IMDb > Psyche 59 (1964)
Psyche 59
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Psyche 59 (1964) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
6.2/10   186 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Françoise des Ligneris (novel)
Julian Zimet (screenplay) (originally as Julian Halevy)
Release Date:
29 April 1964 (USA) See more »
Pure young love - or just plain sin See more »
In London, the pregnant wife of an industrialist falls down the stairs, loses her sight and has no recollection of the events but suspects that a mentally traumatic experience prior to the fall caused her accident. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. See more »
Patricia Neal: 1926-2010
 (From IMDb News. 9 August 2010, 7:54 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A 1964 hidden goodie - to a point See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Curd Jürgens ... Eric Crawford (as Curt Jurgens)

Patricia Neal ... Alison Crawford

Samantha Eggar ... Robin

Ian Bannen ... Paul
Beatrix Lehmann ... Mrs. Crawford

Elspeth March ... Mme. Valadier
Gladys Spencer
Peter Porteous
Michael McStay
Sandra Leo ... Susan
Shelley Crowhurst ... Jean

Directed by
Alexander Singer 
Writing credits
Françoise des Ligneris (novel)

Julian Zimet (screenplay) originally as Julian Halevy

Produced by
Phillip Hazleton .... producer (as Phillip Hazelton)
Original Music by
Kenneth V. Jones 
Cinematography by
Walter Lassally (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Max Benedict 
Casting by
James Liggat 
Art Direction by
John Stoll 
Costume Design by
Julie Harris 
Makeup Department
Harold Fletcher .... makeup artist
Pearl Tipaldi .... hairdresser
Production Management
R.L.M. Davidson .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Bracknell .... assistant director
Art Department
Josie MacAvin .... set dresser
Frank Willson .... assistant art director
Sound Department
Red Law .... sound recordist
George Stephenson .... sound recordist
Peter Thornton .... sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Len Harris .... camera operator
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Laura Nightingale .... wardrobe supervisor
Music Department
Kenneth V. Jones .... conductor
Other crew
Pamela Carlton .... continuity
Robert Ellis .... assistant title designer
Romek Marber .... title designer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
94 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Did You Know?

Several critics claimed to be baffled by the title of this film, but, as the plot concerns a psychological problem incurred by the heroine some five years earlier (i.e., in 1959), its meaning is self-evident.See more »


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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
A 1964 hidden goodie - to a point, 18 March 2007
Author: numberone_1 from Columbia, South Carolina

This film came on Turner Classic Movies recently, with the host mentioning that it was the film's debut on that channel, and the first film Patricia Neal made after winning the Oscar for Hud.

The story concerns a privileged upper-class blind woman named Alison (Neal), her husband Eric (Jurgens) and her younger sister, Robin (Eggar). At first all seems perfectly OK, given the circumstances, but bits of conversation are dropped here and there, darting looks are thrown here and there, and soon we realize that there is something lurking beneath the veneer of a privileged life. Alison, in the final stages of her second pregnancy, suffered a fall in her home that rendered her blind, though as she states early on, it's not that her corneas don't function, it's that her brain won't permit her to see images (paraphrasing here). Apparently this happened in 1959, hence the "'59" in the title: The story then takes place in 1964, five years after this fact, over a time period that seems to be about a month, or maybe two, when Robin re-arrives back into the lives of Eric and Alison after what appears to be a 5-year absence.

The black-and-white cinematography adds much to this film, such that I believe if it were in color, it would not be as effective. The language, dialogue and subject matter covered was ahead of its time, at least by U.S. standards, but stylistically, this matches a number of thrillers and socially-conscious dramas that came out of England in the early- to mid-1960s (e.g., Victim, Pumpkin Eater, etc.).

The first part of the film, set in London, sets up the story beautifully, and it isn't long before we start to realize that something's "up" - the carefully-worded dialogue, with certain key words and phrases omitted, or the glances of the blind Alison behind her sunglasses, to the beat of her see that all that glitters is not gold, so to speak.

The second part of the film takes place at the characters' country house, located near a coastline; It is here that the set-up for what could be a riveting tale, as depicted in the first part of the film, loses steam and slows to a crawl, such that the conclusion is neither climactic nor satisfying; this is a shame, because it could have been done much better. Besides that, I do agree with the comments made by a previous observer, including that the grandmother doesn't seem quite grandmotherly (and actually, I'm sort of confused as to why this character is even in the picture).

Nonetheless, the acting is superb by all the leads, and particularly by Neal, who carries the film, in my opinion. Pay attention to every movement she makes, whether it's with her eyes, her head or her hands; listen intently to every syllable she utters, for it is through her character that we understand the real story of what has happened, or is happening, to these three people.

The movie is based on a book by the same name by Francoise des Ligneris, which is available online.

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