In this episode, Marie and Mike discuss an iconic Hollywood star, Ingrid Bergman, whose love life both on and off the screen made for a very full career. Mike begins by noting that in the Scandinavian film history course he teaches at Howard Community College, he uses an excerpt from one of this Swedish-born actor's early films in her native country, "Intermezzo" (1936); and Mike goes on to explain how a famous American producer, David O. Selznick, liked that Swedish movie so much that he invited Bergman to make her Hollywood screen debut with its English-language remake as, yes, "Intermezzo" (1939), in which she co-starred with Leslie Howard. All at once she was a Hollywood movie star and the rest, as they say, is film history. Mike then says that after showing an excerpt from the original "Intermezzo" to his Scandinavian film history class he screens Ingrid Bergman's final feature film, "Autumn Sonata" (1978), which was directed by the greatest of all Swedish film directors, Ingmar Bergman. In that autumnal film, she plays a successful classical pianist who has a strained relationship with her daughter, played by Liv Ullmann; the mother is an acclaimed pianist, the daughter is a so-so amateur, and so you can count on sour notes during their brittle conversations. Anyway, Marie and Mike go on to discuss some of Ingrid Bergman's best roles during the decades between "Intermezzo" and "Autumn Sonata." Mike spends a lot of time pontificating about the ethical integrity of Bergman's character in "Casablanca" (1942), and Marie offers sartorial commentary - and more! - about Bergman's mesmerizing performances in films including "Gaslight" (1944) and "Notorious" (1946). As for Ingrid Bergman's off-screen love life, well, you'll have to tune into this episode for those romantic details.
May 22, 2020