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It sounds like the title of a Hitchcock movie. (In fact, it was: the 1945 Ingrid Bergman-Gregory Peck psychological thriller.) In reality, more than half a dozen films have carried this title since 1916, but the 2002 “Spellbound” is both more quotidian (“bound by spelling” as well as “headed for the spelling bee”) and the most refreshing: It’s about the 1999 Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee.

Director Jeffrey Blitz and his team follow 8 kids between 10 and 14 as they progress from their respective home towns to Washington, DC for the big one. (They originally shot 13 kids, but narrowed their scope to arrive at a very full 95-minute run time.)

Click here for the full review by David Loftus.