While The Sopranos explored the kinds of drama and conflict that can follow a stressed-out career criminal, Analyze This (which was developed independently and filmed months after the HBO pilot was shot) mined the comic potential of such a situation. Mob boss Paul Vitti (Robert De Nir0) finds himself subject to panic attacks and tearful jags. Never mind that he has just survived a hit attempt or feels responsible for the death of his father — there is no crying in the Mafia. Dr. Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal) has a different set of problems: he is bored with his practice and has to deal with the frantic demands of his soon-t0-be second wife. The tough guy engages the services of the smart nebbish (on the sly, of course) — and their meetings invigorate one another. Sobel, quick with a quip and secretly delighted to have some excitement in his life, proves to be every bit the equal of his street-smart (but book-dumb) patient and even takes a bullet for him.
The Doctor Is In
- Dr. Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of the Lambs
- Sean Maguire, Good Will Hunting
- Dr. Caligari, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
- Dr. Malcolm Crowe, The Sixth Sense
- Dr. Tyrone Berger, Ordinary People
- Dr. Ben Sobel, Analyze This
- Dr. Sam Loomis, Halloween
- Dr. Eudora Fletcher, Zelig
- Dr. Constance Peterson, Spellbound
- Dr. Leo Marvin, What About Bob?