Friday, November 26, 2021

Girl Week 2021


This whole, full week (ends Sunday) is all about the gals who were important in film whether they are actresses, directors, writers, etc... Dell on Movies is the originator and host of this blogfest and I hope you check out more who are participating. Here is my next entry...

GASLIGHT-1944 WITH INGRID BERGMAN (AUG. 29, 1915- AUG. 29, 1982)

Ingrid Bergman won the Oscar for this role as a woman who feels she is losing her sanity. Her husband, The "man with the bedroom eyes", Charles Boyer is becoming less and less patient with her when she describes the gaslit lamps in the home grow dim at a certain time in the evening and that she hears someone in the attic even though it has been boarded up for years. She meets a young man, played by Joseph Cotton, who seems genuinely interested in her but is he real? The young maid, played to slut like quality by Angela Lansbury just adds to Ingrid's horrible life. We find out that she was swept up off her feet by the charming and dashing Boyer (never trust charm as we must purposely use it. It is not inwardly innate...think of all the sales people out there) becoming husband and wife and moving into her late Aunt's home but soon things started to change for her. Ingrid could play the quivering, fearful woman and a young, naive but sure of herself gal all in one film. I am unsure who else could have played this character as I could never see Betty Davis, Katherine Hepburn or Joan Crawford in the role as they would have eaten Boyer for breakfast and then dug out the remains with a toothpick from their teeth. Bergman brings it and more, to me anyway. Bergman actually went to a mental institution and studied one woman, in particular,  taking her mannerisms for her role. Gaslighting is now meant as a form of abuse which many people have experienced or seen others go through this abusive treatment. I bet it happens more than we think.

Ingrid Bergman lost both her parents by the time she was 13 years old. Her mom, who was German, died when Ingrid was about 2 1/2 yrs old and her beloved father when she was 13. She was sent to live with an Aunt and Uncle and would live in Sweden but summer in Germany. The loss of both parents might be why she often fell head of heels in love with many of her co-stars.

She was first married to Petter Lindstrom and had a daughter, Pia but, while married had many affairs like Spencer Tracy, Gregory Peck (Hell, I'd be tempted!..tempted!), Gary Cooper and Robert Capa who was a famous Life Photographer and landed on D-Day with the troops risking his life to take some very famous pictures. Actually, Hitchcock, who also was smitten with her (many male stars were) used her Affair with Capa as the romantic basis for "Rear Window."

When she came over from Sweden to star in the Hollywood version of "Intermezzo", the studio and David O'Selznick wanted to change her hair, her eyebrows and cap her teeth. She told them where to go and would be on the next boat home but, thankfully, they relented. At that time many actresses dyed their hair, plucked all their brows into arched ones and the teeth would all get done (just like now). They could do nothing about her height which was 5' 10" so most of her male co-stars had to stand on boxes and she had to wear flats or go barefoot. One she was happy that she did not have to do this with was Gary Cooper. 

She won 3 Oscars and is matched by Frances McDormand and Meryl (raise and eyebrow and win an Oscar) Streep and surpassed by Katherine Hepburn who won 4. Ingrid also won a Tony and 2 Emmy's.

Ingrid spoke 5 languages fluently-Swedish, German, English, French and Italian. When films were dubbed, she did her own. She always wanted to be an actress which her father indulged her in often taking many photos of her. She is beloved around the world and often chosen as one of the best actresses ever (I found out there is a German magazine that ranked her #1 and Sean Connery #1 for men. The name..."Funk Uhr"..hahahaaa Say that 10 times fast.).

When she started out in films, she got a contract to make 4 German films. Not taking the political climate seriously, naive/dumb, whatever you want to call it, she made 1 film, "The Four Companions" but while filming she realized the true climate and that you had to be a member of the Nazi Party if you wanted to get ahead. She left and did not return feeling guilty all her life for not taking the political climate more seriously. 

By the late 40s, after appearing as a nun in one film and Joan of Arc in another, with her wholesome looks, most Americans thought of her as almost saintly. Ingrid saw the film "Rome, Open City" directed by Roberto Rossellini, she was so moved by the film that she wrote a fan letter to the director who wrote back inviting her to Italy. Whoops! They started an affair resulting in a pregnancy which spread like wildfire all over the world. Her native country of Sweden denounced her and the States were so revolted by her indecency that she was denounced in the Senate, by an idiot, as a "powerful influence for evil." She did not return to the states, being in self-exile, until 1956 when she won her 2nd Oscar for "Anastasia." Unfortunately, her husband would not allow her to see her daughter Pia even though Ingrid would often be gone for film shoots and other occasions. Pia never blamed her mother and helped her in later years when she became ill with cancer. 

Ingrid had her son(named after daddy) with Roberto and twin daughters, Isotta and Isabella Rossellini who is, herself, an accomplished actress and former model.

There are a few things named after Ingrid Bergman including a Ferrari, a rose and a song, written by Woody Guthrie who was a big fan. If you want to listen to it, here it is

Other Films:

Intermezzo (1936)-Swedish film that made her famous

En Kvinnas Ansikte (1938)- "A Woman's Face" remade in 1941 with Joan Crawford.

Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939) - Brought her here to Hollywood

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1941)

Casablanca (1942)

For Whom The Bell Tolls (1943)

Spellbound (1945)

The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)

Notorious (1946)

Arch of Triumph (1948)

Joan of Arc (1948)

Stromboli (1950)

Anastasia (1956)

Indiscreet (1958)

Cactus Flower (1969)- Goldie Hawn won an Oscar in this film

Murder on The Orient Express (1974)- won her 3rd Oscar

Autumn Sonata (1978)

A Woman Called Golda (1982)-TV movie. Won Emmy posthumously. Excellent movie about Golda Meir which I wish to watch again through adult eyes.


  1. Hi, Birgit!

    Happy Girl Week Friday to you, dear friend!

    Thanks for featuring Ingrid Bergman, another great actress of the 20th century with a very colorful back story. I have seen the film Gaslight and very much enjoyed it. Yessum, you should not trust the charming Charles Boyer, especially if he coaxes you to “Come wiz me to ze Casbah.” Yessum, I have a hard time believing those charming sales clerks when they thank me for shopping at their store and wish me a great day, especially when I catch them reading those words from a printed script taped next to the cash register. I also object to clerks making me feel older than I am by offering to help me out to the car with my bags, even if all I bought was a pack of gum!

    I also don't trust Joseph Cotten farther than I can throw him uphill against a stiff wind. I learned that lesson the year before when he played the devious, deceptive, dowager-killing Uncle Charlie in Shadow of a Doubt. Anyhow, I admire Ingrid Bergman for doing research for her character by observing a patient in a mental institution. Ingrid might have had an affair with Spencer Tracy, but I want to repeat in no uncertain terms that I never did! Rock Hudson - yes - but not Spencer Tracy. WHAT? You don't think Meryl ("The dingo took my baby!") Streep deserves her 3,277 Oscars? :) WHAT? Ingrid was denounced in the Senate as a "powerful influence for evil" just because she had an affair and got pregnant? That's extreme! Requiring her to wear the scarlet letter "A" would have been more appropriate. I didn't know until now that Isabella (Blue Velvet) Rossellini is Ingrid's daughter. Amazing that Ingrid spoke five languages fluently.

    Thanks again for shining the spotlight on Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman. To know her is to like her. I can see why you consider her worthy of our admiration.

    Have a fine Friday and I'll see your tamale, dear friend BB!

    1. She was such a great actress. Poor Charles Boyer often played cads or someone you may not be able to trust but he was devoted to his wife. When she died, he was inconsolable and took his own life. Poor Joseph Cotton, pretty much forgotten today but what an actor! I love Shadow of a Doubt. Yes, the public and all were pretty pathetic back in the 50s with their backward way of thinking. I’m so glad you are enjoying my takes in the Women this week.

  2. I've really loved Ingrid in the films I've seen her in. This one I haven't, and I definitely need to rectify that.

    1. This is a good one because you will feel for Ingrid and want to shake her because she portrays weakness so well. I have seen many women like this and it’s heartbr√®aking.

  3. Bergman's filmography is a huge blind spot for me. Gaslight is the one I've been meaning to see the most. Thanks for posting this!

    1. Glad you enjoyed this and I hope you see more of her films.

  4. My mother loves Gaslight, and she urged me to see it. I think the impact would have been greater for me if I didn't have a vague idea of what was going on when I saw it for the first time. I didn't know all that about her life. She did live in interesting times.

    1. The 50s seem to take a back step to the Victorian era. I think if you were to watch this again, you may appreciate the nuances she gives to this tough role. You want to shake her character and tell her to snap out of it.

  5. You are batting a thousand as far as I'm concerned Birgit! Another favorite under your lens (just stay away from Jennifer Jones and we're all good....unless we're talking The Towering Inferno!)

    Gaslight is a film that grew on me with repeated viewings. I think I was too young the first time I saw it and didn't understand the nuances. Both Ingrid and Boyer (they shared a birthday) give complex performances full of shading and Angela is a saucy delight.

    Speaking of complex that was Ingrid, a seemingly placid ocean but roiling underneath. Hers was another outstanding autobiography much like her, frank honest and plain spoken.

    She gets so much flack about her win for Murder on the Orient Express but I think she does a fine job with the character, though I don't think she should have won either. She recognized that it belonged to Valentina Cortese and gave the most amazing speech basically handing it to her.

    I've seen a great deal of her work but am woefully behind in her early Swedish work. I have seen all her pictures with Rossellini however.

    Even though her films are a mixed lot she is always riveting in them and fortunately she loved to work so she left behind a great deal of work.

    My top 10 of her theatrical films:

    Indiscreet-Both with Cary Grant, they paired so well.
    Autumn Sonata-This is where her third Oscar should have come from and probably would have if not for the career one for Orient Express.
    The Bells of St. Mary's
    Cactus Flower
    Goodbye, Again

    Since Golda was a TV project I didn't include it but her work in it is some of her best ever.

    She's very much a cautionary tale in the importance of getting a second opinion. She went to a doctor while touring with a play who found a lump in her breast but told her it was nothing and she trusted him. By the time she saw her regular physician it was too late, the lump was cancerous and had spread. What a loss!

    1. I am so glad you are enjoying my picks and I am loving your comments and always look forward to what you post. Oh good ole boring Jennifer. I don’t mind her in Portrait of Jennie because I love the movie and Joseph Cotton but they could have had a bette actress in the role. I remember laughing when she hurled out of the elevator with that white dress billowing in the wind. I thought she might become a Flying squirrel. I know, bad of me. I know you would have seen a lot more of Ingrid’s films and I hope to see more especially the Italian ones.
      I do recall her Oscar speech and thought she was so eloquent. I thought she did so well in Murder and her big “speech about “little brown babies” was done in one take.
      I had no idea that is what happened with the jerk dr. They never take women seriously and this is just another example of it. He should have been sued but I know that didn’t happen.

  6. Gaslight was an excellent film and I'm a huge Ingrid Bergman fan. It's a shame she was so harshly judged for her private life, which should be nobody else's business. Isabella looks and sounds so much like her mother!

    1. You are so right about it being only her business but this was McCarthy era 50s where everyone went back to the Victorian era. Yes, Isabella does look and sound like her mom.

  7. I've never seen any of her films, but she was a real beauty. This looks like a marvelous film, too. I also enjoyed the song, too. Thanks for showcasing her, so I could learn about her, Birgit.

    1. She is a real beauty and with very little makeup. I’m glad you like the song. It is nice and I was glad to showcase it.

  8. Ingrid Bergman is one of my favorites. I've actually seen several of these. I'm glad you included her in this post series.

    1. She is still quite well known today which is great. She is such a talent.

  9. I am way behind in reading your posts. I just found out today that Gaslight was made in 1940 with a different cast. I saw clips of it in a documentary on Trump and they were saying how he 'gaslighted' the public. They showed clips from the 1940 version.

  10. Most beautiful woman in the history of cinema. End of discussion.

    I recently named a drink after Ingrid Bergman: