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Spellbound (1945)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0

audience

83

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 16,440

My Rating

Movie Info

As Alfred Hitchcock's classic psychothriller opens, the staff of a posh mental asylum eagerly awaits the arrival of the new director. When the man in question shows up, it turns out to be handsome psychiatrist John Ballantine (Gregory Peck). But something's wrong, here: Ballantine seems much too young for so important a position; his answers to the staff's questions are vague and detached; and he seems unusually distressed by the parallel marks, left by a fork, on a white tablecloth. Dr.

Mar 13, 2001

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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All Critics (35) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (5) | DVD (29)

Not to be speechless about it, David O. Selznick has a rare film in Spellbound.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I don't agree with her much, but Pauline Kael was right about this one.

February 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

It may not be first-rank Hitchcock, but even second-tier Hitchcock is better than what most other directors produce.

February 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Made in an age when master shots often became a standard scene style, Hitchcock shows some real thought behind his composition.

February 6, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

A commercial and critical hit in its day, this Best Picture Oscar nominee has seen its standing slip in the ensuing decades, as it's never mentioned on any list of Alfred Hitchcock's best works. That's a shame.

January 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

It has a lot of great stuff, not least of which is the odd dream sequence, designed by none other than Salvador Dali.

February 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Uneven film, with fascinating dream images.

August 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

One of Hollywood's most explicit films about psychoanalysis, Spellbound takes a dubious and contrived approach to the subject, but the stars (Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck)shine and their love story is enjoyable.

June 6, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

One of the director's most laughably dated films.

May 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Severely dated but supremely entertaining psychological thriller

July 9, 2004
Kalamazoo Gazette

Stylish psychodrama

June 29, 2004
Film Journal International

Second-tier Hitchcock, notable mainly for Salvador Dali's hallucinogenic landscapes.

May 2, 2004
Flipside Movie Emporium

Mid-range Hitchcock thriller with standout dream sequence.

December 10, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

For fans of Hitchcock, it will be obvious that this isn't one of his best, but, as always, the atmosphere of suspense and mystery that he creates makes the film worth seeing.

July 23, 2003 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Spellbound lands as one of Hitchcock's classics but it's far from his best work.

October 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

an incessantly talky film, with every significant action being explained in long-winded speeches about guilt and repression

September 26, 2002
Q Network Film Desk

once again Hitchcock's camera is the star of the film, elevating its status

September 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

The pat psychoanalytic answers seem all too easy by today's standards, but that really doesn't take away from enjoyment of this classic film.

September 14, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

It sounds utterly schematic, but this top-notch production redeems the majority of the clichés.

June 3, 2002 Full Review Source: MovieMartyr.com
MovieMartyr.com

A syrupy serving of Freudian analysis that looks tempting but tastes of too much superego, id, and subconscious jive to be taken seriously.

October 2, 2001 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The best suspense film dealing with psychoanalysis that I can remember.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Audience Reviews for Spellbound

The Dali dream sequence was genius! Ingrid Bergman as a cold psychiatrist was perfect as well as a confused Gregory Peck. A story that never fully reveals itself until the last minutes, Spellbound is a film that takes commitment but is a psychological classic.
August 31, 2012
paul o.
paul oh

Super Reviewer

This was the first film to focus on the then revolutionary use of psychoanalysis. So, in regards to history, this is a fairly important film, but, when looked at today, it doesn't hold up as well. All of the psychology talk comes of as being more like psychobabble, things are dated, and the exism is notable. Of course, this was made in 1945, so it was slightly more excusable then, but it's no longer 1945, so it did get my attention a little more than it should have.

I'll excuse some of these issues though, since the story at hand is a decent one. We've got a maverick female doctor who begins treating an amnesiac who may or may not have committed murder and stolen someone's identity. Basically this is a typical Hitch murder mystery dressed up with Freudian analysis and symbolism.

But that's just fine when you've got some really good art direction, decent effects, and a sweet (and trippy) dream sequence designed by Salvador Dali. The dream sequence is definitely the highlight of the film, despite the fact that a lot of it was unfortunately cut and Dali was ultimately not happy about the end results. Still though, it's some memorable stuff.

Acting wise, we've got Gregory Peck as the male lead, and, he's good, but perhaps a bit wooden. Ingrid Bergman shines though as the female lead, and she's giving a wonderful performance here. And, keeping in line with typical Hitch, there's murder AND romance, so this film is stuffed with all sorts of things for all sorts of people. Plus, the score is nice too, if maybe somewhat schmaltzy.

All in all, a fine enough film, but kinda overrated. I'll be kind though and say it's near the top of Hitch's B-List.
June 20, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

A decent story but way too over the top with the 'psychoanalysis'. There are many things I liked about this film such as the plot line of the murder mystery and the chase, however there are also a lot of things I didn't like such as the portrayal of women and how it took itself way too seriously.
December 26, 2011
StarCrossedVoyager

Super Reviewer

Though the Salvador Dali dream sequence is the obvious highlight, the entire film feels like a dream. Beautiful black and white images and all the twists you would expect from the master director.
November 14, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

    1. Dr. Alex Brulov: Women make the best pyschoanalysts, until they fall in love. After that they make the best patients.
    – Submitted by George P (4 months ago)
    1. Dr. Anthony Edwardes: Oh, by the way - why are we going to Rockester for?
    2. Dr. Constance Peterson: Well we're going to visit Dr. Brulov.
    3. Dr. Anthony Edwardes: Oh oh oh, that's the gut who doesn't like sore-spotters
    4. Dr. Constance Peterson: He was my analyst and psycho-analyzed me.
    5. Dr. Anthony Edwardes: Really, and what was wrong with you?
    6. Dr. Constance Peterson: oh all analysts get psycho-analyze by other analysts, before they start practicing.
    7. Dr. Anthony Edwardes: Ohh; that's to make sure that they are not too crazy.
    8. Dr. Constance Peterson: Apparently the mind is never to sick to make jokes ABOUT psycho-analysis.
    9. Dr. Anthony Edwardes: I'm sorry. I'm a pig.
    10. Dr. Constance Peterson: No, I'm am; I keep forgetting you're a patient.
    11. Dr. Anthony Edwardes: So do I. When I hold you like this I feel entirely well. Will you love me just as much when I'm normal?
    12. Dr. Constance Peterson: Oh I'll be insane - about you. [girlish giggling]
    – Submitted by Christopher B (15 months ago)
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