Dramatisation of five years in the life of the vastly influential psychologist and inventor of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. The film follows Freud (Montgomery Clift) as he attempts to make his mark as a psychologist. Unusually for someone in his field at the time, Freud is prepared to try and treat hysterics and it is in dealing with such patients at his Vienna office that he begins to form the basis of his psychoanalytic theories. Using hypnosis in an attempt to get to the bottom of their affliction, Freud discovers a number of fixations in patients, including Cecily Koertner (Susannah York), which relate to sex and youthful memories. Freud duly begins to present his theories in an attempt to establish a new discipline of psychological care, but faces many detractors, not least his friend turned fiercest critic, Dr. Joseph Breuer (Larry Parks).