Hitchcock’s Film Spellbound

Inevitable, that Hitchcock, of all directors, should be the first director to deal head-on with psychoanalysis and stress disorder. He had been moving in that direction previously with psychological themes of earlier films (Shadow of a Doubt, Rebecca, Suspicion), and later would go on to explore psychology, crime, and obsession more in Psycho, Frenzy, Rear Window, and others.

His┬ásignature motif of The Wrong Man–a suspicious-behaving, falsely-accused man on the run continues in this classic as well. Strong scenes include the Salvador Dali dream sequence, the downhill skiing scene with an evil-looking Peck, the razor threat scene, and the denouement with the murderer revealed. A tad melodramatic and too much psychological deconstructing, but all in all, convincing with nice humorous touches thrown in (Bergman’s Freudian mentor). Lots to think about and discuss about abnormal psychology. It would have been a more realistic film without the intrusive, over-the-top theremin-punctuated score which won an AA.

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