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Spellbound Blu-ray Review

“Spellbound” is not one of Hitchcock’s finer efforts.

Ingrid Bergman plays Dr. Peterson, a psychiatrist/psychoanalyst who falls for what she believes is Dr. Edwardes (played by Gregory Peck). As it turns out, he is not Dr. Edwardes, but a mysterious impostor who doesn’t know who he is. Not only has he lost his memory, however, but he may also be responsible for the death of the REAL Dr. Edwardes. On top of that, the impostor is prone to having strange breakdowns upon seeing images with white tracks with lines. Can. Dr. Peterson help the mysterious man remember who he is and if he is responsible for the crime? Can the breakdown situation be figured out?

When I first saw “Spellbound” many years ago, I wasn’t a fan. I felt it was a lesser Hitchcock film that suffered from dull psycho babble conversations and a truly preposterous story. Revisiting the film in 2012, my opinion has not changed. In fact, I think the film is worse.

Aside from some inventive POV shots and a wildy creative dream sequence that Hitchcock collaborated with the brilliant artist Salvador Dali on, “Spellbound” has little to offer. The romance is forced, the story is absurd, the skiing scene has the worst bluescreen in history, and the dialogue is beyond corny. How can you not gag when you hear lines like “Will you love me just as much when I’m normal?” or “Liverwurst…” said with a teen-in-love sigh.

Summary: Skip “Spellbound” and pick up “Notorious” on Blu-ray instead.


The film is presented in 1.33:1 1080p and, to be quite honest, I wasn’t very impressed with this transfer. I noticed a lot of lines and scratches with an abundance of grain to boot. I can’t help but feel like this transfer could look better.

The Mono DTS-HD audio track is flat out, well…flat.

* “Spellbound” theatrical trailer.
* “Dreaming With Scissors: Hitchcock, Surrealism, and Salvador Dali”- A featurette about Dali (and his involvement with “Spellbound”), surrealism, etc.
* “Guilt By Association: Psychoanalyzing Spellbound”- A featurette about topics explored in “Spellbound” such as trauma, psychoanalysis, human psyche, dreams, etc.
* “A Cinderella Story: Rhonda Fleming”- An interview with the actress who appears in the opening of “Spellbound.”
* 1948 “Spellbound” Radio Play Starring Joseph Cotten And Valli. I love the inclusion of the radio dramas on these Hitchcock discs.
* “Peter Bogdanovich Interviews Hitchcock”- Always worth listening to.

*Commentary by film professors Thomas Schatz and Charles Ramirez Berg. Dry, but informative.

February 14, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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