Hitchcock's Spellbound for $9.99...worth it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jon_Are, Jan 10, 2002.

  1. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    I know this isn't considered one of Hitch's masterpieces, but with Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman, how bad can it be? I had it in my hands, put it back, picked it up again, then put it back. Now I feel like scurrying back and picking it up. Anyone seen this film?

    Jon
     
  2. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    I've never seen the film, but it is fairly highly regarded.

    You may be interested to know that Criterion will be releasing this one shortly, so you may want to wait for that.
     
  3. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    I saw it in a repertory cinema a few years, and wow, its absolutely brilliant. Along with Rebecca, easily one of my favourites of Hitch's 40s period. Peck and Bergman and great, and Salvador Dali designed some outlandish dream sequences. The final revelation is surprisingly horrific for a film of the period. HIghly recommended. So much better than the oh-so overrated (IMO) Notorious.
    I'd certainly wait for the 2-disc Criterion version coming out later this year. It's sure to sport a superb transfer and extras, if their recent Rebecca disc is anything to go by.
    Enjoy!
     
  4. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  5. PatrickL

    PatrickL Second Unit

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    Since you're asking for opinions, here's mine: Spellbound isn't top-drawer Hitchcock, but it's better than his average. The plot suffers from an over-reliance on superficial psychology, and there is something a little off with the chemistry between Peck and Bergman. I may be in the minority on that opinion. That said, it is well worth seeing, but as has been said here already, I'd wait for the Criterion edition.

    By the way, I'm going back many years to several courses I took on Hitchcock, but weren't the Dali sequences heavily cut? I seem to remember looking at stills of Ingrid Bergman from a Dali-designed sequence that didn't make it to the movie.
     
  6. Randy_M

    Randy_M Supporting Actor

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    If you don't care about extras, the AB version ain't half bad. The transfer is really quite good, but there are NO extras.

    So, for movie only, I'd say go for it...I'd guess the Criterion will be triple this price (I'll be upgrading, however).

    Me, I like the film. If it weren't for Gregory (the wood man) Peck, I think it would have been a whole lot better, IMO.

    Cheers
     
  7. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    The Anchor Bay DVD is definitely worth $10, but you may want to hold out for the Criterion edition as others have mentioned. A lot of people complained about the removal of a brief red-tinted sequence from the otherwise black and white film, but this was the case with most previous video versions as well. The Criterion will undoubtedly have it right, but will likely cost US$40 before discounts. This is an excellent film and would be noteworthy for the Hitchcock-Salvador Dali collaboration on the dream sequence if nothing else.

    Regards
     
  8. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Wasn't the brief red tint corrected in later pressings of the AB disc? Though I don't think there's any way to tell them apart, I'd guess most store inventory is the later pressing by now. No promises, though.
     
  9. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I understand the red tint was restored. I had a pre- red tint restoration version, but traded it away when I heard about the Criterion edition.

    FWIW, I'd rent the Anchor Bay and wait to purchase the Criterion. Both Criterion's "Notorious" and "Rebecca" are a couple of my very favorite discs from 2001, and I suspect "Spellbound" will be every bit as good (though I don't care for the film, itself, nearly as much as the other two).
     
  10. Tom Fynan

    Tom Fynan Stunt Coordinator

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    The Anchor Bay disc does have the red tint at the end. Some early copies were defective, and lacked this, as well as the overture and end music. I got one of them, but Anchor Bay replaced it quickly and for free. My new disc has a gold plastic case, while the defective one was black.

    The movie looks very good on the Anchor Bay disc, and if you are not certain about it, and the choice is between this and the more expensive Criterion, at $10 you really can't go wrong. It is not top drawer Hitchcock, but it's probably above middle drawer, I think it is better than its reputation. Ingrid Bergman looks absolutely ravishing, and watching her performance is worth the price of any DVD.

    The dream sequence was originally longer than what is in the film. The most famous image that got cut is of Ingrid Bergman emerging from a statue as the plaster flies off piece by piece. She talked about how it was filmed in several books on Hitchcock. It would be great if the footage still existed, and was on the Criterion disc.

    Tom Fynan
     
  11. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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  12. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I bought my AB Spellbound shortly before the Criterion announcement which was well over a year after the initial release, and there was no red tint. I don't know anyone who has a corrected disc, but I only know a couple people who have it at all. Doe anyone on the forum actually own a corrected disc?

    Regards,
     
  13. Randy_M

    Randy_M Supporting Actor

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    Mine lacks the red tint also
     
  14. Mitchell Kaufman

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    Hate to rain on the parade, but I don't like the picture on the Anchor Bay disc of Spellbound at all. It's soft and flat-looking. You may also note that sections have been tinted green or purple. (You may not notice this at your normal color setting, but crank it up and you'll see what I mean.)
    I bought the disc when it was first issued, and it's an "uncorrected" copy. (I hadn't heard until now that there was a corrected version.)
    Oh, and by the way, the sound on this disc is so lacking in the high end that it's almost unintelligable.
    And the film...well, lover of Hitchcock that I am, I feel anything he did is worth looking at. But to tell you the truth, this is mostly pseudo-Freudian hokum. Not one of his better films, IMO.
    OTOH, I just got through watching the original Cape Fear...now that's a good Hitchcock film. Who cares if Hitchcock didn't direct it? (Very nice disc, too--highly recommended if you haven't seen it.)
    MK
     

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