The action begins at Green Manors Psychiatric Sanitarium where there is a change occuring in the head personnel with the "retirement", of facility head Dr Murchison (Leo G. Carroll), after a bout of illness. His replacement a Dr. Anthony Edwardes is due to arrive shortly and in the meantime we are introduced to young psychiatrist Dr. Constance Peterson, (Ingrid Bergman), an all business enthusiast of psychoanalysis totally dedicated to her job. When Dr. Edwardes arrives however all is not well and not only does he appear to be far too young for such an important role but he has a number of "spells", where his own mental health is called into question. Constance finds herself experiencing an immediate attraction to this strange young man who before long she realises is not actually Dr.Read more ›
TRANSFER: Criterion isn't exactly living up to its namesake. The previously issued DVD from Anchor Bay was a touch on the soft side. But that was a blessing when compared to Criterion's overly harsh, digitally grainy print that also suffers from some minor edge enhancement and shimmering of fine details. Like the previously issued Anchor Bay disc, Criterion's "Spellbound" gray scale has been impeccibly rendered. But overall this disc really isn't up to Criterion's usual standards - a real shame, since this version of "Spellbound" remains the only comprehensive compendium of information gathered.
EXTRAS: Like most Criterion editions, there's a lot of stuff that promises to be fun, but then falls short of expectations. The audio commentary is drab and drably told - exploring more psychoanalysis then how Hitchcock made the film. There are no personal accounts on what transpired during the making of this movie. Also, while the disc packaging advertises deleted scenes, what it really gives you is some script pages that show revisions made before the shooting began. Ho-hum! Although it's nice to have the overture and exit music included, an isolated soundtrack throughout would have been even better.
Although SPELLBOUND helped solidify Hitchcock's position in Hollywood, it isn't one of his best films. But Marian Keane's remarkable analytical audio commentary on the Criterion disc should heighten your appreciation of the film. Keane juxtaposes the themes in the film against the manner in which Hitchcock made his films and the manner in which we, the viewers, watch them, and suggests that they are somehow interrated. She points out that many Hitchcock films (including SPELLBOUND) are about people who take pleasure in watching and analyzing other people, which is also the very thing that we, the viewers, do when we watch such films.Read more ›