Weekend Roundup & Musings on Hitchcock’s SPELLBOUND

Happy Monday everybody! Hope everyone had a nice weekend and get to watch a lot of movies, unlike yours truly here who only get to see ONE film the entire weekend. But the film is one I had been wanting to see for a long time, well ever since I saw Roman Holiday and fell for the ridiculously gorgeous creature named Gregory Peck and I made a vow that I have to see every film he’s in before I die. Well, it’s been slow going and with this one, I’m killing two birds with one stone as I also want to catch up with Hitchcock’s classics. So far I’ve seen three The Birds (when I was young so my memory of it is a bit hazy), To Catch a Thief (meh), and North by Northwest (ok, now I get what the fuss is about). So basically, Hitchcock has been a hit and miss for me, so I really don’t know what to expect with this one, but I loved it!

A female psychiatrist protects the identity of an amnesia patient accused of murder while attempting to recover his memory.

Ok so the subject matter doesn’t scream ‘must see’ for me normally, though I don’t mind a good psycho thriller once in a while. But once Peck entered the screen I was practically hyperventilating (ask my hubby Ivan, he..he…) but before you accuse me of loving this film only on account of him (well you’d be half right), I also like the beautiful Ingrid Bergman’s performance as Constance, the shrink who risks her career out of her love for an amnesiac patient.

Despite the slow pace, the film keeps me engaged throughout. Even the parts at the hospital where it was just Constance surrounded by her all-male colleagues, it’s quite amusing to see how they treat her. They’re respectful enough by calling her doctor, but how one of the doctors speak to her would be considered sexual harassment nowadays!

The unconventional relationship between Bergman’s and Peck’s character is the core of the story, and despite the strange coincidence of their meet-up, I totally bought their romance. Yes at times I feel like Constance needs a little slap to bring her back to her senses for sheltering a man she only knew by his initial J.B., especially after what her good friend & mentor Dr. Brulov told her. But there’s such an undeniable earnestness about Peck’s portrayal that I probably would’ve done the exact same thing!

The film is masterfully-directed by Hitchcock, no wonder it’s nominated for an Oscar. There’s a plethora of mystery and suspense that delightfully surprises. The trick is in the camera angles that made the viewer feel like we’re witnessing the action firsthand… like that scene of seeing through a glass of milk as it’s being drank by the protagonist. There is one really creepy scene of Peck’s character in Brulov’s house that reminds me of some clips/images I’ve seen of Psycho. We’re also treated to a plethora of iconic visuals, which is to be expected from Hitchcock, especially in the dream sequence designed by Salvador Dalí himself.

As for Gregory Peck, well after seeing this one, I think I have a serious crush on this classic actor. Hollywood is full of tall, dark and handsome like Cary Grant, Lawrence Olivier, Clark Gable, etc. but there is something about Peck that is so incredibly charming and um, spellbinding… ehm. His cheekbones and soulful eyes alone could inspire me to write an entire poem (if I could write one that is), and then there’s the deep voice that complements his dashing good looks perfectly.

That scene when Constance visited him in his bedroom, and he looked up at her and smiled, that was a huge swoon moment… [yowza!!] Peck and Bergman shared such an incredible chemistry in the film, and like most classic romances, I love how clean and honorable their relationship was, something totally lost in today’s movies. I might buy this film just to watch that scene over and over!! Ok, I have a LOT of his films to catch up on. Definitely To Kill a Mockingbird to see his Oscar-winning performance, but I also want to see him in David & Bathsheba, The Big Country, and Capt. Horatio Hornblower. What else would you recommend??

Well, back to the film, I highly recommend Spellbound if you haven’t seen it. It’s a classic mystery thriller with a heart, and also boast one of the most tense and satisfying ending. Again, the camera angle in that scene is just brilliant and no doubt has been numerously copied in contemporary films to date.

Well, what did you see this weekend? If you’ve seen this film, do share your thoughts on Spellbound and/or recommend a must-see Gregory Peck film for yours truly 😀