Monday, March 30, 2009

Classic Forever Blog

I'd like to plug Millie's site right now Classic Forever

I love this site because Millie does "Photos of the Day" and there have been plenty of Ingrid pictures thus far! Everyone should check out the site because even when the photos aren't of Ingrid Bergman, they're great stills.

Keep up the good work Millie! Check out the site!! :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Die Vier Geselle

In 1938 Ingrid Bergman was obligated, by a contract with the U.F.A. in Germany to complete a series of 3 films. Die Vier Gesellen or The Four Companions is one of the films she completed.
A couple facts about this film:
  • Ingrid refused to go to the concentration camps to see the Nazi "progress" in Germany. She was actually quite disinterested in politics, especially at this time and was never quite as "worldly" as most people assumed.
  • Her "Aunt Mutti" (Aunt Mommy) was a near and dear aunt while Ingrid was growing up but when the war came about, Aunt Mutti dated an SS officer and Petter Lindstrom did not care for this behavior. He and Ingrid stayed with them but refused to salute with the "Heil" (In some references it is said that Ingrid did salute in the house to keep from an uproar from her aunt, but never in public.).
  • Ingrid was nervous that one of Hitler's right hand men, Joseph Goebbels would want her company intimately (he had a reputation for liking actresses) and was told NOT to refuse him. He never called for her. She said that she probably "wasn't his type." Lol. She openly refused his company, though it never became a true issue.
  • They had to use large objects and taylor Ingrid's costumes during the shoot because she was pregnant with her daughter Pia during this time (She and Petter found out about the pregnancy during the shoot of A Woman's Face in Sweden, the place where Pia was later born).
  • One of the actresses on the film did go see the camps and said that it haunted her for the rest of her life. She said her husband made her and they later divorced, hinting that it helped cause a schism.
  • Ingrid never fulfilled her contract with U.F.A. because of the war and dangers it held. She was not associated with the Nazi Party and really held no political preferences. By the time her 3rd film would have come around, she was already busy with David O. Selznik in the US.
  • It was not uncommon for European actors, directors, creative types to be contracted out to various countries. Alfred Hitchcock was another who was lent to various companies. The issues of loyalties only happened due to the war and its cruelties.
I hope you enjoy these clips! :)

Another Great Find! Trailer for The Yellow Rolls Royce!

Here is a trailer by TCM that is for the 1964 film The Yellow Rolls Royce. I know there are a lot of video posts right now, I'm trying to spread the wealth! If you want to see more variation, let me know :) Thanks!

AFI Video: Ingrid Bergman

All Ingrid Bergman fans like to revel in the prodigiousness of her work and aura. The AFI likes to take the time to make lists that include our favorite actors. These videos they have made to show a summary of why we love who/what we love are generally powerful and well made. Here is a video from the AFI Top 100 list starring our favorite #4 actor of all time! When you watch the videos of various actors/actresses the ones done partially in a colored hue or b&w are for those who are deceased and normal color is for the living.
Enjoy Ingrid's video hosted partially by Goldie Hawn with whom she worked with while shooting Cactus Flower (this film won Goldie an Oscar for best supporting actress in a comedy).

Ingrid Bergman - Actress - Greatest Screen Legends
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ingrid Bergman <3'ed Joan of Arc

I have read a lot of materials regarding Ingrid Bergman's life and work and the theme that comes up the most was her love of Saint Joan of Arc.
Ingrid played St. Joan 3 times in her professional career.
She played Joan of Arc during a production on Broadway in 1946.

It received rave reviews and she was loved by her audience. The American audience ate up her "saint appeal" much like they did in The Bells of St. Mary's, this, of course did not help things when she left for Italy.
The play was titled "Joan of Lorraine" and it starred Ingrid, Sam Wanamaker, Kenneth Tobey, among others. Ingrid received an Antoinette Perry Award for her portrayal of Joan and a group called "The Alvin Gang" was developed as well (they were a group of young fans who also greeted Ingrid when she returned to America in 1957. The play did not have a lot of scenery and it was really all about the action and the people.
Reviews called Ingrid "clear and clean and honest" as well as "spiritual." The critics loved the play and were impressed by her stamina following an earlier play, Lilliom, in which she had co-starred with Bergess Meredith in 1940.

In 1948, Ingrid Bergman's dream of being Joan of Arc in a film were realized. She starred in a very long and not well received version of Joan of Arc. Though Ingrid is alive on the screen and her fans loved her in the film, the film was cut to shreds in post production and with all of the edits and rewrites, it didn't stand a chance. Critics still loved Ingrid, and Ingrid still loved Joan, but the film was a dud.

My favorite thing about this film, is that Ingrid is still convincing. Not once do you pause to say, "hey, wait a minute, isn't Ingrid Bergman like 33 in this movie? Wasn't Joan of Arc like 14?" No. The willingness of disbelief is there.

In Donald Spoto's book, Notorious: The Life of Ingrid Bergman, there is a section about Ingrid Meeting with the famous playwright, George Bernard Shaw, when he was 93 and she was in her 30's. I think it is funny, so I will now give you the excerpt:

...But now the playwright was reading in the London daily newspapers about the shopping expeditions and social comings-and-goings of Ingrid Bergman, and he wanted to meet her. One very warm July afternoon, Pascal (producer/director of Shaw's plays) escorted Ingrid to Shaw's country house at Ayot St. Lawrence. Then ninety-three, Shaw was alert, cantankerous and appreciative of female beauty as ever. An imposing figure with his full head of white hair and a long flowing beard, he greeted Ingrid at the gate and at once asked why she had not done his play St. Joan in New York. "I didn't like it, " she said with a smile. "What do you mean you don't like it? It's a masterpiece" "Yes, but you gave us Shaw's Joan, not the Joan of history," Ingrid continued as they walked up the path to the house and with that she proceeded to offer him a brief lecture on the subject. "You see," Ingrid said without haughtiness, "I just happen to know much more about her than you do." Shaw was completely disarmed by Ingrid's frankness and charmed by her refusal to be intimidated by him. "Nobody has ever had the courage to tell me they don't like my work," he said, and then asked, "What plays of mine have you done?" "Well, Mr. Shaw, I haven't done any of your plays. as his housekeeper brought in the tea tray, Shaw sighed and gazed mournfully at Ingrid. "Well, my dear girl, you haven't even begun yet." Years after Shaw's death in 1950, she "began."

The last time Ingrid Bergman portrayed Joan of Arc (professionally) was in 1954, during her "Rossellini Period." Roberto Rossellini produced and (partially) directed the play. The play was called "Joan of Arc at the Stake" and it starred Ingrid, Valentine Dyall, and Harry Happengood (once again, among others). It was a musical melodrama with choruses and it was not very profitable (a problem the Rossellini's had during their time together). Ingrid was well received, but the play was kind of dumped.

Ingrid loved Joan of Arc and wanted to know everything she could about her. I admire this, because I feel the same way about Ingrid Bergman. Humanizing these icons is a hobby, finding your love for someone so great is what sparks the ambition. Ingrid, as a young lady, would collect medals of Joan and read all about her.

She also visited the sites of Joan's great triumphs and statues when she could, as an adult. She reached her life's goal to play Joan, and though it wasn't always the best for the audience, I'm sure it was for Ingrid.

Something that makes me a little sad about this play and all of Ingrid's stage performances, is that those of us who are devoted fans of her work never had opportunity to see her live. I was born after Ingrid died, and I'm sure a lot of you were probably too young to have seen her too...even if you were alive. I will never get to feel the presence of Ingrid Bergman in a room (beyond any ghosts willingly haunting me) or see the stage lit specifically for her greatness. Sure, I can see the next greats, like Mary Louise Parker or Cate Blanchett, but never Ingrid.
The closest I feel you can come to one of her real stage performances (on DVD) is Hedda Gabler. The BBC has an Isben collection that includes the TV version of Hedda. I love it. "Just killing time!"

Talk About Ingrid and Roberto in CA

If anyone is located on the West Coast, this may interest you.

Isabella Rossellini Performs At McCallum Theatre

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Matter Of Time

This is a (somewhat ridiculous) clip from A Matter of Time. It 's dubbed, so the voices and screaming and acting are all weirder than the original (which, I hate to say, was considered Ingrid's worst work...wtg Minnellis). It is still pretty cool to find a clip of this work. Check it out!
(PS as you can tell I like the idea of changing it up with some videos)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ingrid Bergman on Bob Hope

This is a clip from the Bob Hope Show. I personally think it's hilarious as well as evidence that Ingrid had spectacular comedic timing! I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Isabella Stuff Again

So for the near future, Isabella Rossellini will probably appear in the blog quite often. She is launching her new season of Green Porno, so she has lots to say and I have a lot to report.

Here are some pictures from the new season!! :)

I'm not sure how Ingrid and Roberto would have felt about this venture their daughter has sought out, but it is informative and entertaining, two things Isabella's parents seemed to value!
Enjoy! :)

Green Porno Season Two Preview

Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini's daughter Isabella Rossellini is back to informing us all about the mating habits of sea creatures! Check it out April 1st!

Monday, March 23, 2009

On Set With Ingrid

Here is a photo collection of Ingrid while on set. Enjoy! They're a great window into the real Ingrid (I suppose!)

on the set of The Visit

On the set of For Whom The Bell Tolls

On the set of Saratoga Trunk with Gary Cooper

On the set of New Wine

On the set of Indiscreet with Cary Grant

On set of Gaslight with Marline Dietrich

On Set of Anastasia with Yul Brenner

On set of 24 Hours in a Woman's Life

On set of Indiscreet

On set with Gregory Peck shooting Spellbound

On set of Anastasia with a kitty.

On set of Joan of Arc

On set (in my fave dress of all time) of Anastasia

With Ingmar Bergman on set of Autumn Sonata

With Daughter Ingrid Isotta Rossellini of A Matter of Time

Chillin' in the sun during the Inn of Sixth Happiness shoot

Rehearsing English Country style dance with Cary Grant on the set of Indiscreet

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New Ingrid Book for ME!!!

The Complete Films Of Ingrid Bergman
is the latest addition to my Ingrid Bergman book collection. This book contains pictures, reviews, and commentaries on Ingrid's body of work including: movies, television and theatrical work. The pictures are all black and white and the book is soft cover, but still a must have for any Ingrid enthusiast.

Isabella News

Ingrid Bergman's daughter, Isabella Rossellini,

is coming out with a new season of her Green Porno series on the Sundance Channel. Here is an article in New York Magainze, released today, about what she's up to:

129 Minutes With Isabella Rossellini

Thursday, March 19, 2009

This is for Byron

Byron Montgomery--aka--Lord Byron, author of Byronically Speaking: Byronic Exuberance loves the movie Cyrano De Bergerac, with Gerard Depardieu.
Byron, because he is Adi's bf, often gets roped into watching Ingrid Bergman films (classics) as well as Isabella Rossellini films (which tend to be a lot crazier).
Well Byron-- Here is a plug for your blog and a picture

You're welcome! hahaha

Found and Scandalous

I have read in every book about Ingrid Bergman's life, that they took many special precautions to avoid being photographed while Ingrid was driving to the hospital, in the hospital, giving birth and after the baby was born. Every book also stated that several people snuck in, and one got by. I guess this must be the guy who got by.

"Paparazzi" was a phrased coined by Frederico Fellini. He was talking about Ingrid and Roberto's relationship to the press. They stalked the Rossellinis and were relentless. Isabella Rossellini once said that they (the children) would throw rocks and objects at the reporters because they would flash lights at them all the time and wouldn't leave them alone (seeing it as more of a game than invasion of privacy).

I doubt that my blog is helping by posting this picture. I should probably refuse to show a picture that Ingrid would have looked down upon with disgust. I see it now as a historical reference. Not only did this couple set the world on fire with their love affair, they tried to do it with class. They didn't want their faces all over the tabloids, as most celebrities don't. Ingrid eventually figured out that there is an amount of privacy that one loses claim to when they are famous. She later accepted it with more grace and willingness (not saying that would be easily achieved), as most celebrities today have yet to learn. I post this in honor of Ingrid and Roberto Rossellini's courage to drive fast, use tactics of sleuth and stelth, and be invisible--as much as possible.


Thanks to Joel Gunz for my first review!

Check it out at his blog: Alfred Hitchcock Geek

Here's the direct link! "Ingrid Bergman Geek"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Intro to Swedish!

Just found a cool site for beginner's Swedish!

This school hosts the site and it has sound bits and pronunciation!
Check it out!
Introduction to Swedish Page

Ingrid Art

I have seen many different types of artist mediums that depict Ingrid Bergman.
Some are better than others.
Andy Warhol did some pop art with images of Ingrid

I love these images. They are really unique and they follow the continuity of genius that Andy Warhol established.

They are, however, directly from images.

I would like to now address my friend Adi's art that is also pop art, and I feel is incredibly well done, but it is her interpretation of life, without the assistance of silk screen and direct imaging (not knocking Warhol, he was incredible and both Adi and I are fans!).

Adi does work from various images that she sees, people/animals/objects that surround her as well as her unique experiences in life. She does both color and black and white. I have the originals of two of the Ingrid drawings and someday they will be worth millions!
This is a drawing based on the various elements of Notorious. It was my birthday present and is now framed in my room. Notice the attention to detail, the tea cup, the bottle, the Cristo, the key...etc.

This Ingrid drawing is based straight out of Adi's brain. Yep, that's right. I think she did a great job with the eyes and lips in this picture. The colors and design really splash onto the paper with vibrancy and life.
When I asked her about her inspiration for this piece she said, jokingly at first,
I'm just amazing and too many years late. I wanted a different feel somewhere where Ingrid would not venture from what I knew of her at the seemed like the west was that. If she had been an Eskimo it would've been easier but boring.

She is extremely modest and will probably be mad at me for putting her art next to Andy Warhol's, but too bad; it's my blog and you're that good, Adi!

This picture is also framed in my room. It is based on a photo of Ingrid Bergman holding her head but as Adi says, it has been "picasso-fied and Adrienne styled...mostly picassofied." I love this picture and it is a really great use of simple colors with plenty of textures, patterns and shapes to make it wild!

If you are interested in hiring Adrienne or viewing her work you can visit various sites:
YoAdrienne's DiviantArt
Pickled Beetnik Blog

Please visit her and check out the rest of her stuff... it only gets better and she can draw you whatever you can think of! :)

Comment Clarification

I was checking out a comment I received from last night's blog. It's from Lolita and it says:
Lolita said...

The Autumn Sonata was dubbed?!?! Blasphemy! On no. Why not have intertitles instead? Things like this makes me sad.

Great post! I really like your blog."

Maybe I should clarify.
It was dubbed in English for English speaking audiences... So really it was just so they could avoid subtitles when it was released Internationally, mostly for when it was released in the U.S.
Now, on DVD, it is kind of nice to have 2 options (Swedish or English) so if you look down for a minute or want to view the action and just listen, it's an option.*

You can watch Autumn Sonata with subtitles or English--NO WORRIES!! I <3 style="font-style: italic;">Autumn Sonata

Something that is not dubbed (beyond the normal post production tweaks);Ingrid played her own music in this one! YEY! Ingrid shows off bother her SKILLZZZZ and beauty while playing Chopin's Prelude Opus 28 #2. This scene is one of the best in cinematic history. The women are in two different worlds and both entirely selfish in what they want in life...anyway... Liv Ullman's part was dubbed by one of Ingmar Bergman's ex-wives (who was a concert pianist). But Ingrid is ALL Ingrid!

So I hope this helps to brighten your day and make all things Bergman clear!
This movie is a masterpiece and all Ingrid fans should see it. Her strength and endurance as well as her grace and prescence are all evident here, despite her fight with breast cancer and illness.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Various Roles of Ingrid Bergman

The various roles of Ingrid Bergman is going to reference the roles she played in film, not in her real life... I'll save the wife, gf, mother, actress, grandmother, etc. for another entry!

Ingrid Bergman avoided stereotypes as much as possible. She played roles that ranged from bar wench to nun and from estranged mother to devoted spinster. Her diversity and range were just part of her greatness... I would like to celebrate her range with a pictorial of her parts. I will also comment on some! ;)

In The Count of the Old Town, Ingrid plays a hotel keeper and love interest of a robber. This outfit is now in the Swedish Museum of film history. This was her first break out role in Sweden.

The role that Ingrid took in En Kvinnas ansikte a.k.a. A Woman's Face, was one that she had to fight for. Her make up was a mixture of make up, a brace (her husband Petter Lindstrom constructed) and glue to make the side of her face distorted. She signed for more "pretty" films in order to fulfill this part. The movie is amazing and I recommend it to any Ingrid fan. She goes from disfigured, bitter and ruined to a beautiful, content woman making a new start.

In both the Swedish and U.S. versions of Intermezzo: A Love Story, Ingrid plays a young woman who is swept into an affair with a married composer/violinist. She starts as a naive piano teacher who just wants to experience the impulsive side of life to a wiser student of music and the world. These movies rock! They show footage of Ingrid playing the piano (though she was an accomplished player and her fingering is correct, they used a recorded playing.) and this is her American debut!

In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Ingrid was originally cast as Dr. Jekyll's girl friend, but she worked her way into getting the part of Ivy, the bar maid at a tavern who is taken by Mr. Hyde, abused (verbally, physically and [assumed] sexually) and eventually killed. This part required her to sing, laugh, dance, and transform into a hurt simple character who is frightened and distraught.

In probably her most recognizable film, Casablanca, Ingrid is a woman torn between the love of her past and the love of her future. She is all over the charts emotionally in this film and shows off her acting chops. She really could make or break the world in this picture. For as famous as this film is, it was not Ingrid's favorite to make nor really in general.
Ingrid changed her role so quickly for For Whom The Bell Tolls, that they couldn't reshoot any scenes for Casablanca. She cut her hair short, she wore darker makeup and was a shamed Spanish girl named Maria. This character had to be tough, scrappy and romantic, quite a feat for the blonde Swede. She wanted very badly to play this part, and it was somewhat of a box office disappointment (did not live up to the book at all), though the hair cut caught on amongst U.S. women at this time.

In The Bells of St. Mary's, Ingrid plays Sister Bendedict, a tom boyish, lovable, stern teacher opposite the joy filled, rebellous Father O'Malley played by Bing Crosby. This character is playful at times, like when she's teaching a young boy how to box or playing baseball with the little girls of the school. She is manipulative with the man from whom she wants to obtain a building to keep her school alive. She is caring when it comes to a lost girl named Patricia as well as the children she cares for. She is stern when it comes to academia as well as the rules and knows her responsibilities. And she is sickly and sad at points when she is unsure of her role as well as when she finds that she has TB. This role is complicated for a comedy and I think it is probably the role that haunted her the most when she went to Italy and was leaving only this image in the brains of Americans. Could she help it that she's so good?

In 1944's remake of Gaslight, she portrays Paula, a young woman whose aunt has been murdered 10 years before the action. Paula and her new husband move back to the house, in London, where the murder was committed and strange happenings occure. In this film it is indistinguishable whether or not Paul is crazy until the very end. Ingrid won her first Academy Award for this part and rightly so. Directed by George Cukor, costarring Charles Boyer, A MUST see.

Ingrid's character in Spellbound is probably my favorite as far as physical transformations are concerned. This character goes from bold beauty to book worm with one simple accessory, glasses! This movie involves a character who is cold, nerdy, professional and sexually suppressed and who transforms with love at first sight. The character holds a lot of information and is released into a world of sex and love. Though it wouldn't seem so at first, it is a very complex and most likely difficult character to play.

Notorious is my favorite character: Alicia Huberman. Alicia is a bad girl gone good. She is virtually prostituted for the greater good and falls hard for her dream man. As she gives herself to the will of the governement she becomes parted from her lover, T.R. Devlin (Cary Grant), and she is poisoned by her Nazi husband. The film is my favorite Ingrid Bergman film and my favorite film of all time. If you would like to read more about my character analysis and general love of this flick, go here: Notorious--It's my Favorite

In 1946 Ingrid played Joan of Arc on the stage, she then made a film in 1948 titled and then when she was over seas with Rossellini, they produced and she starred in another Joan play. Joan of Arc was Ingrid's hero and favorite person in history. She collected Joan of Arc metals when she was young and it was her role. This is what I'll use to skim through these years of her life... there are many more roles during this time and even earlier that I didn't get to cover, but if you go here, you can find them!

In Anastasia, Ingrid plays a princess who is brought from the streets of Russia to the palaces of Russia. She is completely lost in the beginning, disheveled and has been homeless/in an asylum for years. She is then brought into a challenge to find the real princess and transforms into a beautiful creature worthy of the crown. This part is heavy with emotions. Ingrid is very mousy at first and scared, she then blossoms into a woman who isn't afraid to down a couple of glasses of champagne and dance around a room with a man.

The Inn of Sixth Happiness is a film in which Ingrid plays a missionary who is devoted to saving the children and future of China. She is a down to earth woman in England who has to become worldly and change into a down to earth woman in China. She is brave and doting. A definite change from the Romanov film before it.

(I <3 style="font-style: italic;">so funny and the cast is amazing. Ingrid gets her groove on with Goldie Hawn in a dancing scene and the script is very well written (adapted really).

Here's a link to see the dancing sequence... you can also watch it instantly on netflix!! :)

Ingrid played the part of a rich countess in Vincent Minnelli's A Matter of Time. She wore a ton of makeup, a white wig and really made herself old for the part. She had both of her daughters work on the set. Ingrid Isotta worked in makeup and Isabella had a small role as a nun who comes to care for the old woman. Toward the end of her life, Ingrid was never afraid, in fact encouraged, looking older with tons of make up or leaving off makeup to look a different kind of old.

Another Academy Award was won due to her supporting role in Murder on the Orient Express. She played a Swedish nurse in this film and her speech in the film is fantastic. She goes into a Swedish accent as if she cannot translate her language and is very frail and broken. Though she didn't feel she deserved the award that year, I think she won it with no questions involved.

The last film I will discuss is Ingrid's last big screen film, Autumn Sonata. This film was made in Swedish by the great Ingmar Bergman (no relation) and also starred Liv Ullman. This film, I feel, is Ingrid's apology and reconciling for the way she raised her children. I don't think she needed to do this necessarily, but she did and it's beautiful. The part is an estranged mother who will do anything for her career and neglects the traditional roles of wife and mother. The film is dubbed in Englsih and was all in Swedish. She looks beautiful even though she has cancer in real life (during the shooting) and leaves off makeup. If you can find this film online, it's worth buying. Swedish films really need to be more readily available.

There are many other parts that Ingrid played. If you would like any addressed, I can, just let me know. She has so many different roles that it goes beyond this blog to prove it and really doesn't need to be proven at all.
How you like dem apples?

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