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This pseudobiographical movie depicts five years from 1885 on in the life of the Viennese psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). At this time, most of his colleagues refuse to cure hysteric patients, because they believe they're just simulating to gain attention. But Freud learns to use hypnosis to find out the reasons for the psychosis. His main patient is a young woman who refuses to drink water and is plagued repeatedly by the same nightmare.Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Originally prepared at 140 minutes; cut to 120 minutes for theatrical release. Some older TV prints still use the cut version; full-length version is now available on DVD in the UK (as of 2015 there has been no domestic Region 1 DVD release.) See more »
I agree with most of the positive reviews here at IMDb, so I will concentrate on another aspect of the film.
Hollywood legend contends that during the shooting of FREUD, John Huston gleefully and sadistically brutalized poor, trusting Montgomery Clift, both physically and emotionally. The story took hold and has been repeated countless times by Clift biographers down to this day, despite the lack of any corroborating witnesses, plus no other actors ever came forward to say that Huston was so cruel to them on other shoots.
For the most part, John Huston didn't care what people said about him, but this story actually did damage to his reputation. It is the only negative story about Huston that he felt the need to respond to. In his 1979 memoirs, AN OPEN BOOK, Huston gives a detailed account of the shooting of FREUD, and addresses the specific allegations against him. We may never know the whole truth, but Huston does quite a credible job of defending himself. Naturally, his side of the story never got as much attention as the original charges. You should find the book and read it.
More trivia: After Jean-Paul Sartre's death, his admirers published much of his original, unused screen treatment, and predictably condemned John Huston for not filming Sartre's eight-hour screenplay (as if anyone would have tolerated an eight-hour movie).
Because of Sigmund Freud's theories, FREUD was arguably the first motion picture to deal, even briefly, with the subject of incest. In real life, Freud contended that many adolescents go through a phase where they have sexual feelings for their parents of the opposite sex, and then go into denial that they ever felt such things after they get older. If Freud was correct, the denial is very strong, for he is reviled for this theory to this day. But readers, can you HONESTLY say that, as a young teen, that you never once cast a glance at mom's legs or her cleavage?
FREUD is a good biographical film, and it is a shame that it has never been pleased on VHS or DVD. One has to wonder why---maybe Freud's theories still hit that raw of a nerve?
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