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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 starts to study it in depth. When he experiments on a friend's wife, she regresses into an early life--that of Bridey Murphy. Several ... See full summary »


Noel Langley


Morey Bernstein (book), Noel Langley


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Teresa Wright ... Ruth Simmons
Louis Hayward ... Morey Bernstein
Nancy Gates ... Hazel Bernstein
Kenneth Tobey ... Rex Simmons
Richard Anderson ... Dr. Deering
Tom McKee Tom McKee ... Catlett
Janet Riley Janet Riley ... Lois Morgan
Charles Boaz Charles Boaz ... Jerry Thomas
Lawrence Fletcher ... Cranmer
Charles Maxwell Charles Maxwell ... Father Bernard
Walter Kingsford ... Professor
Noel Leslie Noel Leslie ... Edgar Cayce
William Joseph Barker William Joseph Barker ... Himself (as William J. Barker)
Eilene Janssen ... Bridey Murphy at Age 15
Bradford Jackson ... Brian MacCarthy at Age 17


After being shown what hypnotism can do, a doctor starts to study it in depth. When he experiments on a friend's wife, she regresses into an early life--that of Bridey Murphy. Several hypnotic sessions explore the life and death of this 19th-century Irishwoman who lived in Cork and Belfast from 1978 until 1864, and the doctor attempts to verify that Bridey Murphy actually existed. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

1 October 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La vita oltre la vita See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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


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

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User Reviews

Was there such a person?
3 September 2004 | by sol1218See all my reviews

Even though the movie "The search for Bridey Murphy" has been noted back in the 1950's and up to now to be a story about reincarnation and if it is or is not a fact the film is really about hypnotism and hypnotherapy.

Mostly the movie is about a Pueblo Colorado housewife Ruth Simmons, Teresa White, being regressed in time by hypnotist Morey Bernstein, Louis Hayward. At first to where Ruth was a little girl to where she's regressed back to the life that she lead before she was born as Ruth Simmons in 1923 as a Irish Protestant woman named Bridey Murphy who lived from 1798 to 1864 in Cork County and later, when she was married, in Belfast Ireland.

The film makers didn't really seem to know how to handle the story and in the end opted out for the use of hypnosis in curing illnesses that are beyond the reach of modern medicine and seemed to have completely forgot about the facts or follies of reincarnation. It seems to me that the subject was a little too hot for those who made the movie to handle at that time and dropped it altogether by the end of the film.

What really frustrated me about "The search for Bridey Murphy" was that the film had Morey Bernstein get information out of Ruth Simmons while she was under hypnosis about her life back in Ireland in the 19th century. This was to see if she was truthful about what she told him since there was no why she could have known about her life as Bridey Murphy back then unless what she said was true. Still we never knew if any of that information that he got from Ruth ever checked out or not thus proving or disproving, at least in the movie, if reincarnation is a reality or just another old wives tale.

Another thing that the film "The search for Bridey Murphy" did was introduce many people to the life and works of the late "Sleeping Prophet" Edgar Cayce. Cayce was noted for his belief in reincarnation and was said to have cured, by putting himself under hypnosis, over 2,000 people by finding out what was ailing them through the illnesses that they had in their past lives. Which Cayce in his sleeping state could interpret.

Still the movie is interesting and with hundreds of books written about past-life regression and reincarnation over the last fifty or so years since the movie and book "The search for Bridey Murphy" was released. Which shows that the subject of re-birth is more then ever on the minds of millions of people here in the US and in Europe. As well as in the Orient India and many other cultures in the world where it's, reincarnation, considered by many millions of people to be an irrefutable fact of life as well as death.

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