Nicole Kidman in "Before I Go to Sleep" is far from films' first amnesia victim, because there's something primal about memory loss. Without our memories, are we who we are? Does memory speak to our very identities? If only I could remember. . . . But wait -- I seem to recall that many movies deal with amnesia, including these four:
Spellbound (1945) Suspense master Alfred Hitchcock directed this classic about a mental-hospital doctor (Gregory Peck) who discovers he somehow took over the identity of a dead man. Salvador Dali designed the film's unforgettable dream sequence.
Mister Buddwing (1966) James Garner plays a man who awakens on a New York park bench with his mind a blank in humanist director Delbert Mann's adaptation of an Evan Hunter novel.
Memento (2000) Director Christopher Nolan's breakout film follows a man (Guy Pearce) with anterograde amnesia -- his mind cannot store recent memories.
The Bourne Identity (2002) A wounded American (Matt Damon) is fished from the sea, his memory gone. The CIA knows he's spy Jason Bourne. They're going to wish they hadn't known that.