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on 1 April 2012
Having recently seen the disappointing film 'A Dangerous Method', I was expecting this Hollywood film a) to be flat and undramatic and b) to have simplified and 'dumbed down' Freud's ideas. In reality it was an excellent drama, like something by Hitchcock, and the portrayal of Freud's ideas was genuinely informative and subtle. Montgomery Clift's portrayal of Freud is also interesting - a tortured truth-seeker and not the steely-eyed haute-bourgeois that we have come to imagine (perhaps he became that later on). All in all, an excellent film.
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on 18 April 2013
FREUD is probably John Huston's most underrated film. The direction, acting, cinematography, and music are all top-notch. And, anyone familiar with Freud's life and thought should be gratified to see the care John Huston took to present Sigmund Freud's ideas and case histories. Unfortunately, one crucial dream scene is missing from this DVD release. In the original theatrical version, after "Freud" faints, when trying to enter the cemetery for his father's funeral, a dream sequence appeared wherein "Freud" sees a sign in a train station telling him "the eyes must remain shut"". On this DVD, after the fainting scene, we merely see a mysterious train pulling out from a station. This, the very end of the originally presented dream, is all we get! Since the full dream isn't shown, the next few scenes where "Freud" tries to decipher that dream's meaning make no sense whatsoever. It is exasperating to see a DVD of a film which has not been available in any previous video release, finally appear after all these years, with a key scene missing.
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on 14 February 2011
Unlike his fellow colleagues, the young doctor Sigmund Freud (Montgomery Clift) doesn't see hysteria in patients as a ploy to get attention but rather a symptom of a deeper, underlying neuroses. With this in mind, he concentrates on exploring the subconscious, often using hypnosis, in an attempt unlock their repressed memories and bring about a cure. Directed by John Huston, it's impossible to portray a lifetime of work in a two hours, fifteen minute running time so Huston cheats by cramming many case histories in several patients. Much of it can justifiably be called simplistic (as many of Freud's detractors would say of many of his theories) but what Huston has done, and what makes the film work, is turn Freud's research into a psychological thriller and exploration of the subconscious mind that is as riveting as any Agatha Christie mystery. Clift as Freud seems a trifle more reactive than necessary. In a way, this seems like an extension of his doctor in SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER. The real scene stealer here is the young Susannah York as his neurotic patient who is a cornucopia of symptoms (my favorite moment is when York says, "I was raised Prostitute ..... I mean Protestant!"). Curiously, Huston himself narrates Freud's inner thoughts rather than Clift. There's a superb atonal Oscar nominated score by Jerry Goldsmith. With Larry Parks, Susan Kohner, Eileen Herlie, Eric Portman, David McCallum and Rosalie Crutchley.

The Spanish DVD is a sharp wide screen (1.78) transfer but not anamorphic with English or Spanish tracks and removable subtitles.
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on 15 July 2016
Why oh why does a company release a DVD in 2013 that is non-anamorphic widescreen? Come on Transition Digital Media - letterboxing died 10 years ago when 4:3 analogue TVs died. To release a DVD with formatting designed for obsolete TVs is lazy and pathetic. Shame since the print looks good. This has been the first purchase by me of a Transition Digital Media release and frankly, it will most likely be my last. Seek Freud from a DVD release company that is living in modern times.
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on 8 October 2014
John Huston wasn't one to indulge in regrets about what might have been, but if ever a film-title was written on his heart, it was surely that of this film. Having elected to go with Montgomery Clft in the title-role (a very reasonable casting choice, on the face of it), Huston found that the hard-drinking and notoriously neurotic actor had declined steeply since they had worked together on "The Misfits" the previous year, and it was a daily agony to get any kind of performance out of him. Scenes had constantly to be rewritten because Clift couldn't manage their subtleties, he would turn up drunk or else find any excuse to storm off the set and the shooting became immensely protracted. Huston - whose famously low threshold of boredom must have been sorely tested - had wanted to make a film about the founder of psychoanalysis ever since the end of World War II, when he'd made a famous documentary about the Army Psychiatric Unit; to have this dream project collapse on him when he finally got the wherewithal to make it must have been nightmarish. What's astonishing is that none of this pain and trouble is noticeable in the finished product, which is immensely engrossing - and Clift's performance, it must be said, seems just fine. Universal had no faith in the film's box-office potential, and when it opened in Britain, a full nine months after its US premiere, they had cut it by 20 minutes and retitled it ("Freud: The Secret Passion" - desperate or what?), and even then it was hardly shown. So the chance to see it now should emphatically be taken. Be warned, though - this isn't quite the full 140 minutes, although it is very nearly that. Incomprehensibly, a dream sequence seems to have been very briefly (and obviously) trimmed. This doesn't do much damage, it seems only a matter of seconds; but it's most annoying.
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My father was a psychiatrist, so I grew up respecting Freud while very aware of the failures and rigidities inherent in his method. This sparked a lifelong interest on Freud in me, though from a historical perspective rather than as a practitioner. I have read many histories of the period and about all the other theories that his ideas spawned.

This is an absolutely beautiful dramatization of Freud's greatest period of discovery, when he resisted the prestigious medical establishment in Vienna to forge ahead with his radical theories. Not only does the film outline the process of scientific discovery, but it presents the basic ideas lucidly and with surprising historical accuracy, given the compromises needed to form a Hollywood narrative. This is an extraordinary accomplishment, in my opinion.

Through wonderfully dramatic case studies, we experience Freud's development of an new approach to hysteria (that it exists and can be dealt with through hypnosis, involving the re-experiencing of the original trauma and thereby eliminating it for good); the founding of the theory of sexual neurosis (obviously questionable with what we now know with subsequent science) as the principal basis of psychological trauma; the discovery that dreams and free association can lead to communication with the unconscious mind; and finally, the working out of how this should work therapeutically. Freud explores not just the pathologies of his patients, but his own neuroses, all the while managing his professional and personal relationships. In my opinion, it is a brilliant success as a drama and an informative documentary - it does not unacceptably over-simplify or transmogrify, but portrays Freud as the brilliant humanist and healer that he was.

This is a pioneering film, I have never seen anything like it as means to transmit ideas. Recommended with enthusiasm.
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on 29 January 2013
This film was made half a century ago, well before I was born, but I am now so much obsessed with it.
It is well explained in details - frightening thesis Freud concludes. These are now something everybody knows but must be very uncomfortable to face in old days.

The best parts of the films are the photographs and music. The folklore like pictures are wonderful. Especially the one David McCallum portrays the disturbed young son of General was stunningly beautiful.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 November 2014
A quite solid transfer of a rather plodding biopic that is brilliantly designed and well acted but falls foul of an uninspired script.
Not an easy subject to attempt in the first place "Freud" is a long and "serious" attempt that fails to hold ones interest over its lengthy running time.
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on 5 February 2014
I love this film. It is an interesting account of the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. Shot in black and white, this seems to add greatly to the subject matter. The film is rather experiential, taking the observer into the worlds of psychological disturbance as well as exploring Freud's life, who was actually a rather brilliant man. The film is quite a work of art.
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on 12 July 2013
Another good performancebyParks on the blacklist and a great performance by Clifton the decline.A very interesting movie directed by John Houston
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