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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling psychological drama
This movie is a product of that golden age of incredible plots, talented actors, and visionary directing. A description of the plot may sound somewhat banal, and I doubt if the same movie could be made today and be taken seriously, but this classic is a masterful piece of cinema. When Dr. Edwards (Gregory Peck) arrives at Green Manors Mental Asylum to replace the head...
Published on 29 Nov 2002 by Daniel Jolley

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Turn the music down!
I enjoyed this film when I saw it on television many years ago and jumped at the chance to buy the DVD. The story is much as one would expect from a Hitchcock film; the acting is excellent, as one would expect from stars of the calibre of Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman. The Sigmund Freud character stands out too.
I was however disappointed to discover that while the...
Published on 9 May 2012 by Amos Spitalhatch


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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling psychological drama, 29 Nov 2002
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This movie is a product of that golden age of incredible plots, talented actors, and visionary directing. A description of the plot may sound somewhat banal, and I doubt if the same movie could be made today and be taken seriously, but this classic is a masterful piece of cinema. When Dr. Edwards (Gregory Peck) arrives at Green Manors Mental Asylum to replace the head man, he quickly falls for the heretofore distant, hyperanalytical Dr. Constance Petersen (played by the incomparable Ingrid Bergman). Constance soon discovers that the man she is falling in love with is not Dr. Edwards at all but is instead an amnesiac who has taken the place of the real Dr. Edwards. Although the impostor is afraid he killed the real doctor, Constance is determined to help him regain his memory. The mystery of Dr. Edward's disappearance quickly leads to a police investigation, but Constance follows her "patient" to the city and eventually takes him to the home of her mentor, striving to prove that the man she loves is not a murderer. The ending, I must say, does not disappoint; it actually exceeded my own expectations.
Bergman is naturally wonderful in her role, and her accent adds a trace of mystery to an already suspenseful story. The portrayal of Dr. Murchison, the previous head of the asylum, is smooth, polished, and quite effective, and the actor portraying Constance's former mentor does a masterful job as a somewhat stereotypical pseudo-Freud blessed with a penchant for making remarks I found quite humorous. While Gregory Peck is also very good, he seems to go a little over the top at times when he is reacting to troubling stimuli. Hitchcock's direction is both innovative and masterful. There are several scenes involving unusual camera shots that add much to the atmosphere of mounting suspense, and a dream sequence supposedly designed by Salvador Dali is unique and oddly compelling.
Certainly, Freudian analysis was more in vogue when this movie was made in 1955 than it is now. It is Constance's belief that something from the impostor's childhood triggered his amnesia, and she seeks to help him by unlocking his buried memories. A crucial plot point centers around a surreal dream the impostor has and Constance's interpretation of its meaning. While some modern viewers may scoff at the notions espoused here, such feelings should take nothing away from the enjoyment of this classic, atmospheric, suspenseful drama.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding!, 11 Aug 2009
By 
Kenneth F. Mcara "Kenneth F. McAra" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Spellbound [1945] [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of several Hitchcock films which have been released by Fremantle as having been "restored from the original negative and...also...digitally restored for optimum picture and sound quality". The results of the process used are patchy in the other films (Notorious [1946] [DVD] and Paradine Case [DVD] [1947]) resulting in a soundtrack which needs the volume turned up high and a rather 'soft' picture quality, but 'Spellbound' seems to have turned out best.

It's an everyday tale of psychiatrists at work and play in and around the Green Manors Mental Asylum, which is suddenly disrupted by the arrival of the famous Dr Edwards (Gregory Peck), who no one from the institution has ever met or seen before - or have they?

There then follows a love affair with Ingrid Bergman, dramatic handwriting comparisons, escape from the police, drugged milk, Peck wielding a cut-throat razor, gigantic 'prop' hands, Peck skiing down a mountain whilst still wearing his lounge suit, a single frame of colour (red) and the famous Salvador Dali "dream" sequence which is satisfyingly like one of his paintings come to life.

Magnificent fun in a decent print at a very attractive price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's All In The Mind, 12 Mar 2013
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
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This 1945 film that master director Alfred Hitchcock made during his spell working for Hollywood 'mega-producer' David O Selznick has a number of things going for it, but overall does not (for me at least) rank with Hitch's top work. In its favour, it has the (relatively) novel premise (at the time) of being a study about psychoanalysis, a subject (together with its related issues) that Hitch was, of course, to feature in a number of his later films (Strangers On A Train, Psycho, Marnie, etc).

Spellbound also features a generally impressive performance from Ingrid Bergman (her first of three for the director) as the outwardly cold-hearted (a 'human glacier'), but passionate, psychoanalyst Dr Constance Petersen, into whose mental institution arrives one day (apparently) Dr Anthony Edwardes (Gregory Peck) as a replacement for imminent retiree Dr Murchison (the reliable Leo G Carroll). Bergman is good here, particularly during the more suspenseful (as opposed to romantic) moments, though not (for me) as effective as she was in the superior Notorious. Peck, though, whilst OK as the amnesiac with a guilt complex (another of Hitch's protagonists whose circumstances have, through no fault of their own, conspired against them) just does not quite cut it for me, and makes me wonder what Hitch stalwarts Cary Grant or James Stewart would have made of the role. I also regard the film as being something of a film of two halves. The first hour is generally suspenseful as Petersen's suspicions as to Edwardes' background are aroused, and also features some amusing, good-natured joshing of Petersen's infatuation with the institution's newcomer by her work colleagues. The second half, in which Petersen and Edwardes effectively elope, whilst still containing a few nice set-pieces, rather overdoes the romance and is, for me, less engaging.

That said, there are still more brilliant trademark Hitch set-pieces and delightful cameo acting performances to leave the vast majority of other film-makers in the shade. My favourite set-pieces include (short-hand): doors opening sequence; letter under the door; rail ticket window; unidentified policemen in the room; white bathroom and razor; downhill skiing; concluding gun barrel POV. Cameo performance wise we have: a young Rhonda Fleming as the vampy inmate Mary Carmichael (scratching an orderly's hand); the marvellous Norman Lloyd (yes, him from Saboteur's Statue of Liberty scene) as the guilt-ridden inmate, Mr Garmes; Wallace Ford as a (typically Hitch) flirtatious man hassling Petersen in the hotel lobby; and Michael Chekhov (rather more than a cameo) as the forensically intellectual doctor, Alexander Brulov.

Of course, the film is also famous for its Salvador Dali dream sequence which is very interesting and novel for its time. Miklos Rozsa wrote a generally impressive score for the film, which mixed both the haunting and the romantic (although, for me, the main romantic theme is probably overused).

Not absolutely top notch Hitch, therefore, but of considerable merit, nevertheless.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It Makes You Want To Write A Review!, 13 Jan 2006
It has been said to be one of Hitchcock's more interesting "failures". I loved it and I think the reason that it has been deemed a failure is because it doesn't consentrate on suspense as much as his others around that time. Plus David O. Selznick was not the best partner for Hitch and interfeered a lot.
The story revolves on the axis of psychoanalysis and maybe consentrates on the theme a little too much as Hitch was interested in the criminal mind. But it is obviously a classic Hitchcock and, contrary to another reviwer, has stood the test of time.
As for suspense, there are a number of obviouse occasions where it is being put to great use- With the gun at the end and the ski slope to name but two. And all through the movie there is a lingering shadow, or rather layer of dread that they may be found out before Peck is cured.
There are also some ingenuitive and ingenious Hitchcock moments; the milk glass and the flash of colour (in a black and white movie) as the gun is fired- from a great angle... plus Dali's dream sequence which is entrawling! Just one of those examples will definetly whet your apetite.
Ingrid Bergman is absolutly fantastic in this film; better, even, than in Notorious, and is a delight to watch. It will strike you straight away and she keeps it up throughout the entire picture.
Gregory Peck is, as always, a treat and matches Cary Grant as one of Hitchcock's top leading men.
The twists at the end are captivating and will get your pulse racing.
Maybe Hitchcock's most unusual U.S film and a must have for collectors and fans. It pairs well with the different but brilliant Notorious!
Nuff' Said!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 13 Jan 2013
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An all time classic in mindblowing HD, a must have for every Hitchcock fan, great on Blu Ray, real HD Quality for your money
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great film, 21 April 2012
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This review is from: Spellbound [1945] [DVD] (DVD)
typically great hitchcock film I enjoyed the way it showed how two people can fall in love mainly because they cared about each other without all the gratuitous graphic sex scenes so prevalent in modern films.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Hitchcock Gem, 19 Oct 2011
This review is from: Spellbound [1945] [DVD] (DVD)
Anyone who has even a passing interest in psychology, and enjoys Alfred Hitchcock, should see this movie. Ingrid Bergman is sensational as the serious minded and unintentionally sexy psychiatrist, Contance Peterson, practicing at a mental institution. Gregory Peck is very convincing as the mysterious and peculiar Dr. Ballantine, who comes to work at the mental health facility. It becomes obvious that Ballantine, who turns out to be as troubled as many of his patients, was involved in a crime. Amnesia prevents him from remembering the details. Dr. Peterson, who falls deeply in love with him, is convinced that he is guiltless. She struggles to put together the puzzle that she believes will prove his innocence.

Jennifer K. Lafferty
Author of Offbeat Love Stories and More
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Turn the music down!, 9 May 2012
By 
Amos Spitalhatch (Hamilton, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Spellbound [1945] [DVD] (DVD)
I enjoyed this film when I saw it on television many years ago and jumped at the chance to buy the DVD. The story is much as one would expect from a Hitchcock film; the acting is excellent, as one would expect from stars of the calibre of Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman. The Sigmund Freud character stands out too.
I was however disappointed to discover that while the film has been restored to its original pristine state, the sound leaves a lot to be desired.
I have poor hearing and strained to follow the dialogue, only to be knocked over the back of my chair by the teeth-rattling dramatic music that intruded at regular intervals.
The music is too loud and the film should have a subtitle option.
Pity really - I'd been looking forward to seeing it again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alfred Hitchock's "Spellbound", 28 Nov 2010
This review is from: Spellbound [1945] [DVD] (DVD)
I already knew that I loved this film foremost the dream sequence especially made for this film by the great painter (in my mind)Salvidore Dali. As the video format will be no longer viable I wanted/required the dvd.

There is information on the main actors, notably, Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck which makes this dvd more collectable. As I also like the director Alfred Hitcock's work this is the start of my dvd collection of the films I admire best. One of them being "Marnie" with Tippi Hedren and one of the best loved 007 Sean Connery.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Happy with each one, 13 July 2014
This review is from: Spellbound [1945] [DVD] (DVD)
Happy with each one, but several are better directed, and some are seamless, a real perfection, thus the 5 star.
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