Starring Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Leo G. Carroll, Rhonda Fleming, Michael Chekhov
(7-Very Good Film)
Hammy. Intriguing. Interesting.
The great Alfred Hitchcock fashions a mystery thriller out of cheesy movie psychology; an excellent one at that. Overwrought to the point that it sometimes resembles a B-movie science fiction film (the type that were popular a decade later), Spellbound stars Ingrid Bergman as a prim psychologist, Dr. Peterson, working at an elite mental hospital. Her male coworkers note that she’s like a robot, the way she works coldly without emotion. One day, the hospital director, Dr. Murchison (Carroll), is asked to step down and retire, making way for a younger outsider, Dr. Edwards (Peck), to replace him. Edwards seems strange on arrival, more like a patient than a doctor at times, but that doesn’t keep Dr. Peterson from falling in love with him. Soon, the doctors at the hospital find out that the new doctor is not Dr. Edwards at all, and that the real doctor is missing. Peterson is the only one that believes in the imposter’s innocence, perhaps blinded by love, and discovers that he’s suffering from amnesia. The two go on the run, and try to get to the bottom of the fake Doctor Edwards’ psychological problems. Kooky science aside, sentimental romance and all, Spellbound is a thrilling film, with beautiful stars, and a gripping mystery.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-