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Spellbound DVD Cover

A Psychoanalytical Presentation
at Friday Saturday Night Movies:


Saturday the 12th of May
Pot luck supper @ 7pm
Movie @ 8pm

Strange ... Strange ... Their Irresistible Love!
Dark ... Dark ... Their Inescapable Fears !

--Original tagline


USA: 1945 -- Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Ben Hecht (based on the novel The House of Dr. Edwardes by Francis Beeding)
Starring Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck & Michael Chekhov

Good night and sweet dreams... which we'll analyze in the morning.
--Dr. Alex Brulov (Michael Chekhov)

Alfred Hitchcock takes on Sigmund Freud in this thriller in which psychologist Ingrid Bergman tries to solve a murder by unlocking the clues hidden in the mind of amnesiac suspect Gregory Peck. Among the highlights is a bizarre dream sequence seemingly designed by Salvador Dali--complete with huge eyeballs and pointy scissors. Although the film is in black and white, the original release contained one subliminal blood-red frame, appearing when a gun pointed directly at the camera goes off. Spellbound is one of Hitchcock's strangest and most atmospheric films, providing the director with plenty of opportunities to explore what he called "pure cinema"--i.e., the power of pure visual associations. Miklós Rózsa's haunting score (which features a creepy theremin) won an Oscar, and the movie was nominated for best picture, director, supporting actor (Michael Chekhov), cinematography, and special visual effects. --Jim Emerson for Amazon.com essential video

Hope to see you there. I'll save you an aisle seat, a pair of skis, and a melting clock.


Won Oscar for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture

Nominated for Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Alfred Hitchcock), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Michael Chekhov), Best Black-and-White Cinematography and Best Special Effects

Won New York Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Actress: Ingrid Bergman--also for The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)

More awards

Memorable Quotes

John Ballantine: That Freud stuff's a bunch of hooey.
Dr. Alex Brulov: Oh, you are a fine one to talk! You have a guilt complex and amnesia and you don't know if you are coming or going from somewhere, but Freud is hooey! *This* you know! Hmph! Wiseguy.

Dr. Alex Brulov: My dear girl, you can not keep bumping your head against reality and saying it is not there.

More quotes


The dream sequence was designed by Salvador Dalí, and was originally supposed to run slightly longer. It included a scene in a ballroom with hanging pianos and still figures pretending to dance, filled with J.P. dancing with Dr. Peterson who turns into a statue. It was cut from the final film due to lack of time to appropriately build the set to scale (little people were used in the background to give the illusion of perception, which did not satisfy Alfred Hitchcock or Dali). Only part of it was filmed, and even less of it ended up in the release version.

The shot where the audience sees the killer's view down a gun barrel pointing at Peterson was filmed using a giant hand holding a giant gun to get the perspective correct.

David O. Selznick wanted much of the film to be based on his experiences in psychotherapy. He even brought his psychotherapist in on the set to be a technical advisor. Once when she disputed a point of fact with Alfred Hitchcock on how therapy works, Hitchcock said, "My dear, it's only a movie."

Hitchcock himself referred to the film as "just another manhunt wrapped up in pseudo-psychoanalysis".

Writer Ben Hecht consulted many of the leading psychoanalysts of the day when he was penning the screenplay.

More trivia


Continuity: When Dr. Peterson enters the library at the mental hospital, The word "LIBRARY" is clearly visible on the door in large letters. When she exits, it is gone.

Continuity: When John Ballantine, after seeing snow in Dr. Brulov's house, drops and breaks a cup full of coffee, no coffee spills on the carpet.

Continuity: The burn on JB's hand is only visible during the scene where they talk about it. It disappears in every other scene where his hand is visible (like when he is sitting on the couch with Dr Brulow).

More goofs