Context: Psychiatrist Dr. Constance Petersen (Ingrid Bergman) has fallen in love with her new colleague, despite the fact she’s recently discovered that he’s an impostor suffering from amnesia. He’s also suspected of murder (whattacatch!), but luckily our mystery man looks and sounds exactly like 29-year-old Gregory Peck (Welcome to swoontown, population you!), and he seems to be equally besotted with Constance.
The lovers are now on the run and she’s trying to cure that pesky amnesia and discover the identity of the real murderer. After a rather “handsy” train journey, they arrive at the home of her old mentor and pose as newlyweds in need of a place to honeymoon. And now they’re shacked up together for the night,… in a bedroom… alone… and they’re not really married -gasp! (Just remember this is Hays-code-America circa 1945, mmkay?)
Aesthetic: Have you SEEN these two? Ingrid and Greg possess not only beautiful faces, but two pairs of the most lucious lips in cinematic history. Who needs special styling or fancy scenery? They could be wearing sweats and a t-shirt and they’d still be supa seksi
Direction: Nice one, Hitch. Sit two beautiful people in front of a camera and some lights. Then have them speak a few lines of flirty dialogue before interrupting themselves mid-sentence in order to kiss the living crap out of each other. Keep it simple.
Technique: What even is that, Greg? Are you trying to kill us all? It’s just the right mixture of smooch and hands, with a little mid-kiss rib-squeeze added for good measure. Well played, sir. Well played. (Did I just get too detailed? I’m such a creep.) And, as per usual, Ingrid excels at playing the woman who’s trying to catch her breath through all the “head-swimming” that’s going on.
Originally I was going to say something about the most famous kiss in Spellbound. Y’know, THAT kiss, where the pre-kiss closeups are so terribly thrilling. But I’m far too shallow to want to review a ttly hawt kiss that’s completely obscured by a random metaphor-door-opening overlay, u feel me?
In my opinion, this is by far the best kiss in Spellbound, despite the fact that there are several excellent contenders throughout. Let’s just not talk about the fact that nearly every romantic moment in this movie is ruined by Greg having a total freak-out at the tiniest things just because they remind him of something from his forgotten past, k?
I give it an official CelluloidSnogs™ rating of **mother fetch the smelling salts!**
Alfred Hitchcock was determined to use Dali’s skills to design the Freudian dream sequence in his film “Spellbound”. David O. Selznick made it possible. Hitchcock recalled in his 1962 interview with François Truffaut. “I could have taken De Chirico or Max Ernst,” Hitchcock said, "but no one is as imaginative and extravagant as Dali. I wanted Dali because of the architectural sharpness of his work. Chirico has the same quality, you know, the long shadows, the infinity of distance and the converging lines of perspective. But Dali had some strange ideas. He wanted a statue to crack like a shell falling apart, with ants crawling all over it. And underneath, there would be Ingrid Bergman, covered by ants! It just wasn’t possible.” <source>