The head of the Green Manors mental asylum Dr. Murchison is retiring to be replaced by Dr. Edwardes, a famous psychiatrist. Edwardes arrives and is immediately attracted to the beautiful but cold Dr. Constance Petersen. However, it soon becomes apparent that Dr. Edwardes is in fact a paranoid amnesiac impostor. He goes on the run with Constance who tries to help his condition and solve the mystery of what happened to the real Dr. Edwardes. Written by
Col Needham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A Fine, Distinctive Film Despite Its Implausible Aspects
"Spellbound" is one of Hitchcock's hardest films to evaluate, because its plot and credibility are so heavily dependent on theories of psychoanalysis that are usually considered to be implausible, at the very best. But if you can accept, for the sake of entertainment, the more dubious plot devices, what remains is a fine film dominated by the great director's usual creativity and technical mastery. Although it's hard to get away from the implausibilities, it's a fine movie in all other respects.
Gregory Peck stars as an amnesia case, and Ingrid Bergman as a psychoanalyst trying to unravel his mysterious - and possibly murderous - past. Most of the other characters are also psychoanalysts or patients, and the plot revolves around the ways that Bergman's character uses Freudian theories to solve the mystery. Whether you can enjoy the story depends on how willing you are to suspend disbelief concerning the wilder aspects of these theories, but if you are willing to do so, it's quite nicely done in most parts, with some fine scenes and a couple of good plot twists. It is also worth watching for the famous Salvador Dali dream sequence, which is very creatively done and fascinating to watch. Peck and Bergman also create interesting and sympathetic characters, who make the viewer want to know what will happen to them.
Overall, this is a distinctive film, and well worth seeing for any Hitchcock fan.
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