Thursday, August 27, 2020

THE 5TH WONDERFUL INGRID BERGMAN BLOGATHON: Indiscreet, 1958


Virginie Pronovost at The Wonderful World of Cinema is hosting The 5th Wonderful Ingrid Bergman Blogathon. Running from August 27 - 29, please read the wonderful tributes HERE.


"It's delightful to be married..."
- Anna Held

Cary Grant, Cecil Parker

International banker and diplomat Philip Adams thinks it is delightful to be married, in his own way.

Cary Grant as Philip Adams 
"I don't care to get married. On the other hand, I don't care to give up women. Since I have no intention to get married I feel honour bound to declare myself in the beginning. I say I am married and I can't get a divorce. Now our position is clear. There can't be any misunderstanding later.

Cecil Parker as Alfred Munson
"I know there's a big hole in your argument I just haven't come to it yet, but there must be."


Ingrid Bergman, Phyllis Calvert

Actress Anna Kalman is a successful yet discontented woman. Something is missing in her life. Perhaps she needs to meet the right man. Perhaps she wants marriage.

Ingrid Bergman as Anna Kalman
"When love is right everything is right."

Phyllis Calvert as Margaret Munson
"I don't know what you expect from a man. You know, there's a limit to how entertaining they can be."


Megs Jenkins, David Kossoff


Megs Jenkins as Doris
"She's so happy, Carl."

David Kossoff as Carl
"She is happy now, but for how long? What's to come of it? It can't go on like this. A man, a wife, another woman. I think about that."

Anna's sister and brother-in-law the Munsons introduce her to Philip and the attraction is instant. Before much time has passed, the two are in an affair that stretches from London to Philip's home base in Paris. Anna and Philip are in love and they aren't fooling anybody. The emotions are true yet there is dishonesty at the core of the relationship. How will it all turn out?

Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman

In a decade that would take Ingrid Bergman from Stromboli to Anastasia and The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Indiscreet stands out as a romantic comedy with one of her finest co-stars, Cary Grant of Notorious, 1946. The chemistry between the attractive pair glows on screen. Ingrid, in particular, is so compelling in the role of an actress finding the love of her life that we can almost overlook the man that all of the fuss is about.

Miss Bergman's costumes are by Christian Dior. The setting is glamourous from Anna's charming apartment to exclusive clubs and ballrooms and theatres. Filmed in London by Freddie Young, an evening stroll by Cleopatra's Needle becomes a wonderland.

Charles Boyer, Mary Martin
Kind Sir

Norman Krasna (Dear Ruth, The Devil and Miss Jones, Princess O'Rourke) wrote the screenplay for Indiscreet transferring the setting of his play Kind Sir from New York to London. Kind Sir had a Broadway run of 166 performances starring Mary Martin and Charles Boyer. Frank Conroy and Dorothy Stickney were the Munsons and Margalo Gillmore and Robert Ross the domestics. Krasna's Indiscreet screenplay was nominated for a BAFTA and a Writers Guild of America award.

Stanley Donen produced and directed Indiscreet, his second film with Cary Grant following Kiss Them for Me. The director and actor would later collaborate on The Grass is Greener and Charade.

I believe Indiscreet, at 100 minutes needed a surer hand at editing. The script relies too much on our stars, fine as they are. While watching two enchanting and beloved stars fall in love is a pleasant pastime, the film lacks the energy necessary in even the most sophisticated of comedies. Despite its polish and star power, ultimately Indiscreet is fitful entertainment.
















31 comments:

  1. Thanks for this great review of a fine film! I'm sure many will agree with you that Ingrid and Cary's chermistry indeed "glows on screen"! I agree with you that at time the film lacks a bit of energy. But nevertheless, it's an essential classic. Many thanks for taking part in my blogathon!

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    1. Thank you, Virginie.

      There is indeed much in Indiscreet to appreciate and its decent IMDb rating shows that many fans have found value in it.

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  2. They talked about marriage a lot more in movies back then, didn’t they?

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    1. I have to say it must be the number one topic.

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  3. I adore the chemistry with Grant and Bergman and it's a good fun story. I love your well chosen quotes, perfect for each character. Lovely post

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    1. Thanks a lot. I had fun with it. And I drooled over Ingrid's Dior wardrobe.

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  4. I saw the TV remake of INDISCREET. It was made for CBS and aired in 1988. It starred ROBERT WAGNER and LESLEY-ANNE DOWN. Wagner was the stepfather of STANLEY DONEN'S two sons PETER and JOSHUA for eight years(1963-71). Their mother was MARION MARSHALL, the second wife of Robert Wagner. Robert and Marion had a daughter KATIE. Then Robert(known as R.J.) remarried NATALIE WOOD who was the mother of NATASHA. R.J. and Natalie were the parents of COURTNEY. R.J. has been married to JILL ST. JOHN for 30 years. Jill recently turned 80. R.J. is 90. Back to Robert Wagner and Stanley Donen-it goes around!

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    1. I had no idea the play had been redone for television. My goodness, Hollywood is a small town!

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  5. I just love this film and have seen it many times. Thanks for a fine review and the great dialogue quotes. Always thought it odd that Phyllis Calvert ( good as she was) was cast as Ingrid’s sister. Just lovely to have Ingrid and Cary re-united.

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    1. Ingrid and Cary and a delight.

      You would think there would have been a passing nod in the script to the sisters varied accents. Once I realized there wouldn't be, I started working on my own back stories.

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  6. This is such a WONDERFUL film, and I loved your review. The chemistry between the stars really gives it a sparkle. You can tell the actors had a good time making it. I always treasure the moment when Ingrid finds out that Cary is really single - "How dare he tells me that he's married!" Priceless.

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    1. I liked the concern of her servants. It said so much about her character that wasn't in the script.

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  7. Love the charming photo at the end. And thanks for including KIND SIR, which was a mainstay of summer theatre back in the day. I think every New England town that had a playhouse put it on. Great review.

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    1. There must have been amazing combinations of actors in different productions of Kind Sir. Nothing beats live theatre, affordable and convenient live theatre.

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  8. Agreed. Not much of a movie, really. But the two megastars make the whole thing irresistible! :)

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    1. The combined goodwill will keep us hanging in!

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  9. DOROTHY STICKNEY played the aunt in THE REMARKABLE MR. PENNYPACKER starring CLIFTON WEBB and DOROTHY MCGUIRE. Some others in the cast were RON ELY, DAVID NELSON and the unique CHARLES COBURN. JILL ST. JOHN that I mentioned earlier was also in the movie. P.S. Charles Coburn did two movies with CARY GRANT. He played the boss in MONKEY BUSINESS and he played the dad to Cary in the 1939 movie IN NAME ONLY which also starred CAROLE LOMBARD and KAY FRANCIS.

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    1. The first time I saw Dorothy Stickney was in The Homecoming as Emily Baldwin. At that point, I researched her career and was very impressed.

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  10. Like I said in my contribution to this event, I really need to see more of Ingrid Bergman's work, and looks like this should be near the top of my list!

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    1. It has glamour and star power.

      I will just note that one of my favourite of her performances is as Sister Mary Benedict in The Bells of St. Mary's. She is so unaffected as a dedicated teacher that she charms the audience.

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  11. There are some terrific lines in this movie, but I just don't love it. I think you stated the reason why, when you said this film needs tighter editing. Sometimes scenes run too long and it drains the momentum.

    However, after reading your fab review, I'm going to give it another go.

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    1. Perhaps if we self-edit, skipping a bit here or there and reaching the ending in optimum time, we can improve upon the viewing experience. After all, Ingrid and Cary!

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  12. If CARY GRANT had done a TV show in the 60s or 70s what kind of show would you have wanted him to do? I know that he retired in the mid to late 60s. If he had guest starred on shows he, of course, could have played a retired movie star-maybe on detective shows as a client.

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    1. I imagine he would have fit in well as one of the executive/crime fighters in The Name of the Game. Perhaps an NBC Mystery movie like Rock Hudson's. The right sort of sophisticated comedy would be loved by critics but only last one season.

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  13. This really is a movie saved by the stars and had two other actors been in it, it would be awful. You cant not count this as a true classic because Cary and Ingird are irresistible! Plus, Cary dancing!!!!! Its one of those you do t have to think too hard about and just enjoy the stars and their chemistry!

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    1. Indeed, Ingrid and Cary are irresistible. My issues with the pacing of the movie will not prevent me from spending time with the twosome again.

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  14. I agree that Indiscreet relies heavily on the charisma of its two stars and the chemistry between them. It's definitely worth watching, but not as polished and entertaining as, say, An Affair to Remember, which Cary made around the same time. On the other hand, it's much better than the later GRASS IS GREENER, which you mentioned.

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    1. Yes. The Grass is Greener also relies on the goodwill of its fabulous group of stars. Audiences will accept a lot but not for long, and not often.

      It's funny. I haven't watched An Affair to Remember in ages because I'm besotted with Love Affair. Wouldn't hurt to do a little catching up one of these days.

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  15. This movie makes me laugh a lot, and it's one of the reasons that yellow roses are my favorite roses :-)

    BTW, I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Play if you want to!

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    1. Thanks for the thoughtful nomination. I haven't joined in that routine in a while. Maybe this time.

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  16. Ah, Ingrid and Cary. I still want to see this one, despite the sluggish pacing. :-)

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