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A Dangerous Method (2011)

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A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.

Director:

David Cronenberg

Writers:

Christopher Hampton (screenplay), Christopher Hampton (play) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,721 ( 451)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 18 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keira Knightley ... Sabina Spielrein
Viggo Mortensen ... Sigmund Freud
Michael Fassbender ... Carl Jung
Vincent Cassel ... Otto Gross
Sarah Gadon ... Emma Jung
André Hennicke ... Professor Eugen Bleuler (as André M. Hennicke)
Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey ... Sándor Ferenczi
Mignon Remé Mignon Remé ... Jung's Secretary
Mareike Carrière ... Food Nurse
Franziska Arndt Franziska Arndt ... Bath Nurse
Wladimir Matuchin Wladimir Matuchin ... Nikolai Spielrein
André Dietz ... Medical Policeman
Anna Thalbach ... Bathtub Patient
Sarah Marecek Sarah Marecek ... Orchard Nurse
Bjorn Geske Bjorn Geske ... Orderly (as Björn Geske)
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Storyline

Suffering from hysteria, Sabina Spielrein is hospitalized under the care of Dr. Carl Jung who has begun using Dr. Sigmund Freud's talking cure with some of his patients. Spielrain's psychological problems are deeply rooted in her childhood and violent father. She is highly intelligent however and hopes to be a doctor, eventually becoming a psychiatrist in her own right. The married Jung and Spielrein eventually become lovers. Jung and Freud develop an almost father-son relationship with Freud seeing the young Jung as his likely successor as the standard-bearer of his beliefs. A deep rift develops between them when Jung diverges from Freud's belief that while psychoanalysis can reveal the cause of psychological problems it cannot cure the patient. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Why deny what you desire the most? [Scandinavian DVD] See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | Germany | Canada | Switzerland | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 2011 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Un método peligroso See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$167,953, 18 November 2011

Gross USA:

$5,702,083
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At Viggo Mortensen's suggestion, Freud is smoking a cigar in every scene except the family dinner with Jung, where there was one waiting for him on set, just off-screen. See more »

Goofs

When Jung enters Gross's bedroom there is a desiccated frog pinned to the bulletin board. In the closeup, there are papers behind the frog; in the long shots, the frog is pinned directly to the bulletin board, not on top of any papers. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Carl Jung: [to his new patient] Good morning... I'm Dr. Jung. I admitted you yesterday.
Sabina Spielrein: I'm not... I'm not mad, you know.
Carl Jung: Let me explain what I have in mind. I propose that we meet here, most days, to talk for an hour or two.
Sabina Spielrein: Talk?
Carl Jung: Yes. Just talk. See if we can identify what's troubling you. So as to distract you as little as possible, I'm going to sit there, behind you. I'm going to ask you to try not to turn around and look at me under any circumstances. Now...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: The Muppets (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Fantasie aus Walküre
by Richard Wagner
Performed by Edison-Orchester Berlin
Under the direction of Max Büchner
Edison Goldguss-Walze 15278, Berlin 1905
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The best VD I've ever contracted.
14 August 2019 | by ReadingFilmSee all my reviews

Freud is misread by Jung from the start as fatherly, as Freud brings the photo to his heart, revealing some kind of narcissitic homoeroticism was at play--if not in the literal sense then in the sense of the master v the protege. Look how it shows Freud's family once and never again. Mostly it shows him in his den making faces wishing someone would strike him dead. The play brings this as David v Goliath with his authority being chipped away. Jung as the candidate must debase and humiliate himself to explore Freud's sexual freedom and it scars him for life. The abyss stares back. (There is also an absurdest black comedy component where all this is just to get their rocks off.) What's resonant is the trap of being in the narcissist's grasp. Deliciously, the villain's plot is cerebral: a certain idea in despair. It is why Jung escalates in those mic dropping letter exchanges. The film presents Freud's rule as this foregone treatise of humanity's lowness, because it mirrors Cronenberg's own atheistic world view of the misanthrope, allowing this frame of mocking Jung's naivety and admiring Freud, a perfect heroes journey--Freud is the Cronenberg stand-in after all--then if I'm overstating him as malicious, there he functions here, at least he's weary, daring to be proven wrong, skeptical... he has human history on his side after all. Then with perspective here he embodies a voice of the historic Jewish trauma. Enter the woman bridging and dividing them, of course in noir she would drive them mad with jealousy, and with Freud having no interest in women, she must do so via intellectual cuckoldry: taking Freud's patients, confessing it's his ideas she prefers. "We're both Jews, never forget that." The other key is the film also insists history in the post-script, that all this religious idealism was regressive in the 20th century nuclear age, vs Jung's Plato's forms, instigates Jung's Eyes Wide Shut trip through hell. Problem is it revels in it a bit much, Cronenberg seems too certain in the Freudian as Jung does seem to find actualization in the carnal to conclude with, dirty love haunts him. In this way it reveals the 20th century not Freud v Jung. Because did the film even watch itself? Look how it functions the way any comic book operates: the battle and co-dependence of good v evil. Then through is its very structure of a storytelling order that would please us, dueling scientists, femme fatals, monsters, heroes journey, labyrinthic villainry, reflects Jungian forms of storytelling no matter how much he loved spanking the girl. Cronenberg unlike Spielrein had no interest in bridging them.


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