Fright; Spell Of The Hypnotist

2709. FRIGHT (Spell Of The Hypnotist) (1956-USA). With ERIC FLEMING, NANCY MALONE. Here is an eerie and mind-massaging thriller that has been beautifully shot on location on the streets of New York City. It opens with an expertly staged sequence in which a man with a pair of handcuffs dangling from his wrist attempts to elude the police. He is George Morley, a psycho-killer who has murdered three young women and has just escaped custody. Morley soon is trapped atop a bridge. As a crowd gathers while the police attempt to lure him to safety, a passerby named Dr. James Hamilton offers his services. He is a psychialrist who has been following Morley’s case in the newspapers and has concluded that the killer is “an obsessive” with a “highly suggestible mentality.” The doctor hypnotizes him and soon Morley is safely in custody. Hamilton is then approached by a mystery woman who calls herself Ann Summers and appears to be confused and helpless. She had been present during Morley’s capture and feels that she too was hypnotized. What’s more, she is carrying a German-language bookÑeven though she knows no German and has never been to Germany! The doctor hypnotizes Ann and she is immediately transformed into “Maria,” a woman with an altogether different background. At first, Hamilton thinks that Ann is suffering from a split-personality disorder, but then “Maria” informs him that she is living in the year 1889! She reveals herself to be far from an ordinary citizen. In fact the history books tell Hamilton that “Maria” was fated to become involved in one of the most famous sex scandals in all history. The questions regarding Ann/Maria quickly begin piling up, resulting in an utterly fascinating film that will keep you on the edge of your seat until its final moments. 78 minutes. Drama