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On the Road to… 7 August 2010

Posted by The Inimitable M in Life.

I was watching TCM last night (Ingrid Bergman films) and one of the adverts in the midst was for Sunday’s Bob Hope day and the run of Road to.. films that he did with Bing Crosby.  I had the idea that I could write a series of “Road to” blogs over the next two weeks.  I don’t know that I’d write every day, but I could write frequently and end up with a string of 6 or 7.  We’ll see.  It will give me something to do during the “down time”, and there will be “down time”.

The Bergman films were wonderful.  The first I watched was Europa ’51.  It annoyed me that DirecTV listed it as a film about a society woman who loses her child and “goes mad”.  She didn’t at all go mad, but they institutionalised her for having the audacity to think about others and life in terms of the greater good.  In 1951 Italy, society viewed poverty from afar, as something that happens to others.  This film pointed out the absurdity of this. 

The second was Intermezzo.  I was impressed with how the music was handled.  Unlike later films with other actors, Ingrid Bergman and Leslie Howard, gave the functional appearance of knowing what they were doing.  The piano music was difficult: Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A, Provost’s Intermezzo and several others.  Both Edie and I have enough experience playing to know what looks right and what looks trumped up.  The love story involved was wonderful, but the music was the main draw for me.

(Hilarious short right after with Robert Benchley called “How to Behave”.  What a card, that Benchley!)

Third was Casablanca.  I’ve watched this film so many times, I know more quotes than there have been notablte quotes from that film.  Still, as always, I found something else.  In Intermezzo, a note to Holgart from Anita was shown, and in Casablanca, a note from Ilsa to Rick was shown.  The handwriting was different.  Clearly, Ingrid didn’t write either one of those letters.  Don’t talk to me about different characters and all.  It was Ingrid Bergman playing both.  If she had written both letters,the handwriting would have been the same.  It was a point of disbelief I couldn’t quite suspend.  I know.  How bizarre!

After that was Notorious.  I love history, and while the story itself was fiction, it centred around the daughter of a convicted Nazi spy who worked with a US government agent to infiltrate a group of Nazis who had escaped to Brazil.  It was a really great film of intrigue and espionage.  I don’t know why the timing with the champagne was so tense for me, but it was.  And then they were so incredibly sloppy!  Her co-star was another Hitchcock favourite, Cary Grant.  

I stayed up to try to make it through Bergman’s final film role as a retired concert pianist in Autumn Sonata (1982), but it started at 12.30, and I crashed before it really got started.

It was a darn good run of films and an awesome night.

Today, Day 1, I’m on the road to town to run errands.



1. aardvarkian - 7 August 2010

*sigh* Notorious – my all-time Hitchcock fave!

I look forward to your posts, Maggie. It’s going to be quiet around here with out you.

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