Vienna, 1885, and gifted young neurologist Sigmund Freud (Montgomery Clift) has begun to experiment with the use of hypnosis in the treatment of two psychotic patients, one a young man (David McCallum) with an obsessive hatred of his father, the other a young woman named Cecily Koertner (Susannah York) whose deep-rooted mental problems repeatedly manifest themselves as debilitating physical ailments. Concentrating on examining and attempting to explain the recurring nightmares that have left Cecily sexually repressed, hysterical and fixated on her dead father, Freud develops a theory that links the subconscious to erotic fantasies that he believes go back to childhood. As he makes progress with curing Cecily's condition, Freud's work leads him to uncovering the origins of his own previously ignored neuroses.
Directed by the great John Huston (Prizzi's Honor; The Man Who Would Be King; The Asphalt Jungle; The African Queen; The Maltese Falcon), the 1962 Freud stars Montgomery Clift (From Here To Eternity; A Place In The Sun), Susannah York (Superman; A Man For All Seasons; They Shoot Horses, Don't They?), Larry Parks (The Jolson Story) and David McCallum (NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service; The Man From Uncle). Co-written by (uncredited) French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic Jean-Paul Sartre, it features a notable score by composer Jerry Goldsmith, elements of which were recycled by Terry Rawlings for the soundtrack of Alien, which Goldsmith also scored. Goldsmith is said to have been somewhat pissed off by this.
For what is very much a forerunner of David Cronenberg's recent and critically acclaimed A Dangerous Method (and is doubtless being released on DVD to tie-in with that film's recent cinema release), John Huston approaches his biopic of one of the world's most famous psychoanalysts as one would a noir-ish crime thriller, making his take on Sigmund Freud's compelling story all the more intriguing.
Freud will be released on UK DVD on 23rd April 2012 by Transition Digital Media at the RRP of £12.99.
No extra features have been listed.