168 user 103 critic

Spellbound (1945)

Not Rated | | Film-Noir, Mystery, Romance | 28 December 1945 (USA)
A psychiatrist protects the identity of an amnesia patient accused of murder while attempting to recover his memory.



(screen play), (suggested by novel: "The House of Dr. Edwardes") | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Notorious (1946)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young woman discovers her visiting uncle may not be the man he seems to be.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey
Suspicion (1941)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A shy young heiress marries a charming gentleman, and soon begins to suspect he is planning to murder her.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Cedric Hardwicke
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

While traveling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas
Saboteur (1942)
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Aircraft factory worker Barry Kane goes on the run across the United States when he is wrongly accused of starting a fire that killed his best friend.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Priscilla Lane, Robert Cummings, Otto Kruger
The 39 Steps (1935)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim
Lifeboat (1944)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Several survivors of a torpedoed ship find themselves in the same boat with one of the men who sunk it.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Tallulah Bankhead, John Hodiak, Walter Slezak
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A happily married London barrister falls in love with the accused poisoner he is defending.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Gregory Peck, Ann Todd, Charles Laughton
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A family vacationing in Morocco accidentally stumble on to an assassination plot and the conspirators are determined to prevent them from interfering.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie
The Wrong Man (1956)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1953, an innocent man named Christopher Emmanuel "Manny" Balestrero is arrested after being mistaken for an armed robber.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Henry Fonda, Vera Miles, Anthony Quayle
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When a reformed jewel thief is suspected of returning to his former occupation, he must ferret out the real thief in order to prove his innocence.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The trouble with Harry is that he's dead, and everyone seems to have a different idea of what needs to be done with his body...

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: John Forsythe, Shirley MacLaine, Edmund Gwenn


Complete credited cast:
Mr. Garmes
House Detective
Dr. Graff
Stranger in Hotel Lobby
Dr. Hanish


Dr. Constance Petersen (Ingrid Bergman) is a psychiatrist at Green Manors mental asylum. The head of Green Manors has just been replaced, with his replacement being the renowned Dr. Anthony Edwardes (Gregory Peck). Romance blossoms between Dr. Petersen and Dr. Edwards but Dr. Edwards starts to show odd aversions and personality traits. It is discovered that he is an impostor, and amnesiac, and may have killed the real Dr. Edwardes. Dr. Petersen is determined to discover the truth through unlocking the secrets held in the impostor's mind, a process which potentially puts her and others' lives at risk. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Strange . . . Strange . . . Their Irresistible Love! Dark . . . Dark . . . Their Inescapable Fears ! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 December 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound  »


Box Office


$1,696,377 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario) | (with overture and exit music)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)


(Two frames tinted)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Miklós Rózsa hated working with David O. Selznick. See more »


When Dr. Brulov wakes J.B. to ask about his dreams, J.B.'s hair is very messed up. However, when Dr. Peterson enters the room with coffee a couple of minutes later, J.B.'s hair is neat, even though he hasn't combed it. See more »


[first lines]
Nurse: [offscreen] Miss Carmichael, please. Dr. Petersen is ready for you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: The fault.....is not in our stars, but in ourselves..... - Shakespeare Our story deals with psychoanalysis, the method by which modern science treats the emotional problems of the sane. The analyst seeks only to induce the patient to talk about his hidden problems, to open the locked doors of his mind. Once the complexes that have been disturbing the patient are uncovered and interpreted, the illness and confusion disappear.....and the devils of unreason are driven from the human soul. See more »


Referenced in Full House: Spellbound (1992) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"Rather like embracing a text book"
29 July 2009 | by See all my reviews

Cinema works best as even-handed, non-egotistical collaboration. Total control by one individual can be hit-or-miss, depending on their proficiency. But what is almost always disastrous is the collision between two dominating personalities. Of the four features produced by David O. Selznick and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Spellbound is probably the one in which suffers most from them treading on each other's toes.

Selznick was a rare kind of producer, who rather than simply trying to come up with the most successful money-making formulas, also used his pictures as showcases for his own favourite themes. Spellbound was the result of a passing interest in psychoanalysis, and while Hitch was apparently not against the idea of doing a shrink flick, Selznick's influence places too much emphasis on it. It's also ridiculously laudatory, the foreword and opening scenes giving you the impression that psychoanalysis is as straightforward and effective as prescribing a dose of antibiotics.

The structure of Spellbound is also not ideally suited to the Hitchcockian mode of suspense, which was based upon revealing the identity of the villain to the audience and then creating tension from making us wonder when and how they will strike again. Sometimes, as in Shadow of a Doubt or Rear Window, the killer would not be identified with certainty, but Hitch would immerse us in the suspicions of the central character, and this worked just as well. In some respects it looks as if Spellbound is an example of the latter. There appear to have been some attempts to create suspense out of the possibility that Gregory Peck's character is a murderer, and there are some typical Hitchcock moments like the business with the razor that play upon this. The trouble is, all those point-of-view shots placing us inside Peck's innocent confusion make it impossible for us to accept him as a killer, not even one who has forgotten his crimes. As such these tense moments, while nicely constructed in themselves, have no impact. The final "twist", when it arrives in the last five minutes seems tacked on, and does not shock or satisfy in any way.

Spellbound is also an example of why we don't see many outstanding acting performances in Hitchcock movies. It's not just because Hitch didn't give any coaching to his cast members (neither did William Wyler, and his pictures are always superbly acted), it's just that his films are too technical to show off the actors to the best of their abilities. Ingrid Bergman was an exceptional actress, but because of the way Hitch works, the key moments in her performance are cut up into fleeting reaction shots, close-ups of hands and so forth. The best impression we get of her acting is in a fairly mundane scene, when she is fending off the unwanted attentions of Wallace Ford, a moment Hitchcock allows to play out in a mid-shot unbroken take. Spellbound does contain one of the few Oscar-nominated performances in a Hitchcock picture – Michael Chekhov as Dr Brulov. He is not bad, although due to the nature of his part he gets the benefit of more conventional shots which capture his best – hence why he got a nod while Ms Bergman didn't.

The one Oscar that Spellbound did win was for the Miklos Rozsa score, although it's inferior to his work on The Lost Weekend, which was also nominated. His music for Spellbound is a little overbearing, and is incredibly heavy in the romantic scenes. It's also very sweepingly sentimental, which jars somewhat with Hitch's rather aggressive styling of these moments. Still, there is some intelligent orchestration, and it is rather effective the way it suddenly breaks into a minor key version of the love theme on the theremin when something triggers Peck's memories.

In spite of all its flaws, Spellbound is still a very watchable picture. The screenplay is by the reliable Ben Hecht, and it moves forward at a solid pace. Hitchcock's to-the-point style of direction may not have been flattering to the cast, but at least it makes the story clear and easy to digest. However, this process of unravelling a mystery does not provide him with opportunities for suspense, or at least not his kind of suspense. Selznick got his "psycho", but this is a mediocre entry for the master.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 168 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page