At 12 a.m. ET tonight on IFC we are showing Shattered. Tom Berenger stars as an amnesiac who begins to suspect that the car crash that caused his memory loss was not an accident and his doting wife (Greta Scaachi) may not be all that doting.
Have you ever met someone with amnesia? I haven’t. Yet I bet everyone has seen a movie or a television show where a character gets knocked on the head and forgets everything. This is currently being used in ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters” where one of the characters was in a car crash that erased her memory to the extent that she forgot she had a daughter. Bummer, right? But realistic? I don’t know, because I’ve never met a neuroscientist at a cocktail party and haven’t been able to ask that extremely pressing question.
Yet use of amnesia as a plot device in movies and television shows continues unabated. Maybe filmmakers can’t remember they’ve used it before? Here are a few movies and television show that use memory loss as a central part of the plot:
Memento Written and Directed by Christopher Nolan, it stars Guy Pearce as a man suffering from short-term memory loss. The last thing he remembers is his wife dying and he wants to avenge her death, but he has to remember who to kill:
Samantha Who? Much like Tom Berenger in Shattered, Christina Applegate wakes up from a coma with no memory of her former self only to realize that no one really liked her. The show was quite funny, but sadly abbreviated:
The Bourne Identity stars Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a one-man killing machine who wakes up on a boat with a bunch of mysterious scars, terrible people skills, and a hit squad after him:
Overboard starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell is one of the funniest amnesia films ever:
Regarding Henry, (1991) Harrison Ford plays Henry, a lawyer who survives a shooting only to find he cannot remember anything. The film is directed by Mike Nichols and written by J. J. Abrams. Yes, he of “Lost” and “Star Trek” fame. Check out all the smoking:
Total Recall While it’s true that Arnold Schwarzenegger chooses to erase his memory, it still counts. Directed by Paul Verhoeven.
Did I *ahem* forget something? What are your favorite amnesia moments from television and film? Tell us in the comments.
Shattered airs on IFC at 12 a.m. ET