Combustible Celluloid
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With: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G. Carroll, Rhonda Fleming, John Emery, Norman Lloyd, Bill Goodwin, Steven Geray, Donald Curtis, Wallace Ford, Art Baker, Regis Toomey, Paul Harvey
Written by: Angus MacPhail, Ben Hecht, based on a book by "Francis Beeding" (a.k.a. John Palmer, Hilary St. George Saunders)
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 111
Date: 10/31/1945

Spellbound (1945)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Enter the Freud

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Spellbound was produced during the days when psychoanalysis was considered a "craze," and though it's not one of Hitchcock's masterpieces, it has a lot of great stuff, not least of which is the odd dream sequence, designed by none other than Salvador Dali. Ingrid Bergman plays a psychiatrist who falls for her new boss (Gregory Peck). Unfortunately he's a murder suspect, and they must analyze his dreams to discover who he really is.

The film received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor (for Michael Chekhov). Composer Miklós Rózsa won for his memorable score, with its eerie use of the Theremin.

Anchor Bay released the initial DVD, followed by one from the Criterion Collection. Both are out of print, and replaced in 2009 by the new MGM disc. In 2012, Fox/MGM released a new Blu-Ray, alongside Rebecca and Notorious. The high-def transfer is truly spectacular, highlighting the grain of a beautiful black-and-white film print. It features lots of good extras, some of which carry over from the Criterion edition, and some of which were new to the 2009 MGM edition (such as two critical commentary tracks). Unfortunately, it's not comprehensive, so completists will want to keep everything.

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