a look back at salvador dalí's design of a dream for 1945 hitchcock film

a look back at salvador dalí's design of a dream for 1945 hitchcock film

centred on a gripping tale of psychoanalysis and calling in the likes of prominent spanish surrealist, salvador dalí, to realise its most challenging scenes, alfred hitchcock’s 1945 film noir thriller, spellbound, was an obvious success. in it, ingrid bergman played the psychoanalyst dr constance peterson, the only female doctor at vermont asylum green manors, perceived by the other male doctors as detached and emotionless, fated by her female existence.

a look back at salvador dalí's design of a dream for 1945 hitchcock film

all images film stills



bergman’s character drives the film, as she embarks on a journey with a man who calls himself dr anthony edwardes – played by gregory peck – before later finding out his real name is john ballantyne. ballantyne suffers from dissociative amnesia and cannot remember who he is, or why he poses as dr edwardes, but believes himself to be guilty of edwardes’ murder. eventually peterson coaxes the events from ballantyne’s mind by analysing his dreams and studying his behaviour, eventually saving him from his mind in an act of love.

a look back at salvador dalí's design of a dream for 1945 hitchcock film



to capture the scenes in which peterson infiltrates ballantyne’s mind, hitchcock hired salvador dalí who constructed a dream sequence for the film. the section of the film was to depict ballantyne’s dream, which peterson and her mentor dr brulov analyse in order to recover ballantyne’s memories. dalí and hitchcock came up with an elaborate, surreal 20-minute-long dream sequence that takes place at first in a gambling house and then on a rooftop in a forest-like setting. the scene was eventually cut to just two minutes.



what I was after was the vividness of dreams‘, hitchcock later said.as you know, all dalí’s work is very solid, very sharp, with very long perspectives, black shadows. this was again the avoidance of the cliché: all dreams in movies are blurred. it isn’t true – dalí was the best man to do the dreams because that’s what dreams should be.’



the clips that appear in spellbound capture the expectedly unusual style of dalí. in what he thinks is a ‘gambling house’, ballantyne sits playing blackjack opposite men with masked faces and blank cards, the walls covered with painted eyes. meanwhile a man with a large pair of scissors is cutting in half the large curtains that adorn the walls. in the next section, roots grow out of a chimney on a rooftop, and a rocky cliffside in the background takes the form of a man’s evil-looking face. the dalí scenes are a daring piece of cinema that sits within an otherwise logic-based sequence and plot.

via another mag

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    design news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,534 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample