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Alfred Hitchcock takes on Sigmund Freud in this thriller in which psychologist Ingrid Bergman tries to solve a murder by unlocking the clues hidden in the mind of amnesiac suspect Gregory Peck. Among the highlights is a bizarre dream sequence seemingly designed by Salvador Dali--complete with huge eyeballs and pointy scissors. Although the film is in black and white, the original release contained one subliminal blood-red frame, appearing when a gun pointed directly at the camera goes off. Spellbound is one of Hitchcock's strangest and most atmospheric films, providing the director with plenty of opportunities to explore what he called "pure cinema"--i.e., the power of pure visual associations. Miklós Rózsa's haunting score (which features a creepy theremin) won an Oscar, and the movie was nominated for best picture, director, supporting actor (Michael Chekhov), cinematography, and special visual effects. --Jim Emerson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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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 ›
Spellbound was the second film that Hitchcock made directly under producer David O. Selznick (Foreign Correspondent, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Susicion, Saboteur and Shadow of a Doubt were all made while out on loan to other studios)and Hitch's vision was somewhat compromised by Selznick's interference. The budget was cut, a minute of the famous Dali dream sequence was hacked out along with about twenty minutes of Hitch's footgage were sacrificed as well. Despite all these set backs, Spellbound works due to Bergman and Peck's uneasy performance as "Edwardes". Peck was a second choice for the role; originally Hitchcock wanted Cary Grant for the role but Grant's salary demands and lack of committment to the project meant that the two weren't going to collaborate on this film. This was only Peck's third film but he pulls off the difficult role.
The Criterion transfer is sharper than the soft looking Anchor Bay edition. Personally, I prefer the crisper looking Criterion transfer but it's all a matter of preference. The extras here aren't as interesting as some of the other Criterion releases.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Lovers of old movies will enjoy this one. Two top stars: Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck. Equally appealing is the theme music by Miklos Rosza. Read morePublished on June 6 2012 by TQOTHC
I've always enjoyed Hitchcock movies. I didn't see this one (Spellbound) before and I was not disappointed when I did view it.Published on Sept. 30 2009 by boyoblue
This film captures Alfred Hitchcock at his best. The story, cast and the characters are perfect. ILOVED IT!!!!!!!!1Published on June 22 2004
First things first: I am not a Hitchcock fan, fanatic, or devotee. The only film I like by him, after seeing quite a few, is Frenzy, a lesser known work from the early 70s. Read morePublished on Feb. 29 2004 by LGwriter
Criterion has announced on its website that this title will be going out-of-print on December 31, 2003 along with Rebecca and Notorious. Read morePublished on Dec 19 2003 by Lynn Douglas
"Spellbound" is director, Alfred Hitchcock's first foray into psychoanalysis. Ingrid Bergman stars as Constance; a frigid psychoanalyst, whose own repression is tested... Read morePublished on Dec 9 2003 by Nix Pix
In my opinion, although the film has less of the Hitchcock touch than other films, notably Rear Window, Psycho, North by Northwest, and Vertigo, probably due to the shared... Read morePublished on May 20 2003 by Yvonne Campbell
SPELLBOUND was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and produced by David O. Selznick in 1945. As the story unravels it is essentially a murder plot interwoven around psychiatrists and... Read morePublished on April 17 2003 by gobirds2