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A Dangerous Method (2011)

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A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.

Director:

David Cronenberg

Writers:

Christopher Hampton (screenplay), Christopher Hampton (play) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,434 ( 445)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 18 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keira Knightley ... Sabina Spielrein
Viggo Mortensen ... Sigmund Freud
Michael Fassbender ... Carl Jung
Vincent Cassel ... Otto Gross
Sarah Gadon ... Emma Jung
André Hennicke ... Professor Eugen Bleuler (as André M. Hennicke)
Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey ... Sándor Ferenczi
Mignon Remé Mignon Remé ... Jung's Secretary
Mareike Carrière ... Food Nurse
Franziska Arndt Franziska Arndt ... Bath Nurse
Wladimir Matuchin Wladimir Matuchin ... Nikolai Spielrein
André Dietz ... Medical Policeman
Anna Thalbach ... Bathtub Patient
Sarah Marecek Sarah Marecek ... Orchard Nurse
Bjorn Geske Bjorn Geske ... Orderly (as Björn Geske)
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Storyline

Suffering from hysteria, Sabina Spielrein is hospitalized under the care of Dr. Carl Jung who has begun using Dr. Sigmund Freud's talking cure with some of his patients. Spielrain's psychological problems are deeply rooted in her childhood and violent father. She is highly intelligent however and hopes to be a doctor, eventually becoming a psychiatrist in her own right. The married Jung and Spielrein eventually become lovers. Jung and Freud develop an almost father-son relationship with Freud seeing the young Jung as his likely successor as the standard-bearer of his beliefs. A deep rift develops between them when Jung diverges from Freud's belief that while psychoanalysis can reveal the cause of psychological problems it cannot cure the patient. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the true story of Jung, Freud and the patient who came between them. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | Germany | Canada | Switzerland | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 2011 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Un método peligroso See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$167,953, 18 November 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,702,083, 29 April 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film is based on the true doctor / patient relationship of Jung with Speilrein: with what / how he - supposedly- 'really' did attempt to cure ('relieve') her of her guilt at pleasure derived from her Father's punishment beatings - although Cronenberg admits (from the DVD presentation commentary track) that the "film is based on true events but certain scenes, especially those in private sphere, are of a speculative nature." See more »

Goofs

Both Jung (Fassbender) and Freud(Mortensen) speak in refined English accents throughout. It is however very clear that English stands in for German, thus each character is assumed to be speaking highly educated German. Jung notes that Spielrein (Knightley) speaks fluent German, albeit with an accent; and indeed Knightley speaks with a Russian accent in the role. Other characters, however, are often found to speak with German accents for some reason, which should be utterly unnecessary if English serves as the stand-in for German. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Carl Jung: [to his new patient] Good morning... I'm Dr. Jung. I admitted you yesterday.
Sabina Spielrein: I'm not... I'm not mad, you know.
Carl Jung: Let me explain what I have in mind. I propose that we meet here, most days, to talk for an hour or two.
Sabina Spielrein: Talk?
Carl Jung: Yes. Just talk. See if we can identify what's troubling you. So as to distract you as little as possible, I'm going to sit there, behind you. I'm going to ask you to try not to turn around and look at me under any circumstances. Now...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Excerpts from Siegfried
by Richard Wagner, original publication by Schott Music GmbH & Co KG, Mainz, Germany, 1876.
Adapted by Howard Shore, published by South Fifth Avenue Publishing, 2010.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Sincere Effort, But the Cake Was Left Out in the Rain
16 October 2011 | by Unbilled_RoleSee all my reviews

What was the source of conflict which caused a gulf to form between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung? When we examine their personal and professional lives, what turning points shaped their theories? What were the storms which blew through the lives of Jung and Sabina Spielrein? These are some of the questions this film attempts to highlight, and in fact begins to touch upon.

Some of the most scintillating moments of "A Dangerous Method" are sexually bracing. But the audience is left feeling a bit orphaned. Do these carnal scenes truly address the significant thematic questions?

Here's my main beef with this film: I wanted to see more time spent on the rigorous conflict between Freud and Jung. I have a sincere interest in the life of Carl Jung, but in the end, I was not sufficiently satisfied. Having said that, the production design, scenery, and costuming were absolutely wonderful.

The somber, instinctual undercurrents of "A Dangerous Method" can be a bit hypnotic. But because the script suffers, I cannot fully come under its spell. As the rolling credits came up, I personally felt a bit deflated, as if a sweet was torn from my curious grasp. Although I think most films would do well with a tighter edit, this movie could have used an additional 30 minutes of character and plot development.

I appreciated the qualities which Fassbender brought to Carl Jung. Vincent Cassel was right on the mark as the impulsive Otto Gross. Jung's insecure wife Emma was tenderly portrayed by Sarah Gadon.

Although Keira Knightley tried her best to portray Sabina Spielrein, there were certain scenes where her delivery seemed pushed. I have long respected Viggo Mortensen, but I was not fully convinced by his affected portrayal of Freud.

So, who would I cast as Sabina? Emily Mortimer, Helena Bonham Carter, or Rachel Weisz come to mind. And how about the part of Freud? Ben Kingsley, Dustin Hoffman, or Geoffrey Rush could have added a riveting twist to this role.

Is there a doctor in the house? I will leave that for you to decide.


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