|Hauntingly evocative Spanish-language theatre poster|
Freud (also know as Freud - The Secret Passion)
|Freud in 1885|
|Montgomery Clift as Freud|
|Clift and Susannah York|
|Freud's nightmare - delving deeply into the subconscious mind|
In his beginning treatment, particularly of two patients, Freud began to develop his theory of the interpretation of dreams, the act of free association of words, and finally his discovery of "talk therapy," the infant name for the treatment of mental illness which Freud eventually termed "psychoanalysis." The first of Freud's significant patients, Carl, is played by young David McCallum in his first movie role. The deep-seated problems of this young man disturb the young doctor so badly that he cannot continue his treatment. An eerie nightmare scene shows the extent of Freud's own intimate secrets and his reluctant discovery of the concept of infant sexuality and the origin of the Oedipus complex. The short scene with McCallum and Freud's subsequent nightmare are disturbing, even now when we think we have seen everything. The second patient, Cecily, played by Susannah York, forms the main basis for Freud's discoveries of feelings and events that had no name before he came along -- repression, false abuse memories, dream interpretation as a tool for deep memory, intensive talk therapy rather than hypnosis, and the transference of love from patient to therapist which is common in psychoanalysis. York is excellent, although if Jean Paul Sartre had had his way, Marilyn Monroe would have played the part. In her early youth, Monroe could have played such a part well, as she did the part of the mentally disturbed young woman in 1952's Don't Bother To Knock. However, by 1962 she was a mature woman and well-known sex symbol, no longer suitable for the part of a sick young girl.
The supporting cast is quite good, including Susan Kohner in a rather wasted part as Freud's wife Martha; Larry Parks as Dr. Breuer, Freud's partner and champion; and Eric Portman as Dr. Meynert, a man who was secretly aware of his own neuroses, yet worked to destroy Freud in the medical community. A special nod should be given to character actor Fernand Ledoux as Dr. Charcot, a practitioner of medical hypnosis who was a great influence on Freud's development of the psychoanalytic method.
|Freud in later years|
Freud is rarely shown on television and difficult to find for renting. I was unable to find out why in my research. It was a well-received, though controversial movie in 1962. I was lucky enough to find the entire movie on Youtube. The most enlightening and sexually open discussion of Freud's belief that sexuality is the driving force of human motivation is given in a scene of Freud's presentation to the medical society. The Victorian-era doctors are horrified and totally outraged. I have set forth below the clip that includes this marvelous scene, a better example of both Clift's performance and the impact of the theory than I could ever write. To view the scene, forward to 2:37 and watch to 6:05. It is a worthwhile four minutes for anyone who admires Huston's direction, Montgomery Clift's acting talent, great writing and unstinting truth. Actually, those are the four best reasons to find and watch this extraordinary movie.