SPELLBOUND

a film by Alfred Hitchcock released through United Artists in 1945


Driven by weird-and-wondrous subjective-perspective camerawork, incisive dialogue, and an innovative dream sequence that harbors a wealth of secrets, Spellbound is a pioneering marvel.  Produced by David O. Selznick, his contract players, luminous Ingrid Bergman and austere-but-angry Gregory Peck, generate tension and heat.

Infused with well-researched psychiatric concepts, it's a race against the clock as smitten psychiatrist Constance Petersen deceives her colleagues, the authorities, and herself as she struggles to awaken painful memories in her new loveher first love, the erstwhile Dr. Edwardesbefore he's arrested for the murder of his namesake.

While the ending is great, the scenes with Dr. Brulov (Michael Chekhov) are even betterwitty and brimming with suspense.

As with another Hitchcock-Selznick collaboration, Rebecca, because of its female-centric perspective, melodramatic score, and grand romanticism, Spellbound may have less appeal to Hitchcock enthusiasts.   But it's this very tension, between thought and feeling, mind and heart, that brings the story to life.  Indeed, as reflected in its huge box-office take, Spellbound has long been a favorite of the general public.  Superficially, it's an engrossing mystery-romance.  Underneath, it's a brooding flirtation with madness, a dance with Death.

 

★★★★☆

Best for ages 12+

 

 

FEATURING

INGRID BERGMAN, GREGORY PECK, MICHAEL CHEKHOV, LEO G. CARROLL, AND RHONDA FLEMING

2023 Ian C. Bloom