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 😀

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54 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup & Musings on Hitchcock’s SPELLBOUND

  1. PrairieGirl

    Wow, I’m not sure I’ve even heard of this Hitchcock film, but like you, I LOVE Gregory Peck. And he’s very a young GP in this film (had to look it up: 1945). I will now have this flick in my queue pronto! And To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the best films ever, I’m sure you’ll be impressed with it too. Great review ;-D

    1. PrairieGirl

      BTW, To Russia With Love is on the Bond three-movie set I just got, so will bring that in for you. Saw it on Saturday night… an excellent Sean Connery Bond movie. The set came with a separate Special Features DVD for each film, and the Dr. No one is filled with gems about the digital restoration of the films, most opening nights for all the Bond films, and a really good segment on the making of Dr. No from the very beginning of getting the rights to the story. Very glad I found this gem of a collection. It also has Goldfinger.

      1. PrairieGirl

        BTW, BTW, I highly recommend Hitchcock’s Rebecca, and not just because it’s my name ;-D. It won Best Picture and Best Cinematography in 1940, and nominations for Best Actor (Lawrence Olivier), Best Actress (Joan Fontaine) and Best Director, and has an 8.4 rating on IMDb, and is so deserving. Look for quite a few lines of chauvinistic dialog in this one, too… those were the good old days 😉

        1. Wahoo, I actually saw a classic film even YOU haven’t seen, ha..ha.. This is a good one, Becky, I might even buy it at some point and then you can borrow from me. To Kill a Mockingbird is next on my GP film list, there’s a looooong list but I’ll get to ’em all hopefully 😀 What is it w/ gorgeous guys w/ names starting w/ a ‘G’ ha..ha..

          I’d love to borrow your Bond dvd set, FRWL is one of my faves from Connery’s Bonds.

          Oh yeah, Rebecca is on my Hitchcock’s must-see list. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about Olivier 😉

          1. Ruth, you haven’t seen ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’?!? That one is a must see for Peck and cast (Robert Duvall’s movie debut, btw) and splendid adaptation of Harper Lee’s extraordinary novel. I envy your first time with this one.

            1. I know, I’m ashamed of myself!! I’m gonna stop by the library tonight and see if they have it in stock. I just started reading more about it and I love the story. Can’t wait to see it, Michael, I’ll be sure to review that one once I do.

  2. Glad to hear you have watched another Hitchcock film! Sadly, I have not seen Spellbound yet, but your review has made me move it closer to the top of my list. Can’t wait to see what you select next from Hitchcock… there are so many to recommend: Rear Window, Rope, Vertigo, Psycho, Dial M For Murder. I haven’t seen a bad one yet, actually.

    1. If you’re a fan of Hitchcock, I reckon you’ll like this Eric. I think my next one would be either Rebecca, Rear Window or Vertigo. Did Peck do another Hitchcock film? If so, that’ll be on my list for sure!! 🙂

  3. As much as I live Hitchcock, this is one Hitchcock film that I have not revisited in quite a while. I remember seeing it the first time and liking it but not as much as some of his other films. Definitely the psychological aspects of this film informs his later works.

    1. Yeah I think you’re right Iba, I noticed that perhaps some of the scenes in Psycho were inspired by this film. Which Hitchcock is your favorite?

      1. One does not immediately come to mind quite frankly – I find them quite different in many ways. But here are some of my favorites (will restrict to 6):

        Vertigo
        Shadow of a Doubt
        Rope (great experiment in filmmaking)
        To Catch a Thief
        The Lady Vanishes – probably his best prior to Hollywood
        Notorious

        I will be writing about Rope tomorrow 🙂 I will update the post to incorporate your post as well 🙂

        1. Hey thanks for the shout-out on your post. Interestingly, To Catch a Thief didn’t wow me, not much chemistry between Grant and Kelly either. The rest I have yet to see. Rope does sound intriguing!

  4. Vince

    OK – I’m gonna go out on a limb here and claim credit that moi recommended this film to you when you told me of your Peck infatuation. Yes, I’m smug:) Also glad that someone else has seen it besides myself (again smug). One of my favorite Hitch films – for some reason still under the radar.

    1. HUGE THANKS for recommending this, Vince! Perfect suggestion in regards to Peck as he’s soooo dreamy in this one. He’d be hard to top from now on as I don’t know of any contemporary actor who’s as dashing as him (no, not even GB!) You have every reason to be smug 🙂

  5. I too well in my youth had an early Peck Infatuation as I grew up watching black and whites when I got addicted to Coronation Street in 78′ I think I have seen all of them as far as I know but my least favourite is ‘the Birds’ as I can take graphic horror almost as much as the next guy but that was awful. Any other Hitcock I can say no matter how disturbing or how romantic I liked them all as they were well written and directed.

    1. We have similar taste in men don’t we Stella? 😀 I saw parts of The Birds and it terrified me. I never look at a flock of birds the same way again!

      Hitchcock is the master surely, no wonder tons of filmmakers try to imitate his style.

  6. As you may already know I’m a big Dali fan so this is one of the first Hitchcock films I sought out. Having seen almost all of his US made films I’m working my way through his lesser known stuff. The pre-Rebecca, 1940’s British made films like Blackmail and The Lady Vanishes.

    Dave

    1. Hi Dave, I think my friend Becky has a DVD set of all the earlier Hitchcock stuff. I still have to catch up with his popular works though.

  7. Hi, Ruth and company:

    Nice choice!

    Hitchcock’s ‘Spellbound’ is quite good. With Peck opposite Ingrid Bergman, why wouldn’t it be? Peck has the opportunity to flex his muscles a bit with a slightly less vulnerable Bergman cast in ‘Gaslight’. Though the glimpses into Peck’s mid, via the Dali scene you mentioned, place ‘Spellbound’ in the upper strata of mystery.

    For solid, no frills Peck, I always fall back on ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, ’12 O’ Clock High’. A little known, ‘Night People’ and ‘Roman Holiday’.

    1. Hey Jack, you’re right, it CAN’T possibly be bad w/ Peck in it, ahah. So you’re saying he’s starring w/ Bergman again in Gaslight? I have to check that one out pronto!

      Yes, ‘Mockingbird’ is on my immediate to-watch list. In fact, I’m gonna check tonight if my local library has it as I can’t wait any longer! I told you I’m having a serious crushing moment 😉

      1. Hi, Ruth and company:

        ‘Gaslight’ was directed by George Cukor a year earlier, in 1944. Where Ingrid Bergman played a similar character with a new husband, Charles Boyer. A man of mystery. Who has a secret and will do anything to keep it. Including trying to drive his wife, Ingrid insane.

        Sorry if there was any confusion.

  8. I didn’t get to see any films ths weekend unfortunately Ruth. A guy at work lent me Airplane because he couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it but my little sister was visiting from Uni so we didn’t have time for movies. Wait that’s not true, I forgot, we did watch a movie. We watched The Secret of my Success with Michael J Fox. I loved that movie when I was a kid, made me feel lke anything was possible if you wanted it enough and were prepared to work for it. Still enjoyable to watch now. It started out with just me and Ira watching but we acquired a few drift ins from the other room. They were playing darts but I guess they could resist the Fox appeal 🙂 I think I might have seen Spellbound at Uni but I don’t remember the film or watching it.

    1. You haven’t seen Airplane??? It’s a hoot, Ronan, I hope you get to see it soon. Oh I’ve seen that Michael J. Fox movies several times, it’s one of my guilty pleasures. It’s preposterous but fun, poking fun at the 80s yuppy lifestyle.

  9. Ted S.

    Not much of a Hitchcock fan, so I don’t really know much about this film. I think the only film I saw from Peck was To Kill A Mockingbird, we had to read the book in 8th graded and the teacher made us watch the movie afterwards. I thought the book was great and the movie was decent.

    1. I forgot you’re not a big Hitchcock fan, Ted. I’m a bit surprised actually. What didn’t you like about it if you don’t mind me asking?

      1. Ted S.

        What I didn’t like about To Kill A Mockingbird? I haven’t seen in years but I think because the book was so good, the film just couldn’t match it. Peck was great in it though.

  10. Great review, Ruth. Peck had a good, solid outing with Hitchcock (though Cary Grant had a greater collaboration with the British director over a series of films). This one remains a must-see for GP and Hitchcock fans alike. Thanks.

    1. Believe it or not, the first Grant + Hitchcock collaboration didn’t wow me. But I did like North by Northwest. I think between Grant and Peck, I love Peck so much more… which is odd as I usually go for the Brits!

      1. Cary Grant worked with Hitchcock on four different films. ‘To Catch a Thief’ and ‘North by Northwest’ their weakest and greatest collaborations. Don’t give up on my man Cary, though. Check out ‘Suspicion’ and ‘Notorious’ before you make your final judgment :-).

        1. So you agree that ‘To Catch a Thief’ is a weak film, yay! I’m gonna check out those two on your account. Vince also recommended Notorious to me. I’m not as enamored w/ Cary as I was w/ Gregory though. I mean, the moment he appeared in the hospital, I was swooning madly 😀

  11. Hi Ruth, hope you had a lovely weekend 🙂

    Like you, this doesn’t scream ‘must see’ to me but after reading your review it does sounds very interesting. I’m a fan of Dali and that dream sequence looks fantastic!

    1. Hi Claire, I had a lovely weekend, we’re invited to dinner at a friend’s house who lives downtown. She had a fab view of the Hennepin Ave bridge which is one of the main highlights of Minneapolis. How’s yours?

      Well if you appreciate a beautiful man and a darn good mystery, then this is a movie for you!

  12. Glad to hear that you love Spellbound and appreciate the hotness that is Gregory Peck and the awesomeness of Ingrid Bergman. If you want to see Gregory Peck as a hot arrogant jerk in cowboy gear and in color, I highly recommend “Duel in the Sun.”

    1. Ha..he.. yeah, I’m having a major crush on Mr. Peck now. It’s weird, I thought I’d be like that with Cary Grant, after all I have a penchant for the Brits but something about Gregory’s face and demeanor that makes me swoon. Hot arrogant jerk? I’d love to see that. I mean, he’ll probably look hot in ANY attire, ahah.

  13. Personally, I can take or leave most of Hitchcock’s work. Not that it’s not spectacular…I just don’t really care too much. But I am glad that you surprisingly enjoyed this one.

    As for weekend watching…nothing for me this past weekend. Hoping to catch up on a few films this week!

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  15. This is another of those Hitchcock movies I haven’t seen. I will be on it soon hopefully 🙂 This past weekend, I saw Fast Five which I thought was a total blast and Despicable Me which was quite disappointing as it was too childish for my taste.

    1. Ted S.

      You probably remember my review of Fast Five Castor, I was surprised how much I enjoyed it too, the funny thing is I didn’t really care for any of the other Fast & Furious movies. I wanted to see Despicable Me but since a few people are saying it isn’t that good I might have to skip it.

      1. Yea I didn’t like the previous Fast and Furious movies either. I guess part of it is that Fast Five was a lot more of a heist movie while the others revolved around that custom car sub-culture which I could care less about.

    2. Hope you enjoy this one, Castor. A must for any Ingrid Bergman’s fan. No interest in seeing both movies you saw. I did read Ted’s review, and I find Paul Walker extremely annoying.

  16. I also haven’t seen this film. Although it is not actually that surprising as I am shocking at catching up with the classics

    Sounds great though. And I can see why you are taking a shine to Mr Peck. He is very your style of man my friend 🙂

    S

    1. Ha..ha.. that’s right matey, Mr. Peck is definitely my type. But then again there are some actors who’re supposed to be my type who I don’t find attractive, so go figure!

  17. So glad to see some more Hitchcock films taking your fancy Ruth. Of the three other Hitchcock films you’ve seen I’m not so surprised that you aren’t a big fan – apart from North By Northwest (which you liked), I’m not a huge fan of To Catch A Thief, and although I do like The Birds, it is one of his lesser efforts. My top ten Alfred Hitchcock films list should give you some ideas of what needs to be seen: http://www.top10films.co.uk/archives/5396

    1. Hey thanks for the link, Dan. That’s very helpful! I really wanted to like To Catch a Thief, but it was just ok for me. I think the chemistry between the characters are so important, and I felt that it wasn’t as strong in that one.

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