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DVD Pick: 'Freud'

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'Freud' DVD Cover Art

'Freud' DVD Cover Art

© BBC/Warner Home Video

A Dramatization of the Life of the Father of Modern Psychology

In 1984 the BBC aired for the first time an engrossing and enlightening six-hour miniseries titled Freud that chronicled the life of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). Now that miniseries comes to Region 1 DVD, which means the discs can be played in the United States and Canada using standard equipment.
The miniseries is divided into six episodes, each of which is about an hour long. The role of Freud as an adult is taken by David Suchet, perhaps best known for his portrayal of Agatha Christie's detective Hercule Poirot.

Freud is a richly textured character study of a complex man. Early on, Freud is depicted as an ambitious young neurologist who champions the medical use of cocaine. But he soon turns to treating psychosomatic illness and is shown interacting with an outlandish patient, an ugly, wealthy baroness who is romantically attracted to him. One of the best things about the miniseries is the artful way it shows Freud developing his big ideas, such as the unconscious mind, sexual desire, repressed memories and dream interpretation.

At about age 30, Freud marries and seems deeply in love with his wife until some difficulties involving sex arise. He then gets extremely close to his wife's sister, who goes on trips with him. Another aspect of Freud's life concerns his relationship with famed Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. The two geniuses are able to work together for a few years, but eventually Jung grows to hate Freud. In the miniseries, life is always a struggle for Freud, and he battles oral cancer for his last 16 years, dying at age 83.

Supplementary Materials

The Freud DVD set comes with a January 2010 interview of lead actor David Suchet that runs a total of 37 minutes, 25 minutes on Disc 1 and 12 minutes on Disc 2. Suchet tells how he prepared for the role and gives his own views of the great man he portrayed. He remembers the entire shoot as lasting only seven or eight months. He says the beard he wore for the role was his own, but the mustache was fake.

Another extra is "David Suchet's Production Archives," which contains still photos, some taken on location in Austria and Italy. There are also newspaper clippings about the miniseries. If you want to get a closer look at the newspaper articles, they are available on Disc 2 in a PDF file, which can be accessed via computer.

Release Date: May 4, 2010
Number of Discs: 2
Total Runtime: 5 hours 49 minutes
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

A pre-release review copy of the DVD was provided by BBC/Warner Home Video Home Entertainment. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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