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Spellbound-Alfred Hitchcock

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Spellbound-Alfred Hitchcock (Full Movie)

 

Spellbound

Is a 1945 American psychological mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It tells the story of the new head of a mental asylum who turns out not to be what he claims. The film stars Ingrid BergmanGregory PeckMichael Chekhov and Leo G. Carroll. It is an adaptation by Angus MacPhail and Ben Hechtof the novel The House of Dr. Edwardes (1927) by Hilary Saint George Saunders and John Palmer (writing as “Francis Beeding”).

Plot

The Fault… is Not in Our Stars,
But in Ourselves…
—William Shakespeare

The film opens with Shakespeare‘s proverb, and words on the screen announcing that its purpose is to highlight the virtues of psychoanalysis in banishing mental illness and restoring reason.

Dr. Constance Petersen is a psychoanalyst at Green Manors, a mental hospital in Vermont, and is perceived by the other (male) doctors as detached and emotionless. The director of the hospital, Dr. Murchison, is being forced into retirement, shortly after returning from an absence due to nervous exhaustion. His replacement is the much younger Dr. Anthony Edwardes.

Dr. Petersen notices that there is something strange about Dr. Edwardes. He has a peculiar phobia about seeing sets of parallel lines against a white background, first displayed after seeing a diagram drawn with the tines of a fork on a tablecloth. Dr. Petersen soon realizes, by comparing handwriting, that this man is an impostor and not the real Dr. Edwardes. He confides to her that he killed Dr. Edwardes and took his place. He suffers from massive amnesia and does not know who he is. Dr. Petersen believes that he is innocent and suffering from a guilt complex.

‘Dr. Edwardes’ disappears during the night, having left a note for Dr. Petersen that he is going to the Empire State Hotel in New York City. It becomes public knowledge that ‘Dr. Edwardes’ is an impostor, and that the real Dr. Edwardes is missing and may have been murdered.

Dr. Petersen goes to the Empire State Hotel, knowing that the police are in pursuit. She uses her psychoanalytic skills to unlock his amnesia and find out what had really happened. One of Hitchcock’s characteristic innocent-person-pursued-by-the-police evasions ensues, as Dr. Petersen and the impostor (who now calls himself ‘John Brown’) travel by train to Rochester, to meet Dr. Brulov, who had been Dr. Petersen’s teacher and mentor.

The two doctors analyze a dream that ‘John Brown’ had. The dream sequence (designed by Salvador Dalí) is full of psychoanalytic symbols—eyes, curtains, scissors, playing cards (some of them blank), a man with no face, a man falling off a building, a man hiding behind a chimney dropping a wheel, and wings. They deduce that Brown and Edwardes had been on a ski trip together (the lines in white being ski tracks) and that Edwardes had somehow died there. Dr. Petersen and Brown go to the Gabriel Valley ski resort (the wings provide a clue) to reenact the event and unlock his repressed memories.

Near the bottom of the hill, Brown’s memory suddenly returns. He recalls that there is a precipice in front of them, over which Edwardes had fallen to his death. He stops them just in time. He also remembers a traumatic event from his childhood—he slid down a hand rail and accidentally knocked his brother onto sharp pointed railings, killing him. This incident had caused him to develop amnesia and a generalized guilt complex. He also remembers that his real name is John Ballantyne. All is understood now, and Ballantyne is about to be exonerated, when it is discovered that Edwardes had a bullet in his body. Ballantyne is convicted of murder and sent to prison.

A heartbroken Dr. Petersen returns to her position at the hospital, where Dr. Murchison is once again the director. After reconsidering her notes from the dream, Dr. Petersen realizes that the ‘wheel’ was a revolver and that the man hiding behind the chimney and dropping the wheel was Dr. Murchison hiding behind a tree, shooting Dr. Edwardes and dropping the gun. She confronts Murchison with this and he confesses, but says that he didn’t drop the gun; he still has it. He pulls it out of his desk and threatens to shoot her. She walks away, the gun still pointed at her, and explains that while the first murder carried extenuating circumstances of his own mental state, murdering her as well would result in the electric chair. He allows her to leave and turns the gun on himself. Dr. Petersen is then reunited with Ballantyne.

Cast

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spellbound_(1945_film)

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