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#23 Spellbound

Sigmund Freud meets Salvador Dali in this psychological thriller starring Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman. William Shakespeare’s proverb “the fault is not in our stars… but in ourselves” opens this film that deals with psychoanalysis as a backdrop to a variety of murder, mystery, and romance that dominates the action. Peck plays the newly hired director of a mental hospital, however it soon becomes clear to Bergman (a psychoanalyst and his employee) that he is not who he says he is. Peck admits to Bergman that he is an imposter who has murdered the real doctor, all the while being able to offer no details as he is suffering from massive amnesia.

What unfolds next is an outrageous plot in which Bergman protects the confused, guilt-ridden Peck as she believes he is an innocent man that has been framed. Memorable scenes include flashback sequences in which Peck regains his memory, including a dream sequence that Salvador Dali himself directed that has symbolic meaning in a way that helps the story unfold. It should also be noted that you can’t help but see Freud in Michael Chekhov’s character who plays Bergman’s mentor in the film, and character actor Leo G Carroll (in six Hitchcock films) plays perhaps his finest role as the true mastermind and villain. Carroll and Bergman of course turn in the film’s best sequence with a closing scene that the audience will never forget.

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