Breakdown (1951) is a black and white consciousness raising film made by Mental Health authorities of the provinces of Canada. Set within suburbia and a modern mental hospital, a friendly neighbour tells the story of Anne, a twenty-three-year-old woman struggling with schizophrenia. A town member astutely questions why we seem to be afraid to think about mental illness in a motivating call for action. 


Robert Anderson (1912-1985) joined the National Film Board of Canada in 1942 after working for CBC Radio. Former advisor to the National Research Council of Canada for Radio + Television and the Educational Center for Radio and Television, founder and President of the film studio Robert Anderson Associates. Anderson was instrumental in the introduction of television to the House of Commons and was one of the original staff members at CBC Radio. Directed, wrote and produced dozens of films at the National Film Board often on the themes of mental health, psychiatry and international trade.



Robert Anderson, Director

National Film Board of Canada, Producer
Tom Daly, Producer
Clarke Daprato, Kenneth Heeley-Ray, Sound
Osmond H. Borradaile, Director of Photography
Victor Jobin, Editor
Clarke Daprato, Sound Recorder
Maurice Blackburn, Music


Certificate of Honour - Category: Film Production in General
International Review of Specialized Cinematography
May 1 1955, Rome - Italy

Outstanding 16mm Film of 1951
Scholastic Teachers Magazine Annual Film Awards
April 1 1952, New York - USA


Shooting Format


Additional Details

Available Subtitle

Screening Formats

  • 16 mm,
  • AppleProRes,


Provided By

  • National Film Board / Office National du Film