Monday, November 30, 2009

Ingrid Logo Contest

Hi all-
SO the votes are in and it looks like we're doing a logo contest. Please submit your logos in a comment area or email them to me.
I'll post them and we can vote on which ones we like the most. Then I'll figure out some prizes!!
Can't wait to see what comes out of this!!! :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Casablanca: A History

On December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the play, Everybody Goes to Rick's, was purchased by Warner Bros. Producer Hal Wallis for (USD) $20,000. This was the most money ever spent on an un-produced play and would start on of the most perfectly timed cinematic events in film history.
The original story was discovered by Irene Lee, the story department head who felt like it had potential.
There is always talk about the way Casablanca was written, I'll try and bring forth what seems to be the way it ended up the way it did.
The title was changed from Everybody Goes to Rick's to Casablanca because it was catchy and relevant. People at the time would have seen the word "Casablanca" in the news and were mostly aware of where it is.
The original story break down was: "The heroine in the play was Lois, a wanton American and classic femme noire. Her earlier affair with Rick in Paris had broken up his marriage, and as the story opens she arrives in Casablanca as the mistress, not the wife, of Resistance leader Victor Laszlo." (The Genius of the System, 315)
Aeneas Mackenzie and Wally Kline worked on a treatment in January of 1942, but their rendition was changed because Wallis was unhappy with the Lois character. Wallis took the two writers off the film in February 1942 and hired Casey Robinson who was a notable melodrama writer. During this month, the Epstein twins (Philip and Julius) were officially hired for the job. It was also at this time that Louis Renault (Claude Rains' character) was reworked to be an ally of Rick's at certain points of the story.
Robinson received no formal recognition for his writing because he refused to share billing. He therefore was left out of the credits and eventually out of the Oscar run.
Robinson is who we can credit with changing Lois into Ilsa, the innocent European played by Ingrid Bergman.
Thanks to the trade of Warner Bros.' Olivia de Havilland for David O. Selznick's Ingrid Bergman, Ingrid was cast on April 24, 1942. Selznick, who thought it was good for Ingrid's image to be in a pro-United States, war-time film (due to "possibility of Sweden's alliance with Germany and Italy" [Notorious: the Ingrid Bergman Story, 122]) traded Ingrid for $125,000 of which she received her standard salary of $3500. (122) Humphrey Bogart also didn't profit much out of his starring in the film, only earning his Warner Bros.' allotted salary of $2,750.

Ingrid wrote her friend Ruth Roberts on the subject of being cast for Casablanca, "The picture is called Casablanca and I really don't know what it's all about." (122)
Ingrid joined the production (physically in Hollywood) on May 2, 1942.

Now, watch this video for Ingrid's take on how the script was done and how confused she was- then we can continue with the myths and different casting things that went on during the pre-through-post production times:

Though Ingrid felt like the writing was confusing as well as the direction, it wasn't uncommon in those times, as well as on some sets today, to have a lot of things changed or not finished. Though this movie was unique in the fact that they didn't know what ending they were going to use until they shot the version we see today. There were a lot of rewrites and a lot of undecided factors- including who Ilsa would follow in the end. Some books suggest that her performance was enhanced by the fact that just like her character, she was in an internal turmoil between the men.
The collaboration was that of an open one. Everyone contributed ideas. Some of the more famous lines like "Here's looking at you kid." were actually brought to the film or the writer's attention by Humphrey Bogart.

Back to the historical significance and wonderful timing:
  • The movie's initiation was the day after "Pearl Harbor Day (Dec. 7, 1942)"
  • The film was named for it's geographical location, much like the Hedy Lemar/Charles Boyer film Algiers which audiences would have related to the times and settings they already were familiar with (thanks to the news and reels).
  • The film went into general release (January 1943) just as the Allies opened a summit conference in Casablanca. Adding to curiosity, relevance, ticket sales and popularity.
  • Was seen as the first film to show "America's commitment to the war" (The Genius of the System, 317).
  • In April of 1942 Howard Koch (one of the credited writers) was told to increase talk of Rick's political standings as well as occupation in Casablanca in the script. This was all at a time when it was a part of France but was infiltrated by all types of people (as seen in the film).
  • Hal Wallis was going to make many retakes and shoot more scenes but was halted by various events including, not being able to reshoot with Ingrid who had cut her hair for For Whom The Bell Tolls and because when they were about to reshoot, the Allies landed in Casablanca for the North African campaign.
  • This story was one of the first, if not the first, to re-write United States melodrama towards benefitting the war. The leads were to give up certain understood notions like ending up together, being only with one another and selfishly disregarding others for sacrificing self for the greater good (i.e. Ilsa goes off with Laszlo and Rick stays to fight for the country he initially couldn't care less about).
The film was released on November 26, 1942- which was a pushed premier date because it was another timing issue. They felt it would be better off considering the Allies were doing well and everyone was getting involved. Plus no one knew what could happen next...
Just a couple of other tid-bits:
  • As Time Goes By was almost cut from the movie completely. They found that they'd have to reshoot all the scenes with it, including major bar scenes and scenes with Ingrid, so they left it in. It was an unexpected, now iconic, hit.
  • Both in November of '42 and January '43 Casablanca was a hit. Ingrid never understood this until she saw the film later in life. She was admittedly focused on her next film.
  • "Even when spoken by supporting actors, the dialog is filled with innuendoes, ambiguities and ironies. In fact, many of the men and women playing waiters, refugees or nameless customers were Europeans who had emigrated to Hollywood to escape Nazism. Neverously hopeful, coldly indifferent or patient and resigned the presence of minor characrters intensifies the oppressive atmosphere of the film"-Reclams Filmklassiker (100 Greatest Films of All Time, 210)
  • Paul Henreid was not sure he wanted to play the 2nd man in this film because he was concerned about typecasting as well as playing second fiddle to the stars and not being remembered.
  • On their relationship, Ingrid stated about Bogie that "I kissed Bogie, but I never got to know him." (Ingrid, 82)
  • The line at the end of the film "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship" was added in post production and was written by Hal Wallis. It is ranked #20 on the AFI's Top 100 Movie Quotes.
Casablanca. 1942. 102 Minutes. B&W. Drama.
OSCARS: Best Picture (Hal B. Wallis), Best Director (Michael Curtiz), Best Screenplay (Julius J. Epstein, Phillip G. Epstein and Howard Koch).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ingrid Quiz...

1. What's your favorite Ingrid film?

2. Who's your favorite leading man from a film with Ingrid?

3. Who would you LOVE to see her with?

4. What action film would you cast Ingrid in?

5. In which current/classic TV show would she have been a great cast member?

6. Long hair Ingrid or short?

7. Ingrid in Sweden, Italy or U.S.?

8. Who's your favorite of her children?

9. Favorite photo of Ingrid?

10. If you had to write a book report on Ingrid, what would it be titled?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Life in Black and White and Technicolor"

I was perusing the various blogs I follow and I found one through a follower, Loes, called Life in Black and White and Technicolor. I urge you all to follow this well articulated blog. She does a fantastic job of incorporating film, art, favorites, student life and life in general into her posts.
One particular post caught my attention... "A Scandinavian Intermezzo." Everyone should go to her blog and flood her followers box because she deserves our support! Thanks for being a reader and commenter Loes!

Ingrid Bergman Life and Films Logo Contest???

Should we have another Ingrid Bergman Life and Films logo contest? I was thinking about having an Ingrid prize this time... any thoughts?
I know that participation wasn't that high last time, but I did end up with a beautiful logo from Lolita... so it was definitely worth it...

Comment and let me know... I'll also put up another poll to see if anyone's interested.

Monday, November 16, 2009


If you follow me on or if you're on twitter please mark your Ingrid Bergman posts with #ingridbergman
This will make it easier for people to find information about Ingrid on twitter and maybe help build our community and communication :)

Kate Gabrielle's Gift to Me!

I recently ordered a moleskine journal from Kate Gabrielle's etsy page. I love the Eloise flapperdoodle cartoon. It's incredibly witty and cute. Well, a surprise was awaiting me today in a flapper-covered envelope...a drawing of Ingrid!
Here is a video showing you what I received. Thank you again Kate Gabrielle for your work and your blog, they're superiorly well done.
Follow KateGabrielle on all of her sites!
(I'll post a transcript of what I say for any non-English speakers.)

So I want to show you that I got a new package today, and do you notice anything about the package? I think that it might be some flapperdoodles. That's right, flapperdoodles. Courtesy of KateGabrielle. And... So I purchased... this which is a moleskine, lined, um, journal and it has Eloise here, reading a book. Which makes me excited because I like to imagine myself looking like that. Um, not really. I don't look like that.
So, this is the cover and it has her logo on here... sorry everything is reversed...the logo is here. And on the back there's a cute little Eloise logo and with it came cards, lots of cards, and coupons, lots of coupons! for etsy
And a little surprise!
That's right, she drew a picture of Ingrid Bergman and sent it to me. I am very excited about this and I just want to say a big thanks to KateGabrielle. I love your work, I follow you on twitter, we talk, it's cool. I like it. And I'm not the only one who can vouch to say that you are awesome!
Your art is amazing. Keep it up. You have a great talent, don't waste it! So I'm going to get this a frame and I think I might take some stills of it as well and post it if that is okay with everyone. So that everybody can see how wonderful this is probably in better resolution than this... You can see the reflection of my computer.
Um, and now I'm going to go and work on the Casablanca blogs; which I'm going to show you...look. Proof! Proof that I'm really doing it.
Seriously, research, look at this. This is my pile, my pile of research. Right here. I'm working on it, alright. And then I'll do the play by play, which hopefully I can do tonight and just get it done and have a quality blog for everyone. So thanks for being patient and thanks for being a reader. Uh, I guess I'll see you on the other side!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ingrid Bergman Life and Films Facebook Fan Page!

I have done a few things to keep up with you kids and the crazy times...
I have:
  1. Added a facebook fan page to boost my connections with all Ingrid fans and another outlet for all of us to spread love of classic films. Feel free to join, share your fan pages here or on that page, link to it, post comments, share pictures, etc. There is a facebook badge in the sidebar, you can follow that as a link to the site or look up "Ingrid Bergman Life and Films" on facebook! Feel free to friend me :)
  2. Added a "Linkwithin" bar under each post. This is more for fun and interested first timers. I noticed other bloggers hosting this addition to their pages, and I've used it to get lost in a labyrinth of amazing classic film posts, so why not give it a try? Lol.
So I will now get back to my research- I really am trying to pull this Casablanca post together- I just want it to be as well done as possible!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rare Ingrid Films Showing in Berkeley, CA

I'm kind of bumming about this because I'm no where near Berkeley and would have loved to go to this film event(s), but anyway:
The University of California Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive is hosting a series called "A Woman's Face: Ingrid Bergman in Europe." This celebration and discussion of Ingrid's time in Sweden and in Italy. The event kicked off with a lecture from The Swedish Film Institute's Jon Wengström, discussing Ingrid's personal life and work through out her lifetime.
The program will continue with screenings of some of her rare work from the 1930's and her work with
Rossellini in Italy in the 1950's. If you visit the link to "A Woman's Face..." it has a line up of the films including:
Intermezzo (1936), The Count of the Old Town (1935), Walpurgis Night (1935), A Woman's Face (1938),
June Night (1940), Stromboli (1949), Europa '51 (1952), Viaggio in Italia (1953), Autumn Sonata (1978).
If anyone gets a chance to get to any of these screenings, please take pictures of yourself there and write me!
I would have loved to be there, actually it makes me extremely sad and irritated that I cannot just hope in a time
machine/jet and see the lecture that was held on Wednesday. Oh well.
So what I have done to cure my ails is email the BAM/PFA and ask them how to get in touch with JonhWengström.
Here is a copy of what I have sent. Hope you guys don't mind that I threw you into this, but I thought some of you
would like to be included! :)
My name is Alexis Morrell and I compose a blog dedicated to the life and work of Ingrid Bergman. I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction as how to get in touch with Jon Wengström from the Swedish Film Institute? I have been trying to follow the film/lecture series that you are hosting at the BAM/PFA from afar (I am in Maryland and therefore was unable to be at the lecture as well as I will be unable to attend the film series), and my readers and I would like to know if there is a possibility to find out more about the lecture as well as the Ingrid Bergman series?
Any information would be much appreciated, we are all devout Ingrid fans and our deepest wishes would have been to attend your film/lecture event.
Thank you for your time,
Alexis Morrell
Ingrid Bergman Life and Films

Alexis Morrell

Now I will go back to researching the history of Casablanca. I'm going to present you with the history of the film because it is truly one of the most interesting happy accident pieces of cinema ever to grace this earth. I'm just now reading about the writing and casting--WOO!- this film is full of drama, not just on the screen but behind the scenes as well! I can't wait to give you all this information.
After the history, I will then do the play-by-play. That will be a little less credible because it will be me shooting off the hip, but hopefully, none-the-less, entertaining.

Thank you for your support and readership,
Alexis :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Last Fiesta Videos

So, though this isn't very Ingrid based, I just wanted to share a little video I recently made that is a part of my last mission video with the FiestaMovement.
This is just a part of my mission 6 video, but I worked arduously on it and think it stands pretty well on its own.
Just a quick story about it...
I was showing Julia, age 3, my video as I was in the process of making it. She picked up the tiny mimobot car and said "Make it go like that." Then put it in the drawer and waited. Though I was a little bit sad that I couldn't make fantasy real in real life, I was really excited to make her think that it could happen and that the video was believable, even if just in a child's eyes.
It was a cool moment, and just another reason to become a filmmaker and love film.
Loving film= something we all have in common!
So here it is--please let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Ingrid!

Happy Halloween to everyone--it's a little late, but the sentiment is still genuine. Did anyone happen to catch Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde on TCM last night? I did.
Here's a picture of me watching the movie.

I dressed up as Dr. Temperance Brennan from the Fox TV series, "Bones." My costume rocked and I had a lot of fun!
Me in front of a rasterbated picture of the bones of Frida Khalo.
Examining a victim from a case. Also, having some snacks.
Julia was a "haircut lady" and Katharine was Snow White. They're the little girls I babysit.

The party we threw was my last mission for the FiestaMovement. If you're in L.A. on December 1st or 2nd you should come down to the L.A. Auto Show! I'll be there!

What was everyone for halloween? Did you celebrate? Did you catch a classic film?

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