Movie Review-Spellbound

The Blu ray special features include…
Commentary with Author and Film Professor Thomas Schatz & Film Professor Charles Ramirez Berg
Dreaming with Scissors: Hitchcock, Surrealism and Salvador Dalí
Guilt by Association: Psychoanalyzing Spellbound
A Cinderella Story: Rhonda Fleming
1948 Radio Play
Hitchcock Audio Interview
Original Theatrical Trailer

Plot-Originally released in 1945, and courtesy of the fine folks at MGM is finally available on blu ray. Dr. Constance Peterson is a psychiatrist who is both caught up in and passionate about her job. Then she meets and falls in love with Dr. Edwardes. Unfortunately, it soon becomes clear that Edwardes is an impostor, an amnesiac, who may or may not be a cold-blooded murderer. Pursued by the police, Constance must decide whether to turn in her mysterious lover…or risk her life by trying to unlock the dark secrets in his mind. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck.

Review-I am a die hard Hitchcock fan and while I will not be putting this film in my top 5, it was still a fun watch for the most part. First off, let’s talk about the blu ray transfer. Compared to the Criterion edition that was put out a few years ago for a hefty price tag, this transfer hands down blows that away by miles. The blu transfer looks sleeker, while dated at times, it still is more clear and better sounding than any dvd I have seen of it. All old school horror buffs know in the 40’s the craze was psychoanalysis, just like today it is found footage or possession films. I once read that Alfred Hitchcock was almost forced to put Gregory Peck in the role of Edwardes (the man who suffers from amnesia), and watching this film you can tell. Gregory Peck just seems out of place at times, almost like he is not comfortable in the role. Ingrid Bergman tries her hardest to make his role seem convincing but it just seems like Peck overacts at times when he needed to be more subtle, and subtle at times he needed to go for it. The legendary Salvador Dali designed dream sequence was amazing, as Hitchcock always wanted to work with Dali and it showed that Dali had the same passion to work with Hitchcock.

Spellbound is one of Hitchcock’s weirdest films to rate. The plot and credibility are so heavily dependent on theories of psychoanalysis that are implausible. This film has so much that it always seems to ask the audience to suspend their disbelief and no matter how flawed or implausible it seems, to just be entertained by it. All in all, this is Hitchcock and it gives the fan an excuse to enjoy a classic of his on blu ray.

7 out of 10