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An examination of Sigmund Freud's career when he began to treat patients diagnosed with hysteria, using the radical technique of hypnosis.

Director:

John Huston

Writers:

Charles Kaufman (screenplay), Wolfgang Reinhardt (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Montgomery Clift ... Sigmund Freud
Susannah York ... Cecily Koertner
Larry Parks ... Dr. Joseph Breuer
Susan Kohner ... Martha Freud
Eileen Herlie ... Frau Ida Koertner
Fernand Ledoux ... Dr. Charcot
David McCallum ... Carl von Schlosser
Rosalie Crutchley ... Frau Amalia Freud
David Kossoff ... Jacob Freud
Joseph Fürst ... Herr Jacob Koertner (as Joseph Furst)
Alexander Mango Alexander Mango ... Babinsky
Leonard Sachs Leonard Sachs ... Brouhardier
Eric Portman ... Dr. Theodore Meynert
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Storyline

This pseudobiographical movie depicts five years from 1885 on in the life of the Viennese psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). At this time, most of his colleagues refuse to cure hysteric patients, because they believe they're just simulating to gain attention. But Freud learns to use hypnosis to find out the reasons for the psychosis. His main patient is a young woman who refuses to drink water and is plagued repeatedly by the same nightmare. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 December 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Freud: The Secret Passion See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(theatrical) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Huston provides the narration. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: Since ancient times there have been three great changes in man's idea of himself. Three major blows dealt us in our vanity. Before Copernicus, we thought we were the centre of the universe, that all the heavenly bodies revolved around our Earth. But the great astronomer shattered that conceit and we were forced to admit our planet is but one of many which swing around the sun, that there are other systems beyond our solar system in myriad worlds. Before Charles Darwin man believed he was a ...
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Alternate Versions

Originally prepared at 140 minutes; cut to 120 minutes for theatrical release. Some older TV prints still use the cut version; full-length version is now available on DVD in the UK (as of 2015 there has been no domestic Region 1 DVD release.) See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Beast Within: The Making of 'Alien' (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
excellent bio by Huston
23 May 2002 | by scgary66See all my reviews

Huston does very good work here, using a fine script in presenting the story of Freud not as a standard biography, but concentrating only on his initial work in examining the effect of the subconscious mind on conscious (though perhaps involuntary) actions - an idea believed preposterous at the time. The narrative is presented essentially as a psychological detective story, as Freud tries to discover the root causes of one patient's multiple afflictions and aberrant behavior, none of which has any physical cause. The film uses depictions of memories, dreams, thoughts as visual clues - all progressively revealing more - to lead us (and Freud) steadily closer to the underlying truth in the case, as well as in other areas disturbing him.

The opening and closing narration (by Huston) is effective, though the occasional narration he does as the story progresses bothered me a little; it was as if they felt there was something missing from the film which had to be explained in voiceover, and it also pulled me out of the story momentarily. Probably it would have been more effective if Clift (rather than Huston) had done the narration, from Freud's point of view, in the body of the film.

The film, which maintains a serious, fiercely somber atmosphere throughout (similar to The Elephant Man though perhaps more so here), does not proceed with any real speed - you'll need to stay with it; and the dark, harsh style of photography and music (while effective) might be difficult for some viewers. You need not agree with Freud's concluding theories (many of which are not held in particularly high regard today) in order to recognize the importance and validity of his primary methods and pioneering work in what was then a highly ridiculed field. 8 of 10


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