1945 | B&W | 111 mins | Classified PG
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Screenplay by Ben Hecht. Music by Miklós Rózsa .
With Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo. G. Carroll, Rhonda Fleming.
With dream sequences designed by Salvador Dali, and the eerie sound of the theremin to represent mental derangement, SPELLBOUND plunges deep into a mysterious world of psychoanalysis. Bergman plays a psychiatrist so dedicated to her work that her colleagues refer to her as “an iceberg”. The story involves murder and a manhunt, but it is the awakening of Bergman to love that drives the film powerfully onwards. Bergman’s performance, delivered in lingering close-ups, is brilliantly detailed and engaging: her hesitancy to engage with a young man suffering from amnesia is riveting as she gradually opens her heart to him. The film’s producer David Selznick, and the screenwriter, Ben Hecht, were both deeply interested in psychotherapy, but one suspects that Hitchcock’s primary fascination lay with the emotional anguish in the love story and the visual novelties of the dream sequences: these are filmed with an intensity that serves Bergman’s performance magnificently. And Miklós Rózsa’s score is lush, romantic and one of his best works for the cinema.