A Dangerous Method

Synopsis: 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.
Director(s): David Cronenberg
Production: Sony Pictures Classics
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 18 wins & 27 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
99 min

Good morning...

I'm Dr. Jung.

I admitted you yesterday.

I'm not...

I'm not...

not mad, you know.

Let me explain what I have in mind.

I propose that we meet here,

most days, to talk for an hour or two.



Just talk.

See if we can identify

what's troubling you.

So as to distract you

as little as possible,

I'm gonna sit there,

behind you.

I'm gonna ask you to try not to turn around

and look at me under any circumstances.


Have you any idea what may have brought

on these attacks you suffer from?



Any kind of...


Like, I can't bear to see it and

it makes me feel nauseated.

I start pouring with sweat,

cold sweat.




my... my... my father...

lost his... his temper all the time.

He was always...

he's always angry with me.

When you stopped talking just now,

did a thought come into your head?


I don't know...

Or an image, perhaps.

Was it an image?


What was the image?

It was a hand.


my... my father's hand.

Why do you think you saw that?

When... whenever he would...


whenever he...

whenever he hit us, we...

afterward we had to...

we had to kiss his hand.

What's odd is...

that case I was writing up last week,

I happened to pick the codename

Sabina S.

And here she is... Sabina Spielrein.

Quite a coincidence.

As you know, I don't believe

there is such a thing.

Spielrein's not a very Russian name.

No, Jewish.

Father's a very successful

import-export man.

And she's exceptionally well educated,

speaks fluent German.

Aspires to be a doctor herself,


Perhaps she's the one.

What one?

The one you've been looking for.

For your experimental treatment.

The talking cure.

You're so astute.

I've already begun it with her.

He's kicking.

Can you feel it?

Oh, yes.

There he is.

What I don't understand is

why Freud, having proposed

this radical therapeutic idea,

this talking cure, this

psychoanalysis, then lets

years go by without giving

even the barest outline of

his clinical procedures?

What's he playing at?

Presumably he uses the

method on his patients?

I've no idea.

So might you be the first

doctor to try this out?

It's possible.

Why don't you write and ask him?

I don't know him.

As it happens, Miss Spielrein's mother

wanted to take her to see Freud.

Another coincidence.

My father thinks my

mother doesn't love him.

And he's right, she doesn't.

How do you know?

My angel told me.

What angel?

An inner voice.

He used to tell me

I was an exceptional person.

For some reason

he always spoke in German.

Angels always speak German.

It's traditional.

He gave me the power to know

what people are going to say...

before they open their mouths.

Useful ability for a doctor.

You hope to be a doctor

some day, don't you?

I'll never be a doctor.

Why not?

I have to go away for awhile.

I'm sorry.

We've just gotten started.

Military service.

We all have to do it.

- Just for a couple of weeks.

- It's a waste of time!

I can't tell you whatever it is

you want to know! You're just...

you're just making me angry.

And even if I could tell you,

you'd be sorry you ever...!

Anyway, there's nothing wrong with me!

I don't even want to get better!

Stop it!

- What? I was only trying to...

- Will you just stop with...

stop with that!

I'm sorry.

Can we get back now?

- Yes, if you want to.

- I need to get back.

It's a complete waste of my time.

Writing prescriptions

for athlete's foot...

and examining c*cks

from morning 'til night.

Is that what you do?

It's not good for me.

Rate this script:(2.50 / 2 votes)

Christopher Hampton

Christopher James Hampton, CBE, FRSL (born 26 January 1946) is a British playwright, screenwriter, translator and film director. He is best known for his play based on the novel Les Liaisons dangereuses and the film version Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and also more recently for writing the nominated screenplay for the film adaptation of Ian McEwan's Atonement. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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