor.

Is Rapunzel bipolar? ›

The Harvard Guru of Treating Children with Anti-Psychotic Medication, Joseph Biederman, would probably diagnose her as bipolar. The male character who enticed Rapunzel to come down out of the tower, however, is a much better psychiatric diagnostician. He observes that she seems to be at war with herself.

What mental illness does Cinderella have? ›

At the time of this posting, Cinderella holds a rating of 7.3 out of 10 on IMDb and a Tomatometer rating of 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Cinderella demonstrates dysphoria that is precipitated by the untimely death of her father [00:02:25] and perpetuated by the abject emotional abuse of her step-family.

What Disney character has a mental illness? ›

Pocahontas and her Hallucinations

Yes, our brave girl and one of the strongest Disney characters possibly depicts two mental health conditions. Her conversations with the magical talking tree where she shares her strong hallucinations clearly marks the signs of schizophrenia.

Does the Beast have LIMA syndrome? ›

Rather, the Beast is exhibiting the inverse of Stockholm Syndrome, Lima Syndrome, which is where the abductor sympathizes with his hostage (see the next point for more on this). Most importantly, Belle's positive feelings towards the Beast do not begin until he changes.

How long was Belle imprisoned? ›

If you think that's too quick for a girl to fall in love with her captor who happens to be a giant beast, the live-action adaptation remedies the original film's questionable timeline a bit. Though it's never said how much time Belle spends at the castle, it's clearly more than two or three days.

Did Belle really love the beast? ›

Heartbroken over the Beast's death, Belle finally admitted her love for him, mere seconds before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose, which enabled the Enchantress's spell to be broken, and the Beast to be resurrected back to life as a human Prince and as a result, the castle and its residents return to their ...

Why was Catherine killed on Beauty and the Beast? ›

Catherine Chandler (played by Linda Hamilton) is abducted, beaten, slashed and left to die in Central Park because she was inadvertently mistaken for somebody else.

What is the hidden meaning of Beauty and the Beast? ›

By choosing to let her go, the Beast is letting go of the importance he places on physical beauty. Not only is he letting go of the most beautiful person he's ever seen (and literally letting go of “beauty”, the meaning of her name), but also letting go of his own chance of ever being outwardly beautiful again.

What's the moral of Beauty and the Beast? ›

The moral of Beauty and the Beast is that we should value inward characteristics such as kindness over other superficial qualities, such as wit and appearance. This moral is presented by showing that Beauty valued the inward characteristics of Beast, and fell in love with him despite his outward appearances.

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