Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Spellbound (1945)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Spellbound (1945)

In director Alfred Hitchcock's psychological mystery-thriller:

  • psychiatrist Dr. Constance Petersen's (Ingrid Bergman) love affair with her handsome yet delusional Green Manors mental hospital patient Dr. Anthony Edwardes/John Ballantine (Gregory Peck), selected to replace the outgoing asylum director Dr. Murchison (Leo G. Carroll)
  • the image of the parallel fork lines on the tablecloth, sled tracks and patterns on the bedspread (all lines on a white background that caused anxiety attacks for paranoid, amnesia-suffering Ballantine due to a partial recollection and witnessing of the murder of his analyst - the real Dr. Edwardes - on a ski slope at Gabriel Valley)
  • the scene in which the camera focused on the straight razor carried in the hand of disturbed Ballantine as he approached the old doctor
  • the pivotal, brilliant nightmarish dream-remembrance sequence conceived by surrealist artist Salvador Dali involving eyes on a wall, a gambling room, a blackjack (21) card game with blank cards, an angry proprietor, a sloping roof, a wheel, and a pair of pursuing wings
  • the blood-chilling sequence of Ballantine's vivid memory of his young brother's accidental and tragic death by impalement on a spiked fence when he fell from a roof
  • the subjective image of the jealous murderer Dr. Murchison aiming his gun at Dr. Petersen's back after she revealed his treachery - and then after she left slowly turning it toward the camera and firing suicidally at himself - with a burst of red color gunflash (in the black and white film)


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