Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Intermezzo: A Love Story and Ingrid's First American Film

TCM is showing some of Lesley Howard's films and of course this means they are showing Intermezzo: A Love Story in which he co-stars opposite Ingrid Bergman. This version of the film was made in 1939 and used a lot of clips and words from the original.

This movie is one of her best. The film is a re-make of the 1936 hit in Sweden, in which she starred with Gustaf Molander

This movie is incredible. I love the messages of returning to love and independence. Ingrid's Character, Anita Hoffman, is an accomplished Piano teacher as well as a skilled pupil. She abandons her dreams of scholarship and concert piano playing to follow a man, Holgar Brandt, who is an accomplished concert violinist. They tour together, which allows them to both fulfill their dreams of playing in concert, but then they fall in love, abandon family and dreams and try to live a lie.

There are some specific things I'd like to entice you with...in honor of this movie.

  • Anita decides to take her scholarship and she wears pants...all the clothes are SUPER chic.

  • Lesley Howard and Gustaf Moleandar both used stand in hands to make the notes and fingering correct on the violin. It looks silly if you look too closely, but really innovative as far as problem solving on set.
  • The dog in the movie is both cute, from 1939 and funny.
  • The "ice flow" scenes and story lines are used in both: weather is a big theme in these films.
  • I like this quote Anita: “I have been an intermezzo in his life”
  • “ you gave me a good word once, courage, I’m trying to use it, trying.” --This quote shows how determined Anita is, and even at this time, when it would be uncommon for a female character to take it into her hands to determine her own fate (in film) Ingrid's character chooses her story and her next step. Independence and scholarship!

I'm going to slightly switch gears and talk about Ingrid Bergman's skillz (yes, with a "z") playing the Piano. In Intermezzo, Ingrid shows off her abilities to play accurately and passionately.
There are I think 3 scenes of her playing the Piano, and they are all marvelous.
Here is an example of one: TCM CLIP

Another example of her playing is in Autumn Sonata. I have written about this before, so feel free to check out the entry: Comment Clarification

Be sure to check out both versions of Intermezzo: A Love Story. The Swedish one is a little more satisfying (as far as story goes) the American one is fine tuned (as far as visuals). They are both amazing and capture my heart, mind and ears every time!

Oh-- One more example of Ingrid playing Piano-- Though I'm sure I could probably find a couple more-- in Saratoga Trunk:



Kate Gabrielle said...

I just discovered this film last year, and I think I've watched it over 5 times already, I love it so much. I'd like to see the original, though.. I'll have to check if it's on DVD.

Alexis said...

I found it on dvd on Amazon!
Just google shop and I'm sure you can find it! Good luck!

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