- Freud is a substantial biopic (running 140 minutes) and a solid addition to the resumes of both John Huston and star Montgomery Clift.
- The first of eighteen Academy Award nominations for Jerry Goldsmith (score for Chinatown, The Omen) providing the music.
- Freud opens with authoritative voice of Huston himself talking about the lineage of brilliant minds from Copernicus to Darwin to Freud. Starts set in 19th century Vienna.
- Clift only made seventeen (17) films before he died young at the age of 45. Twelve (12) of those are in the archives- this is his second to last film made (died in 1966) and the last that landed in the archives. It harkens back to some of admirably made beard and accent films made by Paul Muni (many parallels with Clift) in the 1930s- The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936) and The Life of Emile Zola (1937).
- Freud (nor Huston) cannot be compared with Kurosawa’s work during the early 1960s—but there are heads staged perfectly in the frame when colleagues are surrounding Freud at the hospital—and again when sisters and family are saying goodbye to him.
- Clift is perfect for the complex role in many ways- even if this is after car accident in 1956 (Clift was sued over delays in filming this with health issues) and his best work is behind him. He has the capacity for such depth—vulnerability. Clift can conjure up instant subtext for any character he plays- one of the most gifted of actors.
- At the 34-minute mark- Clift is foreground left in profile. His female patient is background center/right in a great deep focus frame.
- Yet another at the 108-minute mark with the flower in the foreground left—Freud (Clift) is in the middle background with his wife in the foreground right.
- The voiceover is a mistake- it is not needed at all- but especially to do it in Huston’s voice is the wrong choice.
- Heads staged in the composition again with the doctor/patient (Cronenberg would use this again decades later in A Dangerous Method (2011)—also with Freud) deep focus instead of shooting in a flat shot, reverse shot. This is Welles, Wyler, or Kurosawa.
- Vaseline on the edges of the frame as they explore the dreams and subconscious mind of a prime (and lovely) pupil played by Susannah York (this is the year before Tom Jones)- in many respects this film would make for a nice double-billing with Hitchcock’s Spellbound (1945).
- Huston does not really know how to end it- but that does not erase all of the accomplishments of the proceeding film.
- Highly Recommend- top 10 of the year quality
I don’t want to come off sounding accusatory here, but I’ve noticed in a few pages (wouldn’t be able to come up with names but I’m pretty positive it’s not the first time I’ve seen it) you say “[director] does not quite know how to end it,” or some derivation of that. That being said, no better choice for an ending is mentioned in its stead, at least here, nor is the actual ending as it happened mentioned (but I suppose that could be for spoiler purposes), but it leaves me to wonder what you would have changed from the finished product’s ending?
@Drake-Who is the best Sigmund Freud Montgomery Clift in Freud(1962) or Viggo in A Dangerous Method(2011)?