Piazza Maggiore > 21:45


Alfred Hitchcock
Introduced by


Original score re-recorded on vinyl for Ceux qui ne s’en font pas

To precede: Ceux qui ne s’en font pas
with the original score re-recorded on vinyl for Ceux qui ne s’en font pas

Introduced by Sophie Seydoux (Fondation Jérôme Seydoux- Pathé)


(In case of rain, the screening will take place at Arlecchino Cinema, Jolly Cinema and in Sala Scorsese)

Screening promoted by DoDo


Saturday 24/06/2023


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

“All that is enchanting produces a kind of perpetual sparkle,” writes Emanuele Trevi in the autofictional novel that three years ago won him the Premio Strega (the main Italian literary prize), and this is exactly what happens to Ingrid Bergman in Spellbound, from the scene in which Dr Petersen enters breathless and sits at the dinner table where her colleagues, seven dwarfs not all of them benevolent, gather around a Snow White who has just received her kiss. Something will always sparkle around her, filtering through her slightly disheveled hair, glowing in the cheeks that we imagine to be flushed; this enchanting nature, this spell is the law of attraction that gives the film its equilibrium. Spellbound was poorly received, from James Agee’s “surprisingly disappointing” to the “disaster” evoked by Pauline Kael; then, in these last decades, in the climate of universal adoration reserved for Hitchcock, the few who have written about it have done so with more respect and leniency. However, it remains a sinuous dance of stereotypes, the psychiatrist gone mad, the unfairly accused amnesiac, the doctor who takes off her glasses and becomes “toute femme,” as Rohmer and Chabrol wrote, down to the good paternal Freud of New England.
But between one step and another of this psychoanalysis, illustrated like a fairy-tale, what formidable glimpses this camera offers to our eyes: poor Gregory Peck, who hates white and stripes due to an old trauma, enters the blinding whiteness of a tiled bathroom and instantly we understand “the unlimited, cryptic terror which can reside in mere objects” (still Agee). Then, the return of the repressed, in just two silenced shots, is the most concise and chilling we can remember. The showdown, with its gush of red at the end, is also wonderfully balanced between pathos and cold sweat – honor to Ben Hecht. And Salvador Dalí? Dalí was brought on board by Selznick, and Selznick is one of the reasons why historians have treated the film with detachment, opining that the producer’s hand was too evident (Hitchcock never endorsed this opinion). The long dream sequence is a wild extravaganza, but the escape of the doors opening one after the other still gives us a languid thrill (even more so, on a much larger screen) for its symbolic, erotic elegance.

Paola Cristalli

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dal racconto The House of Dr. Edwardes (1927) di Francis Beeding. Scen.: Ben Hecht. F.: George Barnes. M.: William Ziegler, Hal C. Kern. Scgf.: James Basevi. Mus.: Miklós Rózsa. Int.: Ingrid Bergman (dottoressa Costanza Petersen), Gregory Peck (John Ballantyne/dottor Antonio Edwardes), Rhonda Fleming (Mary Carmichael), Michail Čechov (dottor Alessio Brulov), Leo G. Carroll (dottor Murchison), John Emery (dottor Fleurot), Steven Geray (dottor Graff), Norman Lloyd (Mr. Garmes). Prod.: David O. Selznick per United Artists. DCP. Bn.


Director: Germaine Dulac
Year: 1930
Country: Francia
Running time: 6'
Film Version

French intertitles with English subtitles