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, August 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.
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
9:15 AM Walk in the Spring Rain, A (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. 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
6:14 PM Short Film: How To Behave (1936)
Robert Benchley, etiquette expert, finds it increasingly difficult to follow his own advice. Cast: Robert Benchley BW-10 min.
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. 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. 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, Halvar Bjork. Director: Ingmar Bergman. Color. 93 min.
12:10 AM Short Film: Okay For Sound (1946)
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, Angela Lansbury. Director: George Cukor. Black and white. 114 min.
2:31 AM Short Film: David O. Selznick: Your New Producer (1935)