"Spellbound" Is Released
Spellbound is a psychological mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1945.
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 Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov and Leo G. Carroll. It is an adaptation by Angus MacPhail and Ben Hecht of the novel The House of Dr. Edwardes (1927) by Hilary Saint George Saunders and John Palmer (writing as "Francis Beeding").
As Alfred Hitchcock's classic psychothriller opens, the staff of a posh mental asylum eagerly awaits the arrival of the new director. When the man in question shows up, it turns out to be handsome psychiatrist John Ballantine (Gregory Peck). But something's wrong, here: Ballantine seems much too young for so important a position; his answers to the staff's questions are vague and detached; and he seems unusually distressed by the parallel marks, left by a fork, on a white tablecloth. Dr. Constance Peterson (Ingrid Bergman) comes to the conclusion that Ballantine is not the new director, but a profoundly disturbed amnesiac--and, possibly, the murderer of the real director. But is she correct in her inferences? Scriptwriters Angus MacPhail and Ben Hecht soon add to this the complication that Constance begins to fall in love with John. Director Hitchcock tapped surrealist artist Salvador Dali to design the visually arresting dream sequences in the film. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide