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Monday, 2 April 2012

Box Set Monday #13: Ingrid Bergman (Guest post!)

This week's Box Set Monday post is by the very knowledgeable and lovely Rianna from Frankly, My Dear. Her favourite actress is the ever wonderful Lucille Ball and her blog is a veritable font of everything Lucy. I urge you all to follow her because, aside from Lucy related posts, Rianna writes about multitude of things pertaining to classic film. I'm honoured to have her guest posting here on Waitin' On a Sunny Day! 
I can never list my favorite actresses in a chronological order. Save Lucille Ball, my favorite, I always have a hard time sorting through the other actresses; I just can’t decide who might have that particular second place after Lucy. But if I have to be honest, one of the very strongest contenders for that place would be Ingrid Bergman.
What’s not to love about Ingrid? She was one of the greatest screen actresses of all time; and let’s not forget that gorgeous face and that marvelous Swedish accent. The best thing about watching Ingrid on the screen is you believe every action she preforms and every line she delivers; you believe it because she believes it. Ingrid was one of those actresses that truly loved her art and respected it, and always put her all into it. She was a natural performer. So it’s a fantastic shame there is no box set for her, but if I could pull the strings, it’d go like this
Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939)
Casablanca (1942)
Gaslight (1944)
The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)
Notorious (1946)
Anastasia (1956)

Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939) was originally a Swedish film Ingrid had starred in. David O. Selznick brought Ingrid out to Hollywood to star in American version, and this kicked off her Hollywood career. In this movie from Hollywood’s Golden Year, Ingrid plays a na├»ve piano instructor who falls in love with the father (Leslie Howard) of a young girl she teaches. The only problem is he happens to be married. This isn’t actually a perfect movie or anywhere near it, but it’s an important performance for Ingrid. She shines so brightly, it’s easy to see why America fell in love with her afterwards.
Casablanca (1942) is easily Ingrid’s most well known movie. Everyone knows this tale of a fight for love and glory and a case of do or die! For the few that may need a refresher, Ingrid plays the luminous Ilsa Lund opposite Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine as the two lovers that just aren’t meant to be. Though Ingrid wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar for this most famous performance of hers, she really could have earned one. Casablanca (1942) is one of the most talked about movies of all time, and it’s not one bit overrated, and neither is Ingrid in her role as Ilsa.
I think out of all her performances, Ingrid’s in Gaslight (1944) is my favorite. It’s a melodrama set in the early twentieth century. Ingrid plays Paula, a beautiful woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown after she’s pressured to move back into the house her aunt was killed in by her husband, a very chilling Charles Boyer. There are plenty of intense, suspenseful scenes in this movie for Ingrid to show off her dramatic talent. It is such a complex role but every fiber of her body is into it; she’s honestly so perfect in this and SO deserving of the Oscar she won for this.
The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945) is a fun & sweet sequel to Going My Way (1944) from the prior year (in which Ingrid did not star). Ingrid plays a dedicated nun who runs the school for children Father O’Malley (Bing Crosby) arrives at to help reform. Father O’Malley and Ingrid’s Sister Benedict engage in a friendly rivalry all while helping the grade school children deal with the various issues they face. Ingrid is so adorable in this; there are certainly dramatic scenes but there also ones where she gets to show her flair for comedy, like one in which she teaches one of the schoolboys how to fight. This is easily one of Ingrid’s most endearing & charming performances.
Out of all the characters Ingrid played, her role as Alicia Huberman in Notorious (1946) is my favorite. Alicia risks her life by marrying a Nazi to spy on him for the US government, all while engaging in a hot/cold relationship with Cary Grant. Ingrid & Cary Grant are always perfect together – I wish they had gotten married. Their chemistry is just that perfect, and this is also the Hitchcock thriller with that famous kissing scene between the two of them. This is an exciting, suspenseful film with Ingrid at some of her very best & burning holes in the screen with Cary Grant.

Anastasia (1956) is very important film for Ingrid; it was the movie that reintroduced her to American audiences. Six years before she’d been exiled from the country for her scandalous affair with Roberto Rossellini, and in the time since, she’d made only Rossellini pictures in Italy. In Anastasia (1956), she plays an emotional woman who Yul Brynner tries to pass off as the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov. (The whole Romanov family was murdered in 1917, but for years rumors would exist that Anastasia had survived, and many women claimed to be her.) I find the Romanovs very intriguing and so it’s a treat to see Ingrid playing a woman who may or may not actually be Anastasia Romanov. America’s peace offering with her was an Oscar for this role, which Ingrid completely earned. She is simply compelling in this performance.
Well, those are my choices. Hopefully one day Ingrid will get a complete box set! A big thank you Sophie for giving me the opportunity to do this guest post on her lovely blog and for creating this super awesome series. :)
A hearty thank you to Rianna for coming up with such a wonderful box set for Ingrid. I'll definitely be checking out The Bells of St. Mary's as I loved Going My Way.

Is there are star you feel isn't appreciated and is need of their own box set? Do you feel like you could make a box set that will live up to their greatness? I'm looking for another 2 guest posters for this series of BSM and it could be you! (How cheesy does that sound?! ;D) Leave me a comment, send me an email, and we'll work something out!


  1. Hello! Any chance I could

  2. I'd love to do BSM for Montgomery Clift sometime if you're interested

    -Meredith (Forever Films)


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