Spellbound (2014) / Comedy-Drama
MPAA Rated: R for language, including some suggestive references
Running Time: 115 min.
Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G. Carroll, Rhonda Fleming
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenplay: Jon Favreau
Review published May 28, 1999
An amnesiac (Peck, Roman Holiday) assumes the identity of a missing man named Dr. Edwards who was about to become the head of a psychiatric institution. He is soon discovered by a fellow female doctor (Bergman, Gaslight) to be a fraud, but doesn't know why he has assumed Edwards' identity or what has happened to him, even thinking he may have possibly murdered him. Haunted by strange dreams, the female doctor goes off with him, trying to unlock the secret to his delusions and the fate of Dr. Edwards, all the while falling in love with him.
It's one of the first films about psychoanalysis, and quite interesting on that level. There are many fine and memorable elements to the film, including a remarkable dream sequence done by Salvador Dali. It's not without flaws, especially given Peck's stiff acting style, and some of the dialogue is corny even for 1945. Alfred Hitchcock (Lifeboat, Shadow of a Doubt) was going though his David O. Selznick/lush violin stage, which becomes annoying after a while making scenes seem overly maudlin (Fittingly Hitch's cameo in this film is of him carrying a violin.) A solidly entertaining Hitchcock film, but certainly not among his pantheon of classics and masterpieces.
©1999 Vince Leo