Review: Bewitched(1945)

Bewitched is a suspenseful classic film noir from 1945 and has nothing to do with the television series by the same name that would come later. This film is written and directed by Arch Oboler. This is a very short film at only a bit over one hour-long.

This story revolves around Phyllis Thaxter who is about to be married. She has a split personality and is trying to control her other self. The film opens at her engagement party where she says she is hearing voices and soon faints. As her other self starts to take over, she leaves her boyfriend and family to go to the big city and start over. She soon falls for a lawyer there and her fiance from her hometown soon finds her. Her evil personality soon takes over and kills the fiance. Her new boyfriend takes on the case to defend her against the murder charges. Will she be able to control her evil personality? Will her lawyer boyfriend save her from the death penalty?

This is an interesting look at split personalities from the 1940’s. The film is obviously short and really glosses over the psychology and science of split personality but I still found it intriguing. The film also has a few interesting scenes, with fade ins and outs as well as the final scene as Thaxter’s split personalities battle it out. Thaxter is also very good in this, only her second film. She went on to have a long career as an actress but never moved up to the A list. Though this all sounds like it is a good film, I would say it is an OK film with some compelling highlights. I think classic film noir fans will find the film worth seeing, but is not a film I would say is a “must see.”

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