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The Search for Bridey Murphy (1956)

Approved | | Drama | 1 October 1956 (USA)
After being shown what hypnotism can do, a Doctor sets out to study it in depth. When experimenting on his friend's wife, she regresses back to an earlier life- that of Bridey Murphy. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ruth Simmons
...
Morey Bernstein
...
Hazel Bernstein
...
Rex Simmons
...
Dr. Deering
Tom McKee ...
Catlett
Janet Riley ...
Lois Morgan
Charles Boaz ...
Jerry Thomas
Lawrence Fletcher ...
Cranmer
Charles Maxwell ...
Father Bernard
Walter Kingsford ...
Professor
Noel Leslie ...
Edgar Cayce
William Joseph Barker ...
Himself (as William J. Barker)
...
Bradford Jackson ...
Brian MacCarthy at Age 17
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Storyline

After being shown what hypnotism can do, a Doctor sets out to study it in depth. When experimenting on his friend's wife, she regresses back to an earlier life- that of Bridey Murphy. Several hypnotic sessions explore the life and death of Murphy, a 19th Century Irish lady who lived in Cork and Belfast from 1798 to 1864. The Doctor then attempts to verify if Bridey Murphy really existed. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

1 October 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La vita oltre la vita  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most people in Ireland would pronounce Bridey, as Bride with a y. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The She-Creature (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A straight forward look at a not-so-straight forward story. Wright is terrific, but...
10 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Search for Bridey Murphy (1956)

This isn't quite a normal narrative movie but a re-enactment of some true events surrounding hypnosis and supposed past life regression. And it's quite fascinating on some level, for the facts and the possibilities, and it's quite dull on another level, filled with narration and some repetitive scenes and a slow pace. In fact, as good as it is in some ways, it might have made a brilliant half hour short.

Not to take away from the singular performance of Teresa Wright. She's the subject and object all at once, and she makes a lot out of nothing (lying down on the couch most of the time). She makes the subtleties of "reading" have meaning, with slight differences of accent, and a tone of voice that is really convincing. The rest of the cast? Serviceable. There wasn't a huge effort put into making this movie, or making it interesting.

The one inventive aspect is some slightly cheesy cloudy scenes that are meant to be transporting the viewer through the subject's thoughts. It works fine. When it gets to the cosmos (stars), you do wish there had been some attempt to keep up with the audience. It's a congenial movie, and everyone has a terrific upper middle class attitude, which is pleasant.

Some research after the book was published and after the movie as well, has shown some problems with the facts, and some alternate reasons why the subject would be able to invent (or recall) in great detail (including the dance). A better movie might have layered some of the doubts into the apparent wonder and marvel of the actual hypnotic events.

So, actually, this isn't really recommended as a movie experience, but as a way to learn about the subject. It's certainly clear and plain speaking.


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