Monday, August 25, highlights on Turner Classic Movies:
Before being vilified, accursed, and banished from Hollywood because of her adulterous affair with Roberto Rossellini, Ingrid Bergman was one of the biggest box office draws in the world. Following her move to Europe, she never recovered her stellar position despite a new-found maturity as an actress.
Both the Hollywood and the international phases of Bergman's career can be seen on Ingrid Bergman Day on TCM. I'd especially recommend Casablanca, since it's so hard to find and it's just never shown anywhere.
After you've taken that road to Morocco, you can head for New Orleans if you're in the mood for laughing (and suffering convulsions) for more than two hours while watching Ingrid Bergman play a wilful belle a la Scarlett O'Hara dealing with both Gary Cooper at his stiffest and best supporting actress Oscar nominee Flora Robson at her darkest (blame it on the “mulatto” make-up). That's Saratoga Trunk, which turned out to be – don't ask me how – one of the biggest hits of the year.
The Bells of St. Mary's and Spellbound were huge hits in 1945; both films, in fact, were nominated for the best picture Oscar. In the former, Bergman, who received a best actress Oscar nod, plays a nun who believes that prayers will solve every problem. In her autobiography, Ingrid Bergman, My Story (co-written with Alan Burgess) she says, “I was so happy that the picture was a great success, just as successful as Going My Way [actually, The Bells of St. Mary's made even more money than its predecessor], and that David was completely wrong.” (The “David” in question is David O. Selznick, Bergman's boss. Selznick had had other plans for his recalcitrant contract player.)
In brief: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a weak remake of Rouben Mamoulian's 1932 classic, with Spencer Tracy as the crazed doctor, Lana Turner as the good girl, and Ingrid Bergman as the hooker (Bergman requested the offbeat casting); Notorious moves at a languid pace, but Madame Leopoldine Konstantin's and best supporting actor Academy Award nominee Claude Rains' villainous mommy-and-son duo make this unthrilling spy thriller a must-see; and Stanley Donen's Indiscreet is a mildly amusing sophisticated comedy-thriller boasting great sets, lots of color (cinematography by Freddie Young), and pleasant performers (Bergman, Cary Grant, Cecil Parker, Phyllis Calvert) acting quite silly.
Schedule (Pacific Time) and synopses from the TCM website:
3:00 AM Stromboli (1950)
A refugee marries a Sicilian fisherman but can't cope with the harshness of her new life. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Mario Vitale, Renzo Cesana. Dir.: Roberto Rossellini. Black and white. 107 min.
4:30 AM Saratoga Trunk (1945)
A woman with a past returns to 19th-century New Orleans for revenge. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Gary Cooper, Flora Robson. Dir.: Sam Wood. Black and white. 135 min.
7:00 AM Goodbye Again (1961)
A 40-year-old woman swaps her sophisticated lover for a young law student. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Anthony Perkins, Yves Montand. Dir.: Anatole Litvak. Black and white. 120 mins. Letterbox Format
9:30 AM Rage In Heaven (1941)
A jealous man plots to fake his death and incriminate his wife's suspected lover. Cast: Robert Montgomery, Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders. Dir.: W.S. Van Dyke II. Black and white. 85 min.
11:00 AM Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1941)
A scientist's investigations into the nature of good and evil turn him into a murderous monster. Cast: Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, Lana Turner. Dir.: Victor Fleming. Black and white. 113 min.
1:00 PM Bells Of St. Mary's, The (1945)
A liberal priest tries to soften the strict nun running a boys' school. Cast: Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Henry Travers. Dir.: Leo McCarey. Black and white. 126 min.
3:15 PM Casablanca (1942)
An American saloon owner in North Africa is drawn into World War II when his lost love turns up. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid. Dir.: Michael Curtiz. Black and white. 103 min.
5:00 PM Notorious (1946)
A U.S. agent recruits a German expatriate to infiltrate a Nazi spy ring in Brazil. Cast: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains. Dir.: Alfred Hitchcock. Black and white. 101 min.
7:00 PM Spellbound (1945)
A psychiatrist tries to help the man she loves solve a murder buried in his subconscious. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov. Dir.: Alfred Hitchcock. Black and white. 118 min.
9:00 PM Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939)
A married violinist deserts his family when he falls for his accompanist. Cast: Leslie Howard, Ingrid Bergman, Edna Best. Dir.: Gregory Ratoff. Black and white. 70 min.
10:30 PM Indiscreet (1958)
A tycoon pretends to be married while courting a beautiful actress. Cast: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Cecil Parker. Dir.: Stanley Donen. Color. 100 mins. Letterbox Format
12:30 AM Yellow Rolls-Royce, The (1964)
A classic car changes the lives of three sets of owners. Cast: Rex Harrison, Shirley MacLaine, Ingrid Bergman. Dir.: Anthony Asquith. Color. 123 mins. Letterbox Format