Bewitched (1945)

65 mins | Melodrama | July 1945

Director:

Arch Oboler

Producer:

Jerry Bresler

Cinematographer:

Charles Salerno Jr.

Editor:

Harry Komer

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Malcolm Brown

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Working titles of this film were Alter Ego and The Crime of Joan Ellis . The film marked radio personality Arch Oboler's first directorial effort. The Oboler story on which this film is based, "Alter Ego," was originally produced for radio broadcast. Though the date of the original radio broadcast has not been determined, a book on Oboler's radio plays published in 1940 indicates that Bette Davis starred in a broadcast of "Alter Ego" that was directed by Bill Bacher. HR production charts list actor Tim Murdock in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been ... More Less

Working titles of this film were Alter Ego and The Crime of Joan Ellis . The film marked radio personality Arch Oboler's first directorial effort. The Oboler story on which this film is based, "Alter Ego," was originally produced for radio broadcast. Though the date of the original radio broadcast has not been determined, a book on Oboler's radio plays published in 1940 indicates that Bette Davis starred in a broadcast of "Alter Ego" that was directed by Bill Bacher. HR production charts list actor Tim Murdock in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Jun 1945.
---
Daily Variety
21 Jun 45
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 Jun 45
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Nov 44
p. 30.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Dec 44
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 45
p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
10 Feb 45
p. 2310.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Jun 45
pp. 2510-11.
New York Times
17 Aug 45
p. 20.
New York Times
3 Nov 1946.
---
Variety
20 Jun 45
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Adpt for the scr by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
Matte paintings
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Assoc
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Rec dir
Unit mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Matte paintings, cam
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
SOURCES
SONGS
"Nobody Knows de Trouble I've Seen," traditional
"My Old Kentucky Home," music and lyrics by Stephen Foster.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Alter Ego
The Crime of Joan Ellis
Release Date:
July 1945
Production Date:
early November--early December 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
19 June 1945
Copyright Number:
LP13327
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
65
Length(in feet):
5,876
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10709
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

With less than an hour before the state is set to execute convicted killer Joan Alris Ellis, her psychiatrist, Dr. Bergson, thinks back to the time when Joan's psychological deterioration first became apparent to others: At a party held in honor of Joan's recent engagement to Bob Arnold, Joan hears a voice inside her head and faints. Joan's parents and Bob quickly dismiss her fainting spell as a sign of love and attribute it to nervousness about her upcoming wedding, and Bergsen does not know what to make of it. Joan tries to ignore the episode, but the sinister voice, calling itself "Karen," haunts Joan once again and she collapses. Late one night, Joan tries to escape the torment of Karen's voice by wandering through the danger-filled streets of her town, but Karen's voice returns, this time with instructions to leave Bob. Compelled to obey Karen's wishes, Joan leaves a farewell note for her parents and goes to another city, where she changes her name to "Joan Smith" and finds work behind a hotel cigar counter. At work one day, Joan meets an attorney named Eric Russell, who instantly falls in love with her, and they begin dating. Their romance quickly flourishes, but it is brought to an abrupt conclusion when, on a ferryboat ride, Joan loses control of her body, and Karen forces her to kiss Eric passionately. This proves too much for Joan to bear, and she flees in tears to her boardinghouse room. Joan is happy to find Bob waiting there for her to take her back home, but tragedy intervenes when Karen forces Joan to kill Bob with ... +


With less than an hour before the state is set to execute convicted killer Joan Alris Ellis, her psychiatrist, Dr. Bergson, thinks back to the time when Joan's psychological deterioration first became apparent to others: At a party held in honor of Joan's recent engagement to Bob Arnold, Joan hears a voice inside her head and faints. Joan's parents and Bob quickly dismiss her fainting spell as a sign of love and attribute it to nervousness about her upcoming wedding, and Bergsen does not know what to make of it. Joan tries to ignore the episode, but the sinister voice, calling itself "Karen," haunts Joan once again and she collapses. Late one night, Joan tries to escape the torment of Karen's voice by wandering through the danger-filled streets of her town, but Karen's voice returns, this time with instructions to leave Bob. Compelled to obey Karen's wishes, Joan leaves a farewell note for her parents and goes to another city, where she changes her name to "Joan Smith" and finds work behind a hotel cigar counter. At work one day, Joan meets an attorney named Eric Russell, who instantly falls in love with her, and they begin dating. Their romance quickly flourishes, but it is brought to an abrupt conclusion when, on a ferryboat ride, Joan loses control of her body, and Karen forces her to kiss Eric passionately. This proves too much for Joan to bear, and she flees in tears to her boardinghouse room. Joan is happy to find Bob waiting there for her to take her back home, but tragedy intervenes when Karen forces Joan to kill Bob with a pair of scissors. Eric acts as Joan's attorney at her trial, and he nearly succeeds in gaining her acquittal until Joan's body is possessed by Karen and she screams "I'm guilty!" Convicted of murder, Joan is placed on death row, but while she awaits her execution, her parents try desperately to persuade Dr. Bergson to help them win a last-minute stay of execution from the governor. Bergson, at first, does not know how he will argue Joan's case, but while interviewing her in her prison cell, he discovers that Joan is suffering from a rare case of dual personality. With only hours to spare, Bergson succeeds in getting the governor to stay Joan's execution so that he can prove that Joan is clinically insane. Joan is then brought into the governor's office, where Bergson hypnotizes her and forces Karen's personality to leave Joan's body forever. When she is awakened from her sleep, Joan convinces the governor that she is completely free of Karen's torment, and her life is spared. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.