Spellbound (1945) – Alfred Hitchcock

A film starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck directed by Alfred Hitchcock can’t be anything but a winner, and is my next stop on the What Else to Watch list from DK Canada’s The Movie Book following their recommendation of the title, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

The ever-appealing Bergman plays psychiatrist, Dr. Constance Petersen, who works at Green Manors, a mental asylum. She’s brilliant and capable, and there’s a new case that has been brought to her attention.

Gregory Peck is more than he seems when he shows up at the asylum, supposedly as the new head of the asylum, Dr. Anthony Edwardes. But he may be an imposter, one suffering from amnesia, and even as romance blooms between the two characters, Constance is determined to get to the truth. But that truth may cause problems for everyone, including the beautiful doctor.

Bergman and Peck are amazing, and under Hitchcock’s able hand the tale is engaging, and by turns romantic and thrilling.

I’ve seen a fair share of Hitchcock’s films, and love a number of them, but amazingly had never seen this one. I quite regret that because, well, Bergman.

I was pleasantly surprised by this entire film, it has moments of humour, tension, and lots of romance.

When Edwardes runs, Petersen uses his skills to track him down, doing her best to avoid any police or her fellow doctors, as she works to resolve Edwardes issues.

Dali Dream Sequence_3

And those issues flare a number of times, as he speaks rudely, and cruelly to Petersen, yet the two of them still work to discover who he is, despite this. He is haunted and troubled by things he encounters, though he doesn’t know why, and he reacts adversely to countless things. Through it all, Petersen does her best to help him, to push him to remember, to understand.

This is something that may put her right in harm’s way.

There are some great scenes and moments, watching Peck stand menacingly over the sleeping form of Bergman is enough to cause palpitations, and you know something terrible is going to happen; straight razors are never a good thing in these kind of movies.

The dream sequences, created by Salvador Dali are simply fantastic and amazing to watch. That paired with Bergman and Peck, there is absolutely everything to love about this film.

The reveals as Petersen gets closer to the heart of the matter are well done, and will, inevitably lead to a happy ending of sorts, because you know it simply has to. We want to see Petersen and Edwardes together. The final reveal, the one that supplies the breakthrough is done so well, you can’t hope but flinch at the reality of it.

The climax is thrilling, and Bergman confronts it cooly, and with presence.

Spellbound is a invigorating, highly enjoyable film, and we’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg with DK Canada’s The Movie Book. Pick it up, and dig in for an evening’s worth (and beyond) of entertainment.






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