Freud the Secret Passion

Watch Freud the Secret Passion

"Alone he fought against his own dark passions..."
  • Passed
  • 1962
  • 2 hr 19 min
  • 7.2  (3,257)

Freud: The Secret Passion, released in 1962, is an unconventional biographical drama film that follows the life of the renowned Austrian neurologist and father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. Directed by John Huston, the film stars Montgomery Clift as Sigmund Freud, Susannah York as Cecily Koertner, and Larry Parks as Dr. Joseph Breuer.

The film begins in Vienna in the late 19th century where Sigmund starts to treat patients for various neuroses using hypnosis. However, he realizes that the root of most neuroses is due to repressed sexuality and, thus, begins his exploration into psychoanalysis.

However, this newfound strength, in turn, causes a new set of problems where the medical and political establishments begin to oppose his theories, and his colleagues feel that he has betrayed them.

Sigmund's troubles don't end there; he also faces challenges in his personal life. His wife, Martha (played by Eileen Herlie), is an invalid, and Sigmund finds it challenging to care for her, and his relationship with his daughter, Anna (played by Margaret John), is also strained.

As Sigmund continues his work, he attracts the attention of a young patient, Cecily Koertner. While treating her, he realizes that she reminds him of a former patient, who he failed to cure. This similarity leads to a transference of feelings, and Freud ultimately has an affair with Cecily, which becomes one of the major centers of the film.

The central theme of the film revolves around the conflict between Sigmund's theory of psychoanalysis and the traditional medical establishment. The film traces Freud's journey from being an obscure Viennese physician to his eventual fame as the founder of psychoanalysis, and this journey is not an easy one. His theories were met with fierce resistance from the medical society, and his colleagues turned against him.

The film also addresses the personal struggles of Freud, such as his strained relationship with his wife and daughter, his struggles with health problems, and his complicated feelings towards Cecily.

Montgomery Clift, who played Freud in his last film appearance, delivers a nuanced and compelling portrayal of the Austrian neurologist. He portrays Freud as an intellectual giant whose theories were met with great resistance, but who remained steadfast in his convictions. Susannah York's performance as Cecily is moving and powerful, conveying the fragility and complexity of the character.

The film features beautiful cinematography, particularly in the use of light and shadow, and the score by Jerry Goldsmith is haunting and evocative. The film uses symbols and imagery to convey the complexity of Freud's theories, and the camera work is intelligent and innovative, highlighting the themes of the film.

While Freud: The Secret Passion may not be entirely accurate in its portrayal of its subject, it is a compelling drama that delves into the life of one of the most important figures in modern psychology. It is a fascinating look at the conflicts between scientific discovery and established beliefs, the tension between the intellectual and personal, and the dichotomy between fame and the desire for privacy.

In conclusion, Freud: The Secret Passion is a compelling and thought-provoking film that explores the life and work of Sigmund Freud. The film offers a detailed look at Freud's personal struggles, his professional triumphs and setbacks, and the controversies that surrounded his work. This is a must-watch for cinephiles and anyone interested in the history of psychology.

Freud the Secret Passion
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 19 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (3,257)