Beautiful Bergman…For Whom the Bell Tolls

Here’s where I, very quietly so nobody hears, admit (and am very embarrassed) that I had never seen Ingrid Bergman in…well…anything. Yes. It’s true. I’m sorry. And…I’m so sorry it took so long. She’s on my list of favourites now. Beautiful. Sweet. Strong. And just comes across so…wonderful.

My reasons for first watching her are shallow. Very, veeeeery shallow. As you may know, I’m a Gregory Peck fan (that young, handsome Gregory Peck). Told you I was shallow :-p But yes, I watched Spellbound for the first time a few months back (here) and thought Bergman was great. Not knowing what to watch next, the 3rd Wonderful Ingrid Bergman Blogathon conveniently came along. Totally in the dark, I did one of those eenie meenie miney mo things…For Whom the Bell Tolls (1942) was it. Just so. Well…kind of. Gary Cooper. Ingrid Bergman. Romance. Adventure. Just so. Oh, and even Oscar nominated (not that this really makes a difference to me). Yes. 9 nominations in total with one being a win.

3 ingrid bergman 6And, one of those nominations was for Ingrid Bergman as Best Actress in a Leading Role. Well deserved in my opinion. Based on Ernest Hemingway‘s novel of the same name, apparently he specifically wanted the two leads to feature in the adaptation. A good choice I think – they really do ‘gel’. I also believe this box office hit was the first Technicolor role of Ms Bergman.

She’s María, with a traumatic past, who was rescued by some guerillas living in the hills. Roberto/Robert (Grego…sorry, Gary Cooper – see now, I’m thinking of Ingrid in the role I first ‘met’ her) is the expert sent to blow up a strategic bridge during the Spanish Civil War. So, fate has it, they meet. And oh what a meeting it is….


And here…a few seconds later…


Talk about a bold woman. She’s not shy to show what’s overcome her and changed what she thought she believed in the blink of an eye. More than just a pretty face her influence on Roberto is profound. But, For Whom the Bell Tolls isn’t only about this romance. It is about questioning how far duty goes. If one would kill people one knows for the sake of a cause. Making the life changing decisions. And about personal sacrifices. Not having known the story until today, I was taken by surprise by the ending…but, that’s refreshing. Keeps me on my toes.

So, take the time to watch this wonderful movie directed by Sam Wood. It really is worth it. And also head on over to The Wonderful World of Cinema’s Blogathon page (here) for some more wonderful Ingrid Bergman posts.

I also couldn’t resist this image…so beautiful. And no…it isn’t Gary Cooper holding up her chin. It’s another wonderful character who has so much depth. You’ll need to find out who…someone with great insight.




  1. Great review! 🙂 Ingrid is sooo beautiful and touching in this film! It’s the one I actually reviewed for last’s year edition of the blogathon. 🙂 I’m glad Spellbound is one of the films you’ve seen since it’s my favourite one of hers! I would also recommend The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (my 2nd favourite), Gaslight, Cactus Flower, Casablanca (obviously), Notorious, Stromboli, A Woman’s Face (to see a early Swedish role) and more more more!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you I haven’t seen many Ingrid Bergman films, luckily For Whom the Bell Tolls does pop up regularly on tv here in England. It is a beautiful production. The photography . . . the close-ups! I don’t know if Ingrid has ever been more beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome to the Ingrid Bergman fan club! This film is great, she is so natural and moving in it. I thought she and Gary Cooper made a lovely couple. Very good film. Katina Paxinou is terrific as Pilar.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Anastasia is a very good choice. I’d also recommend Stromboli. Notorious. A Woman Called Golda. Casablanca. Indiscreet. Enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Another one that you simply must watch is The Bells of St. Mary’s. It is a lovely film and Ingrid is fantastic as a kindly nun.

          Liked by 1 person

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