Ingrid Bergman’s best on-screen performance, as Liv Ullmann’s painfully self-centered mother in Ingmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata, can be appreciated on Friday, Aug. 6 – Ingrid Bergman Day – on Turner Classic Movies.
TCM’s “Summer Under the Stars” film series continues with twelve Bergman movies, including more “esoteric” entries such as the aforementioned Autumn Sonata – actually one of director Bergman’s most accessible efforts – and Roberto Rossellini’s psychological drama Europa ’51.
The other scheduled Bergman vehicles, with the possible exceptions of Rossellini’s Stromboli and Guy Green’s A Walk in the Spring Rain, have been shown a number of times on TCM.
Among those are Intermezzo, which introduced the Swedish actress to American audiences in 1939; Casablanca, which won the 1943 Best Picture Oscar and turned Bergman into a superstar; and George Cukor’s 1944 psychological thriller Gaslight, which earned Bergman the first of her two Best Actress Oscars. (The second one was for the 1956 drama Anastasia.)
I can’t say I’m a big fan of Bergman’s work in Gaslight (right, with Angela Lansbury and Charles Boyer) – personally, I think the Oscar that year should have gone to non-nominee Tallulah Bankhead for Lifeboat – but she’s even less effective as the tempestuous antiheroine in Saratoga Trunk and as a vulgar sex worker in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
In Notorious, Bergman and Cary Grant share a long kiss interrupted (so as to placate the puritanical censors at the Breen’s Office), but this Alfred Hitchcock thriller belongs to Nazi Claude Rains and Madame Konstantin as his borderline-incestuous mommy.
Curiously, Liv Ullmann failed to be shortlisted for the 1978 Best Actress Oscar. Ingrid Bergman’s competitors were Jill Clayburgh for An Unmarried Woman, Geraldine Page for Interiors, Ellen Burstyn for Same Time Next Year, and the eventual winner, Jane Fonda for Coming Home.
Ingrid Bergman movies on TCM
Schedule and synopses from the TCM website:
5:15 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. Director: Roberto Rossellini. Black and white. 107 mins
7:00 AM The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964)
A classic car changes the lives of three sets of owners. Cast: Rex Harrison, Shirley MacLaine, Ingrid Bergman, Jeanne Moreau, Alain Delon, Omar Sharif, George C. Scott, Joyce Grenfell, Edmund Purdom. Director: Anthony Asquith. Color. 123 min.
9:15 AM A Walk in the Spring Rain (1970)
When her husband moves them to a small farming town, a woman falls in love with a married neighbor. Cast: Anthony Quinn, Ingmar Bergman, Fritz Weaver. Director: Robert B. Sinclair. Color. 98 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. Director: Victor Fleming. Black and white. 113 min.
1:00 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, Leo G. Carroll, Rhonda Fleming, John Emery. Director: Alfred Hitchcock. Black and white. 111 min.
3:00 PM Europa ’51 (1952)
When a well-off woman loses her son, her recovery confronts her with the problems of the less fortunate. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Alexander Knox, Giulietta Masina. Director: Roberto Rossellini. Black and white. 110 min.
5:00 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. Director: Gregory Ratoff. Black and white. 70 mins
6:30 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, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre. Director: Michael Curtiz. Black and white. 103 min.
8:30 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, Leopoldine Konstantin. Director: Alfred Hitchcock. Black and white. 101 min.
10:30 PM Autumn Sonata (1978)
A concert pianist faces the daughters she’s neglected for years. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Halvar Bjork. Director: Ingmar Bergman. Color. 93 min.
12:30 AM Gaslight (1944)
A newlywed fears she’s going mad when strange things start happening at the family mansion. Cast: Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten, Dame May Whitty, Angela Lansbury. Director: George Cukor. Black and white. 114 min.
Turner Classic Movies website.
Ingrid Bergman Autumn Sonata image: ITC Entertainment.