The 30th film Hitchcock directed was the intriguingly titled Spellbound, however rather disappointingly it does not involve witches (as you would think from the title) but rather explored the subject of psychoanalysis.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Ingrid Bergman plays Dr. Constance Petersen, a lonely psychoanalyst working in a mental hospital, when her new boss (Gregory Peck) arrives and acts in a strange manner it does not take her long to realise he is not who he says he is. This leads to a series of discoveries as the two leads go on the run in attempt to clear his name and discover who he really is.

THE GOOD

The main thing this film is famed for is the dream sequence and it is easy to see why. The dream sequence created by famous surrealist artist Salvador Dali is incredible to watch as a sequence of strange imagery that really helps create a dream-like world. The sequence is only two minutes long in the final cut of the film however it was originally planned to be 20 mins and I am going to endeavor to find this extended version.

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The performances of both lead characters are some of the best I have seen in a Hitchcock film, Bergman is (as always) impeccable as the hard-working doctor tied down to her job. However it is Peck who really makes this film portraying a man who doesn’t know who he is perfectly in a truly believable performance.

There are a few moments in this film that are extremely Hitchcockian and deserve a mention. Firstly the use of notes is incredibly important in this film as it allows for visual storytelling. However it the close-up of important objects that really bring this film to life; the point-of-view shots of a glass of milk being drunk and also of a gun being fired look incredibly realistic (especially the gun and hand which had to be specially made giant models to get the perspectives right).

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THE BAD
The bad points in this film feel is the same as every week in that the characters fall in love near instantly and this is so unbelievably cheesy that it just destroys the movie. 

The ending also felt a little forced with the dream sequence suddenly making complete sense and everything being explained in a very roundabout scene. But this was no real issue overall.

 

CAMEO O’CLOCK

Hitchcock makes a cameo about 40 minutes in leaving a hotel carrying a violin.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

Spellbound is a good film throughout without ever really coming across a great. Therefore it must be awarded 4 Hitchstars.

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