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Spellbound Dr. Constance Petersen (Ingrid Bergman) is a psychiatrist at Green Manors mental asylum. The head of Green Manors has just been replaced, with his replacement being the renowned Dr. Anthony Edwardes (Gregory Peck). Romance blossoms between Dr. Petersen and Dr. Edwards, but Dr. Edwards starts to show odd aversions and personality traits…
Terrific! Powerful mystery leads to romance.
An amnesia patient(Gregory Peck)is believed to be a psychotic killer. Bits and pieces of his memory about a childhood accident makes him believe that he is a murderer. Ingrid Bergman plays a young psychiatrist, who helps Peck unravel his past and regain his memory and mental health. During this process, the lovely doctor tries not to fall in love with her needy patient. She takes him to her old professor(Michael Chekhov) for help. He is reluctant to get involved with solving the mystery to clear the patient’s name.
Brilliant camera work and being filmed in black & white really helped the story line. There is an eye opening dream sequence designed by Salvador Dali that is down right mystic.
The strong and talented cast also includes: Regis Toomey, Leo G. Carroll and Rhonda Fleming. This film is worth the time to watch again and again.
Bergman is great!
In his excellent study of Ingrid Bergman for the Pyramid Illustrated History of the Movies series, Curtis F. Brown tells exactly what is wrong with Spellbound: “In addition to Gregory Peck’s callow appearance and wooden acting, the film has other serious faults. One is its pretentious and simplistic ‘dream sequence. Another is the dialogue.”
Most of the picture is thrown Bergman’s way and she is such an accomplished actress and lights up the screen with such a charismatic inner radiance that it doesn’t really matter what she says. The logical, pragmatic side of our brain is only half-listening. And as for Peck, for once his very shallowness and lack of presence is ideally suited for the part he is called upon to play.The support cast, led by Leo G. Carroll, is also sufficiently professional to either smooth out or neatly contrast the gauche acting of the amateurish Peck. Though why Michael Chekhov was honored with a Supporting Actor nomination is beyond me. Competent enough he certainly is, but he is among the least interesting of the supporting line-up. Other names that spring to mind well before Chekhov’ are John Emery, Rhonda Fleming, Norman Lloyd and Wallace Ford.
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