SPELLBOUND
1945, Walt Disney Co., 111 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

When bespectacled psychiatrist Ingrid Bergman discovers Gregory Peck is not the famous visiting shrink Dr. Edwardes but a traumatized amnesiac, she suddenly realizes she’s in love with him. But is Peck a victim of circumstance or the missing doctor’s killer? Director Alfred Hitchcock tackles Freudian territory as well as repressed memories (ably abetted by Surrealist Salvador Dali, who designed the startling dream sequence) and seamlessly blends the elements into a romantic and suspenseful spellbinder.


THE LADY VANISHES
1938, Park Circus/MGM, 97 min, UK, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

No one believes witty playgirl Iris Henderson (a fine Margaret Lockwood) when she claims the elderly “governess” Miss Froy has mysteriously disappeared from a train en route from the fictional country of Bandrika to Western Europe. No one, except for charming Gilbert (Michael Redgrave), who joins forces with Iris to expose the foreboding magic trick of a woman vanishing into thin air on a moving locomotive. Featuring mesmerizing overlapping camera work by cinematographer Jack Cox and a script loaded with can’t-believe-that-slid-past-the-censors political doozies, THE LADY VANISHES is so much more than its usual branding as “light entertainment” - it’s Hitchcock at his pre-Hollywood best, a perfect blend of suspense and screwball.Watch for Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford as two cricket-obsessed fellow passengers - their pairing here was so successful, they co-starred in a further 10 films playing essentially the same characters!


SHADOW OF A DOUBT
1943, Universal, 108 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

What starts out as a charming portrait of idyllic small-town life gradually darkens into one of director Alfred Hitchcock’s most devastating thrillers. Teenager Teresa Wright’s romantic illusions about her beloved Uncle Charlie (Joseph Cotten) gradually are shattered by the suspicion that he may be the diabolical Merry Widow serial killer. Add to the mix a rewardingly rich tapestry of eccentric characters (Henry Travers, Hume Cronyn and Patricia Collinge are standouts in the cast), and you have one of Hitchcock’s most brilliantly constructed films.


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