Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1945. Selznick International Pictures, Vanguard Films. Screenplay by Ben Hecht, adaptation by Angus MacPhail, based on the novel The House of Dr. Edwardes by Frances Beeding. Cinematography by George Barnes. Produced by David O. Selznick. Music by Miklos Rozsa. Production Design by James Basevi. Costume Design by Ann Peck, Howard Greer. Film Editing by Hal C. Kern.
Even Hitchcock pointed out that this drama was a plain old manhunt story disguised under its more psychologically intricate trappings. Ingrid Bergman plays a psychiatrist whose latest patient (Gregory Peck at his most wooden) is being disturbed by terrible dreams that might be connected to a recent murder in which he has been implicated. Convinced that the man might be innocent, Bergman hides her patient from the police until she is able to discern exactly what is going on in the deep recesses of his brain. The plot is a big pot of hullabaloo, and it’s not even that interesting, highlighted only marginally by a fantastically designed dream sequence that was overseen by painter Salvador Dali. It is enjoyable though, and high points are a great supporting turn by Michael Chekhov and a brilliant score by Miklos Rozsa, not to mention the delightful turn of events that has a woman playing the domineering, depth-plunging doctor while the man is the helpless, needy patient.
The Criterion Collection: #136
Academy Award: Best Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Supporting Actor (Michael Chekhov); Best Director (Alfred Hitchcock); Best Cinematography-BW; Best Special Effects
Venice Film Festival: In Competition