Spellbound

Spellbound ★★★

Spellbound is, in a way, your typical Hitchcock yarn - wrong man on the run out to prove his innocence - except this time its wrapped up in a psychoanalytic dressing. The rather unlikely plot focuses on Dr. Constance Peterson - a psychologist who has her cold heart melted when Dr. Anthony Edwardes arrives at the hospital where she works. Only Edwardes isn't who he says he is - he's an imposter who may have killed the real Edwardes. Dr Constance immediately forsakes all her training, assumes his innocence, and goes on the run with him to prove it. I had a hard time buying into the plot, but the stars and director do their best to sell it. Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck have a good on screen chemistry, while Hitchcock manages to generate suspense in places - particularly over the central conceit as to whether or not Peck's character is a murderer. At the same time many scenes feel over long and dragged out. The big standout is easily the surrealist dream sequence which was designed by Salvador Dali. That pretty much makes the film worth a look it's own. The big twist at the end wraps everything up with a big convenient bow - though it is capped off with an ingenious POV sequence. Spellbound really is a mixed bag - certainly not my favourite Hitchcock film, but there are plenty of interesting elements.

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