Ingrid Bergman

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….

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And here…a few seconds later…

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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.

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First Impressions of…Spellbound

I’ve been anticipating Spellbound (1945) for quite a while now pretty much for Gregory Peck but also because I’ve been wanting to see who Ingrid Bergman is (soooorrrrryyy if you are in shock that I’d never seen her. And yes, that means I’ve haven’t seen Casablanca either but that will change soon). You’ll most likely be shocked to know that I’ve never seen an Alfred Hitchcock movie either. Shaking your head in disbelief?

I’ve rectified all that as of yesterday evening.

For those of you who don’t know the story, here you go: Dr Constance Petersen (Ingrid Bergman) is a psychiatrist who falls in love with the new Doctor “Dr Edwards” (Gregory Peck). However, she soon learns that things are not what they seem and that the new doctor is actually an amnesiac imposter who has periodic “attacks” triggered by certain visual cues. Determined to get to the bottom of this and convinced that he is not a murderer or dangerous, she risks her career and safety until the truth comes out.

So, what are my first impressions? Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Not sure what I was expecting but, as is usually the case, not this. I think I may have expected this high-tension thriller with (subconsciously) some birds thrown in together with some screaming shower scene. Instead, I got a suspense movie that had just enough tension and a great story (including some romance). Despite anticipating the ending, or at least, the outcome, it wasn’t all that obvious and I was kept wondering the whole way through as to how it would unravel.

I’m biased when it comes to Gregory Peck whom I always enjoy watching, but I really like/d Ingrid Bergman. Can’t believe I’d never watched her before. I’m going to give more of her roles a go and definitely more Alfred Hitchcock too.

Nominated for 6 Oscars, the only win went to Miklós Rózsa for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. This is definitely deserving because the music was actually one thing that stood out for me while watching. Yes, it built up tension (as it usually does), but it was also a comfort mechanism for me because it noticeably preempted the upcoming scenes. This meant I could relax a bit, knowing this wasn’t the end of Constance.

A great movie. Definitely one I’ll watch again.

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