Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Happy Birthday and RIP Ingrid Bergman

30 years ago, today, Ingrid Bergman passed away from cancer.
97 years ago, today, Ingrid Bergman was born in Sweden.

A full circle life that was, luckily, caught on camera and immortalized for everyone, including those of us who weren't around during her lifespan.

A letter:

Dear Ingrid Bergman,

Thank you for existing. Your 67 years on this earth were filled with very public joys and pains. You made films with some of the most historically famous filmmakers of all time; Hitchcock, Jack Cardiff, Roberto Rossellini, Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Michael Curtiz, among others. You worked with some of the most recognizable faces in the "Golden Days" of the industry; Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, Lana Turner, Spencer Tracy, Joseph Cotton, Liza Manelli, Mel Ferrer, Anthony Perkins, Yves Montand, Humphrey Bogart, Claude Rains and many more. If you showed this resume to anyone, they'd faint.

We, your fans, are glad that you existed. We now have the technology and capability to watch you on Netflix, pop in a DVD and see your films or buy VHS copies of hard to find movies from Longtailing is a wonderful thing. You weren't here to witness the internet... Probably in your best interest.

Your humanity was one of the first revealed to the public. You made some choices in life that remind us that no one in infallible and people have to live with their decisions. None of us care. We all love you.

I personally am grateful for your existence because I am trying to work in the film/TV industry and having you as a guiding light is always an inspiration. It sounds crazy, but you've helped me over the years and always have given me an excuse to write, laugh and cry. Thank you for this.

Happy Birthday Ingrid. You are a shining star that forever burns on celluloid.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

TCM's "Summer Under The Stars" Ingrid Bergman Day August 29th

Just like previous summers, Turner Classic Movies will be hosting their annual Summer Under The Stars instillation. 

On August 29th, they will be screening Ingrid Bergman films from 6am - around 3am the next day. As most of you know, that is Ingrid's birthday and the day she died. 

So, if you're lucky enough to have cable and TCM, you will be able to call into work and glue yourself to the television for the following films (Eastern Standar Time): 

6:00am -- Adam Had Four Sons (1941)
7:45am -- Rage In Heaven (1941)
9:30am -- Saratoga Trunk (1945)
12:00pm -- Under Capricorn (1949)
2:00pm -- Stromboli (1950)
4:00pm -- Europa '51 (1951)

6:00pm -- Gaslight (1944) 
8:00pm -- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
10:00pm -- Casablanca (1942) 
12:00am -- Joan Of Arc (1948) 
2:30am -- Elena And Her Men (1956) 
4:15am -- Autumn Sonata (1978)

This arrangement shows a variety in the films she made. The various directors she worked with and styles they all used. 

It's interesting that of the three Hitchcock films Ingrid starred in, Under Capricorn was chosen. The film itself wasn't a hit and it is lacking in some of the plot points, but if you're looking for innovation and risk taking it doesn't get much better than that...

...Jack Cardiff behind the camera, people falling backwards from a puzzle-like table just to pull a dolly holding a giant technicolor camera... It's full of trivia. Also- for about 5 minutes, Ingrid talks like a drunk, Irish woman. Pretty great. 

Be sure to set your DVR to the appropriate times... TCM only functions on Eastern Standard Time, so sometimes it can throw other timezones for a loop. 

Be sure to comment or leave reactions if you like on the blog, the facebook page or on twitter

Sunday, April 29, 2012

2012 Turner Classic Film Festival

I, once again, attended my favorite event in Los Angeles, the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival.

This year, the festival had a bit of rain but it didn't dampen the spirits of the classic film fans. The festival had a multitude of options and though I could not make it to everything they had or even everything I wanted to see, I still had a wonderful time.

The Turner Classic Film banner that hangs over the Kodak Theater on Hollywood Blvd.

The first film I saw was the Howard Hawks, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn team in Bringing Up Baby. This film is one of my all time favorites, so seeing it on the big screen, like it aught to be seen was such a thrill. If you get the chance, see it this way. The already hilarious and well plotted scenes open up more for the eye. The film was there as part of an "architecture in film" exhibition. Truly a delight.
Robert Osbourne and Stanely Donen in the Egyptian Theater 

My film festivities were put on a slight hold for Thursday and Friday due to school and my family was in town. I unfortunately couldn't be in three places at once, so I missed Young Frankenstein and the Q&A with my hero, Mel Brooks. I hope that someone will screen this movie on the big screen soon, I'm dying to see it. Maybe Cinespia at Hollywood forever might do it, who knows?

On Saturday, a schoolmate gave me his matinee pass so I could take my sister to the festival. She had never been and she's not normally a huge black&white/classic film fan, but I convinced her that Casablanca was going to be worth the venture and that it would mean a lot to me if she would go. Well, we had such a blast! I don't know if I've been that happy in a long time. I was in my favorite place, watching Ingrid Bergman in a 70th Anniversary restored edition of the film and the host was Leonard Maltin. We sat in Grauman's and she told me that she was having a great time. I could have died right there. I was welling up with tears, tears of joy, but it was such a sincere and fantastic memory.
My beautiful sister, Erin, waits in line with me for "Casablanca"

In the lobby at Grauman's they had dresses and costume gowns in glass cases from various films. Here are some photos of the dresses. Just another, new added touch to the TCM Film Fest a much appreciated bit of history and it totally brings the films to life.

The Gowns and Costumes that were on display and a photo of my sister at #TCMFF

After my family flew back to the east coast, I luckily didn't have to worry about post visit blues. Sunday, I decided to fill my dance card with movie after movie. I started with The Black Narcissist, starring Deborah Kerr and cinematography by Jack Cardiff. I had never seen the film and it was spectacular on the big screen. Thelma Schoonmaker, Martin Scorsese's editor and widow of the film's director, Michael Powell, talked after the film. It was wonderful to hear her talk about her husband, the film and her work.
Robert Osbourne claps for the director of "Charade," Stanley Donen

Stanley Donen (left), Ingrid Bergman and an unnamed hair stylist  on the set of "Indiscreet"

I then made my way to Charade, Stanley Donen's comedic film starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. I could have melted into the seat in the Egyptian theater. I love Stanley Donen films... Singin' In the Rain, Two For the Road and of course, Indiscreet. He is the type of director I'd like to be. His stories incorporate music, dancing, comedy, drama and life. So well done. I've met him once and heard him talk several times now, he's an inspiration. Charade was divine, as always. I'm now on an Audrey Hepburn bender, trying to watch everything in her canon. It's an enjoyable adventure, I advise doing it.

Robert Osbourne welcomes director Stanley Donen

After Charade and some California Pizza Kitchen to go (If you go to this film festival, know where the restaurants are... You can hit them up before going to the next film. Oh! And always have cash, the popcorn people at the Egyptian don't do plastic!), I went to the screening of The Pink Panther. I had never seen this film (I know, I know...) and I loved it. Blake Edwards didn't have to work very hard for my attention. I'm a huge fan of Breakfast At Tiffany's, which I saw last year when Julie Andrews spoke after the film... and The Pink Panther was a wonderful addition to my comedy quiver. I plan on watching Return of the Pink Panther soon because I've heard it's the best and I felt like the first one had a huge set up and not a lot of Peter Sellers. I'd like to see more of him.

Robert Osbourne interviews Robert Wagner from "The Pink Panther"

I was going to stay at the festival for another film, but I was too exhausted. I had planned on springing some cash on Annie Hall or Auntie Mame, but decided to go buy some DVD's at Amoeba Records instead. I bought Charade, Two For the Road and Breakfast At Tiffany's. Worth the buy.

I plan on going again next year. I hope that USC SCA gets the passes again (though I wish they were classic badges like the first year and not matinee, but I can't look a gift horse in the mouth). I will be in school for another year, so it's one sheer advantage!

 Audrey Hepburn's gown from Sabrina at Club TCM

 The Club TCM bar 
 Club TCM panel area
Inside the Roosevelt during the TCM Film Festival

The famous Roosevelt Hotel where Club TCM is stationed

If you were at the festival or have any stories to share, please feel free to comment or tweet at me @alexis_morrell I'd love to hear it!

AFI and Ingrid Bergman Honor Orson Welles:

Here's a groovy speech by Ingrid at AFI's honoring of Orson Welles. She looks like she's ready to dance at the discotech right after the show. Enjoy!

1973 Merv Griffin Cannes Film Festival Interview with Ingrid Bergman

Here is a really fantastic interview with Ingrid during the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. She looks gorgeous and her answers are so wonderful. What an inspiration!

Retrobites CBC Interviews with Ingrid Bergman

I recently found some interviews on Youtube of Ingrid Bergman. They are from the CBC as part of their "Retrobites" series.
They are just another wonderful window into Ingrid's life and work. Thank you to CBC for posting!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Another Chance to See "Casablanca"

If you're in the states, there's another chance to see Casablanca this Thursday!
(Click on the image below for ticket information and more general information.)

If you attend the screening or have any comments/posts about the quality of the new digital projection, let us know! It would be great to hear any stories about screenings or your personal Casablanca tales.

I will post about TCM and my Casablanca experience soon as well as some tid bits about Julie Andrews and Stanley Donen!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

TCM Film Festival 2012

Hello Everyone-
I hope you're having a wonderful spring!
I have been going to screenings at the TCM Film Festival, once again... Just returned from the screening of Casablanca at Grauman's Chinese Theater. It was the 70th Anniversary renovated edition. I'll definitely post about the festival and the screenings as soon as I finish attending!

If you're at the Festival, please post a comment or tweet at me @alexis_morrell on twitter.

You can also follow the festival @tcmfilmfest

"Here's looking at you kid..."

Monday, March 19, 2012

Casablanca Part 2: Lost in Morocco

Another post about Casablanca's screenings on Wed...
I received an email from another devout Classic Film/Ingrid fan, Geoff Renstrom, asking to promote the screenings of Casablanca... Here's the note. Be sure to see the film and visit their website!


Plan on a night filled with suspense, intrigue romance, and fantastic lines. That’s right; Casablanca is headed back to the big screen for a 70thanniversary celebration. Join your favorite characters Rick and Ilsa for this timeless classic, a part of cinema history.

NCM Fathom, Turner Classic Movies, and Warner Bros are coming together again to present Turner Classic Movies Presents Casablanca 70th Anniversary Event in select movie theaters nationwide on Wednesday, March 21st at 7:00PM (local time).

The event will begin with Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne taking audiences behind the scenes of this epic love story in a special original production showcasing stories from those who were on set and those who simply admire this timeless classic. Audiences will then be able to see again on the silver screen this beautiful and timeless classic.

We hope you’ll spread the word about this fantastic event by sharing information about Turner Classic Movies Presents Casablanca 70th Anniversary Event with your readers through mediums such as blog posts, newsletters, Facebook and Twitter. For more downloadable tools and additional details about Casablanca, including information on participating movie theaters and tickets, visit

Please let us know if we can provide any other information to facilitate your outreach. Thank you for your support.


Geoff Renstrom

Pure Brand Communications"

The website holds details about tickets, contests, prizes and other Casablanca themed fun! Be sure to check it out and report back to the blog!

Can't wait to hear about all of your movie adventures and I'll hopefully have time to post about mine! :)

Casablanca 70th Anniversary Celebrations!

Hi everyone!
Sorry it's been so long since I last posted. My life has been going in a fantastic direction lately and I've been completely overwhelmed with work (Graduate school, filmmaking, writing, and watching!)

I'm sure some of you have receieved updates from TCM about the 70th anniversary screenings of
Casablanca this week...

"The quintessential Hollywood love story returns to the big screen this spring as Turner Classic Movies Presents Casablanca 70th Anniversary Event on Wednesday, March 21, at 7 pm local time, with special matinees in select theaters. Movie audiences in theaters nationwide will be able to experience the time-honored classic in a stunning digital presentation by NCM Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and Warner Home Video. The event will be introduced by TCM host Robert Osborne who will discuss Casablanca's enduring legacy and reveal some of its fascinating behind-the-scenes stories. Casablancastarred Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid and became one of the most romantic films in the history of cinema. It won three Academy Awards in 1944 including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Tickets for Turner Classic Movies Presents Casablanca 70th Anniversary Event are available at participating theater box offices and online at The event will be broadcast to nearly 500 select movie theaters across the country through NCM's exclusive Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the NCM Fathom website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

Movie critic Leonard Maltin calls Casablanca "the best Hollywood movie of all time." The American Film Institute (AFI) voted it the screen's greatest love story and the No. 3 film of all time. The film's characters, dialogue and music have all become iconic in Hollywood movie history.

"There are few things more thrilling for movie lovers than being able to experience a true classic like Casablanca the way it was originally intended: on the big screen," said Dennis Adamovich, senior vice president of brand and digital activation for TCM, TNT and TBS. "We're proud to take part in this exciting event as we extend the magic of Turner Classic Movies to theaters across the country."

Casablanca: easy to enter, but much harder to leave, especially if you're wanted by the Nazis. Such a man is Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid), whose only hope is Rick Blaine (Bogart), a cynical American who sticks his neck out for no one - especially Victor's wife Ilsa (Bergman), the ex-lover who broke his heart. Ilsa offers herself in exchange for Laszlo's transport out of the country and bitter Rick must decide what counts more - personal happiness or countless lives hanging in the balance.

"Like many, I have fond memories of watching Casablanca with my family," said Shelly Maxwell, executive vice president of Fathom Events. "Fans of this timeless cinematic treasure won't want to miss this one-time opportunity to experience Casablanca on the big screen once again as Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman take us back to the golden age of Hollywood."

Turner Classic Movies Presents Casablanca 70th Anniversary Event is the third recent classic anniversary event presented in theaters by NCM Fathom Events including the 70th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz and 50th anniversary of West Side Story.

Warner Home Video will release Casablanca 70th Anniversary Edition on March 27 featuring a 3-Disc limited and numbered gift set including the remastered feature on both Blu-ray and DVD with more than 14 hours of bonus material. The keepsake box also includes a compilation of three comprehensive feature length documentaries, a hard-cover 62-page book with never-before-seen on-set photography, sketches and production history, a reproduction of the original 1942 French theatrical poster as well as a collectible set of drink coasters."

I'm not sure why it's happening right now, since we all know that it premiered in November and January of 1942 and 1943... But... We'll take it, right?

If you can make it, be sure to comment on the blog! It would be great to hear about everyone's adventures and experiences...

About Me

My photo
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