Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Producer: David O. Selznick
Dream sequence based on designs by Salvador Dalí made in 1945
Length: 107 min.
In 1945, Salvador Dalí moved to Hollywood to work on the film Spellbound, directed by the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock and starring Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman. This is one of the first American films to use psychoanalysis as a major element of the story. Hitchcock wanted to capture the vividness of dreams as never before and felt that Dalí was the person to help him do so. Given the importance of the dream sequence, the director gave the artist free rein to bring to the screen an innovative vision of the way dreams could be represented.
The artist's participation in the film was centred on the design of the sets for the dream sequence that sets in motion the bringing to light of the principal plot twist. The creative influence of the artist is also evident in the many characteristically Dalinian motifs that appear throughout the film, including the recurring emphasis on eyes, seen here through or behind scissors.
Although cuts in the budget of the film led to some dissatisfaction with the end result for Hitchcock and Dalí - the latter no doubt found it frustrating to compromise in the way his ideas were reflected on the big screen - the dream sequences stand out nevertheless for their great beauty and visual power.