Spellbound - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Spellbound Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 27, 2016
Not every director has their A-game each and every time out. For the great Alfred Hitchcock, Spellbound is one of those times. With a plot that takes a while to become interesting and an unlikable performance from Gregory Peck, Spellbound is just a middle of the road installment for Hitchcock's filmography.

Hitchock was at his prime in the 1950's, but he was no slacker in the 1940's either. With Rope, Notorious, Rebecca, Lifeboat, and Shadow of a Doubt, he continued to make great films year after year. Spellbound just wasn't one of them. The premise is classic Hitchcock. A psychiatrist gets caught up in the troubling case of a co-worker who is wanted for questioning about a murder. Throw in the fact that the two become romantically involved and you have your prototypical Hitchcock mystery suspense.

Much like most of Hitchcock's films, once you think you know what's going on, yet another plot twist unravels. So to its credit, Spellbound is unpredictable, and it definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat at certain times. But it also drags out its plot for seemingly 15 minutes too long. It's hard for a mystery of his to be boring, but the case of John B (Peck) took a long time to get interesting.

I always find Gregory Peck compelling, but I think he was caught in between making his character a charming love interest and a dangerous psychopath. So he ends up falling somewhere in an awkward middle ground. However, Ingrid Bergman and Michael Chekhov were great together as two doctors trying to get to the bottom of the case. In fact, Chekhov elevates the film to a whole new level once he appears. Bergman brought the most out of a pretty thinly written character and cemented herself once again among the great Hitchcock performances.

Spellbound lacks the subtly of Hitchcock's later dramas, but there's still the same old intrigue and reveals that make his films so appealing. With a more evened out story and a smoother performance from Peck, this could have been a classic.

+Bergman and Chekhov

+Last hour is utterly unpredictable

-First act drags

-Peck is caught in acting hell

Super Reviewer
½ April 3, 2016
A poorly-written film that deserves more credit for a surreal dream sequence designed by Salvador Dalí than a dated plot full of holes and casual sexism - especially how, for someone who is supposed to be so rational, Bergman's character is more stupid than our patience can take.
March 18, 2016
One of the memorable scenes in this film is a scene in the old Penn Station!
½ February 9, 2016
Hitchcock is fond of the "lovers on the run" theme and in Spellbound it gets a freudian twist. Still, the narrative is often times too contrived and repetitive to be as compelling as it was intended to be. This seems more like a David O. Selznick passion project with a Hitchcock touch than the other way around. That said, the touch of the master makes all the difference and we are given some unforgettable imagery.
January 19, 2016
Despite the apparent affair between Peck and Bergman while filming this movie, the connection didn't quite translate well on screen. The beginning is strongly constructed with an intriguing premise, but it wanes significantly in the middle with flat, repetitive scenes and bland story development. Although it picks up again to wrap up, ending with a typical Hitchcock twist, it does so too late in the film to save it. As a whole, proper pacing is perhaps the movie's biggest flaw.
January 6, 2016
"Spellbound" is textbook Hitchcock; brilliantly cinematic camerawork, indelible score work, and a real wicked mystery at the center of a narrative that - quite literally - kept me guessing at every turn.
Super Reviewer
½ November 16, 2015
Very good, on all fronts. Sophisticated and riveting. Between a 4 and 4.5, bumping it to a 4.5.
½ September 6, 2015
Must have been really suspenseful in 1945, not so much today. It was pretty boring and slow-moving. Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman were gorgeous though
March 20, 2015
Your mileage with this may vary based on how much you can tolerate the lunacy of Freudian psychoanalysis. That's not the films fault, but it does make a lot of the plot rather arbitrary. Still the performances are strong, especially Gregory Peck's mix of strong yet sensitive, and the images strikingly inventive even by Hitchcock standards. If you are going to make a Freudian thriller/romance this is about the best anyone could ever do.
January 20, 2015
Hitch y Freud o como alguien lo dijo un film Alfrediano , excelentes protagonistas y unas escenas oniricas diseñadas por Dalì de antología.
January 6, 2015
A great Hitchcock film with Ingrid Bergman as a shrink trying to help Gregory Peck with his memory loss. Such great suspense and i love the dream sequence by Salvador Dali.
½ December 29, 2014
Hitchcock rarely disappoints and this tense psychological drama "Spellbound" is no exception as he not only manages to get marvellous performances out of Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck, but turns cinematic convention on its head. Just normal business for him I guess.
October 25, 2014
Kept me guessing right until the end...a fantastic, thrilling and gripping film...another Hitchcock gem with superb performances from Berman and Peck.
½ October 19, 2014
"Spellbound" stands as one of Hitchcock's weakest thrillers, owing to an unnecessary emphasis on psychoanalysis. But the romantic angle is just fine, with Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck handling this capably. Hitchcock's most frequent collaborator Leo G. Carroll provides solid support as always. The highlight of the film is a surreal dream sequence designed by Salvador Dali.
September 3, 2014
Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck star in Alfred Hitchcock's "Spellbound", in which Bergman plays a psycho-analyst who falls for the new head of her Institution, only to find out he isn't who he thinks he is...he is actually an amnesiac wanted for murder. They team up to hide from the law while they try to prove his innocence. I already like both Bergman and Peck, so having them as leads only makes this Hitchcock film better. A fine mystery/thriller from Hitch.
August 3, 2014
Love and science are a perfect match.
August 1, 2014
The whole story and mystery behind it are never as interesting as you would expect and it is nowhere near his best works, but Spellbound benefits from strong acting, excellent cinematography, some very artistic and intriguing flashback sequences and very memorable, terrific score creating an eerie atmosphere as expected. As his films of this period go, it cannot be compare to Notorious, but is nonetheless better than Shadow of a Doubt.
July 27, 2014
(First and only viewing - 8/17/2010)
June 17, 2014
Hictch + great story + psychoanalysis + Dali = great film. Major distraction - the green screen skiing scene was laughable.
Super Reviewer
April 29, 2014
Dr. Alex Brulov: What is there for you to see? We both know that the mind of a woman in love is operating on the lowest level of the intellect!

"Will he Kiss me or Kill me?"

Spellbound is just another good thriller from the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. This isn't one of his best movies by any means, it isn't Vertigo, Rear Window or Psycho. What it is, though, is a thoroughly interesting, engaging and suspenseful thriller.

A new director is arriving at a mental asylum where he will begin his new job, replacing a man that has been there for 20 years. When he does arrive, the rest of the staff is baffled by his young age. The man also is showing signs of mental distress and lack of knowledge about his job. Anymore knowledge on the film would just take away from it.

There's a lot of great art direction going on in Spellbound. There are some masterfully constructed and original scenes, the least of which, not being Salvador Dali's designed dream sequence.

This Hitchcock classic is a fun ride and features all the elements of a Hitchcock film that make them so great. Obviously this is one you should see.
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