Spellbound

Spellbound

DVD - 2008
Average Rating:
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The new director of a mental institution is an amnesiac and an imposter. A staff member who loves him helps him to discover the truth.
Publisher: Beverly Hills, CA : Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, c2008
Branch Call Number: DVD FIC SPE
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 111 min.) :,sd., b&w ;,4 3/4 in.
Alternative Title: Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound

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f
Fuzzy_Wuzzy
May 28, 2015

Well, I'll tell you one thing for certain - Alfred Hitchcock's "Spellbound" definitely didn't hold me spellbound. Far from it. In fact, a number of times throughout the story I actually burst out laughing at how corny, clichéd, and, yes, cockeyed this particular romance was.

I guess back in 1945 (with WW2 ending, and everything) they must have figured that no matter how implausible and dumb "Spellbound's" story really was, it couldn't fail to be a success since it starred 2 of Hollywood's most beautiful and adored actors-of-the-day, Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck (both in their prime at 30).

And, of course, Spellbound was, indeed, a huge hit when it was first released.

For me, though - About the only thing worth watching Spellbound for was its brief dream sequence which was conceived by surrealist artist, Salvador Dali.

Unfortunately, this particular episode in the film was cut from its original 20 minutes to only 2 minutes by the film's producer, David Selznick, who, apparently, clashed with Hitchcock often over the direction of this production.

d
Derringer
May 19, 2015

If you thought that it was impossible for movie-maker Alfred Hitchcock to direct a dud, well, think again. 'Cause here you have it.

On a psychoanalytical level, "Spellbound" was an absolute joke. I mean, I'm certainly no psychiatrist, or anything like that, but even from a layman's perspective, this "terrible-excuse-for-a-romance" was actually quite insulting to any thinking person.

In particular, it was the repeated, bug-eyed fainting spells of Gregory Peck's character, coupled with some very silly, "eerie"-sounding background music, that almost reduced "Spellbound" to the dimwitted level of being a typical, Hollywood "Screwball" comedy, 1940's style.

Yes. I could certainly go on and on here, finding more and more fault with this movie. But, on a positive note - One thing I can say for "Spellbound" was that it sure did look good. Without a doubt, the camera-work was easily the strongest point of this $1.5 million production.

n
Nursebob
Dec 11, 2014

Resident psychiatrist Constance Petersen finds her cold heart warming to Dr. Edwardes, the new head of Green Manors sanitarium—-in fact, after a single afternoon’s stroll the two fall hopelessly in love. Sadly, Constance quickly discovers that Edwardes is not only harbouring a dark secret, but he may not even be the man he claims to be…if only he could remember. Suddenly finding herself involved in a murder investigation (did he or didn’t he?) a lovestruck Petersen flees to New York with her amnesiac lover in the hopes of unlocking his memories and clearing his name before the police dragnet closes in… Hitchcock’s stylish whodunit was touted as the first serious “psychoanalytical” film upon its initial release, by today’s standards however its mental health slant comes across as so much naïve psycho-gibberish, although a dream sequence designed by surrealist Salvador Dali serves up a visual treat while a colourful patient session with a sexually repressed man-hater adds a little spice. Furthermore the film’s subtle sexism (“Women make the best psychoanalysts until they fall in love. After that they make the best patients”) becomes annoying real fast. Hitchcock’s signature flair for pairing rousing orchestral scores with eye-catching cinematography is evident throughout but too many outrageous twists and gimmicks involving ski slopes, dream interpretation, and a giant papier-mâché hand push the envelope past credibility and towards the ludicrous. If it were not for the star power of leads Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck I would give this one a pass.

g
garycornell
Jul 14, 2014

"Spellbound" is a great Alfred Hitchcock movie. Here we see the workings of psychiatry of the 1950's. Alfred Hitchcock assumes we all think the worst of these professionals. So what does he do, he shows us the crooked side of a psychiatry hospital. Good idea for a movie and great acting by Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman. Am I the only one who falls in love with her every time I watch one of her performances. At the time, she was one of the most beautiful leading ladies in Hollywood. As a doctor in "Spellbound" she really captures your imagination. Without giving any more details out, give this film a chance. It will deliver the Five Stars it so rightfully deserves!

m
Monolith
Aug 24, 2013

I loved it. Ingrid Bergman was an absolutely stunning woman. Great actress, too. Hitchcock approaches this noir uniquely, with Bergman as a psychoanalyst, acting as a detective. Dali's surrealistic dream sequences were 'spellbinding' (lol) (unfortunately abbreviated by Selznick; the missing ones forever lost). The skiing scene was hilarious. Great ending. FIVE STARS.

huntm Jul 21, 2012

Ingrid Bergman has the same expression throughout the movie, but I still respect her acting. For a drama it was too superficial. Gregory Peck fit his part pretty well and made the mood more mysterious and the audience more captivated. The coolest part was when Bergman and Peck act as a married couple, go to an old professor's house thinking he'll fall for their camouflage but he's not that stupid. Professor Alex cracked me up every time he shot back a witty answer. Watch the movie, the ending is worth it.

k
Kaschurman
Apr 18, 2012

Not my favorite Hitchcock movie, but still fun.

r
rslade
Feb 15, 2012

Hitchcock always provides both tension and humour. There is a bit of a lack of logic in the plot of this one. The Daliesque dream sequence is interesting, and it's too bad they didn't do more with other "dreams."

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m
Monolith
Aug 24, 2013

Dr. Alex Brulov: "Good night and happy dreams... which we will analyze at breakfast."

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