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.
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
Alfred Hitchcock was a big admirer of Salvador Dalí's work, and realized that no one understood dream imagery better. David O. Selznick was opposed to using Dalí from an expense point of view, until he realized the marketing mileage that could be gained from such a hiring. See more »
The envelope which John Ballantine slips under the door of Dr. Peterson's room remains close to the door and with its border parallel to the door bottom line. Later it appears a little distant from the door and skewed. See more »
Miss Carmichael, please. Dr. Petersen is ready for you.
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Just before the opening credits, an overture is played. See more »
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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