Sunday, March 15, 2009

Books about Ingrid

I have read a lot of books that are by Ingrid Bergman, about Ingrid Bergman or about the people she worked with and the during the era in which she worked.
I would like to show you the books and where they can be obtained if you're interested in reading about this wonderful icon.

Let's start with Ingrid's 1980 auto-biography My Story: Ingrid Bergman.
The book is co-written by Alan Burgess and was completed during the period that Ingrid was sick with cancer (just before she passed away). I have read this book, and I liked the stories that she would tell, but the flow isn't very consistent. It's a little hard to follow without seeing a bunch of her work or looking her up online.
I found out through another book, that Alan Burgess had a drinking problem and although at the beginning of the project all was well, both the project, his and Ingrid's health all deteriorated. The book took a long time to write and the publisher pressed them to put it out as soon as possible. I read also that she was not pleased with the work, but it had to but put out. Without the time for redoing the project, it sat and it can still be read in it's original form.
The book that told me about the problems with Burgess and the book was called Notorious:The Life of Ingrid Bergman by Donald Spoto.

This has been my favorite of the Ingrid Bergman biographies. Spoto does a wonderful job relaying facts in a story. He makes her life into a series of events that are connected to Ingrid, to each other as well as the reader. He backs it up by proving and disproving other stories and books as well as a fine job citing the data. I had to pace myself with this one. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to learn about Ingrid Bergman's life... it's a good read.

The next book was a nice biography as well. Some of its facts were disproven with Spoto's research, but none-the-less, it stands tall with some of it's stories.

The book is titled Ingrid:Ingrid Bergman a Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler.

Both Chandler and Spoto are known for their biographies and have written about many interviews they have had from various Hollywood stars. Chandler went into a lot of Ingrid's personal stories. She shared some of the interviews and really gave a first person point of view, much like a friend or a fan (which I think she was both to Bergman). I liked this book, it was a friendly read and a good story. The facts are at times inconsistant, but I think it's because it is mostly based on interviews and not so much by the books.
A book that I am currently reading is another by Donald Spoto titled: Spellbound by Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and his Leading Ladies.

This book has a lot of Ingrid in it and discusses her relationship with Alfred Hitchcock (both friendship and working). The book is a good look at Alfred Hitchcock's direction with his actors as well as bits and pieces of the women from our favorite suspenceful films.

There are a lot of other books that include pieces of Ingrid's work, the era, her colleagues, friends, film theory, film studies, etc. That are also fabulous sources of information to really put yourself into the time:

The Women Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock and Feminist Theory

Boom and Bust: American Cinema in the 1940s

The Alfred Hitchcock Story

Hitchcock's Films Revisited

Hitchcock's America
<-- On my wishlist! haha.

Most of these include Alfred Hitchcock because of their deep intertwining relationship, his success while using her talents as well as their friendship. There are also books by Isabella Rossellini that mention Ingrid, but I'll leave that for another blog.

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About Me

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An avid Ingrid Bergman fan, I am a student of her life and work as well as film, filmmaking and Classic Film in general. I have my M.F.A. in TV/Film Production from USC School of Cinematic Arts and have been making a living in the business they call show. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @alexis_morrell