Biography

Ingrid Bergman: A Passionate Life (12 Oct. 1999)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, Biography, History
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Title: Ingrid Bergman: A Passionate Life (12 Oct 1999)

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Ingrid Bergman Prioritizes Acting over Stardom
17 June 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This well-written, well-directed and sensitively-narrated (perhaps by Bob Brown) episode (which actually premiers on November 22, 1999), centers upon the life and career of film star Ingrid Bergman (named after two-year-old Princess Ingrid of Sweden), from her 1915 birth, in Stockholm, Sweden.

Daughter of Friedel Adler Bergman, who passes when Ingrid reach three years of age, and Justus Samuel Bergman, who photographs Ingrid's activities with a motion picture camera, but passes when Ingrid reaches thirteen, the child realizes her life's ambition from quite a young age.

From here, Ingrid is sent to stay with a paternal aunt, who also unfortunately passes, she within six months of her niece's arrival, leading Ingrid to harbor the life-long notion that human relationships are uncertain because of mortality, but that acting comprises her very destiny.

Other relatives care for young Ingrid until she comes of age to attend Royal Dramatic Theatre School, in Stockholm, during which time she receives her first of several Swedish film roles.

When an instructor advises Ingrid to learn her stage acting, instead of accepting film roles, Ingrid characteristically objects, and the exposure procured by film distribution grants her an audience with American Producer David O. Selznick, who welcomes her to Hollywood on the basis of her performance in Intermezzo (1936/I).

By now, Ingrid has married Petter Lindström, and they have welcomed daughter, Pia, who relocates to New York State with her father to enter Medical school, while continuing to manage both careers, while her mother hones her skills as a film actress.

But when David O. Selznick suggests a movie star makeover for her, Ingrid does what few would ever dare; she stands up to Selznick to insist that he accept her as is, or else she would gladly return to acting in the Swedish film industry.

Ingrid Bergman fans would likely have a working knowledge of the paths which her career takes for the lovely and talented actress from her arrival in Hollywood and beyond, including many high points of honor and low points of scandal to follow.

So, this episode may help the casual fan to understand a little better Ingrid's direction for her own life and career, and even skeptics may likely care about her all the more because of her passion and determination to please her audiences.

Three of Ingrid's theatre performances are discussed in this episode: "Joan of Arc" (1945)/"Joan of Lorraine" (Broadway, 1946-47), "Tea and Sympathy" (Paris, 1953), and "More Stately Mansions" (Broadway, 1967-68).

Ingrid's marriages are with Petter Lindström (1937–50), Roberto Rossellini (1950–57), and Lars Schmidt (1958–75). With Petter, she welcomes daughter Pia, and with Roberto, she welcomes son, Renato, and daughters Isabella and Isotta Ingrid.

Interview Guests for this episode consist of Jeanine Basinger (Film Historian), Rhonda Fleming (Actress, co-star), Liv Ullmann (Actress, co-star), Kevin McCarthy (Actor), Gene Corman (Producer), Elliot Martin (Producer), Donald Spoto (Biographer: "Notorious: The Life of Ingrid Bergman"), Laurence Leamer (Biographer: "As Time Goes By: The Life of Ingrid Bergman"), Åke Sandler (Swedish Journalist), Peter Travers (Film Critic), Robert Anderson (Playwright, friend), and Larry Adler (Musician, friend).

Ingrid Bergman appears in an archive "20/20" interview (1980).

Still Photographs include Ingrid Bergman, Friedel Adler Bergman, Helen Hayes, Petter Lindström, Robert Capa, Lars Schmidt and Ingmar Bergman.

Archive film footage includes Ingrid Bergman, Justus Samuel Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Paul Henreid, Charles Boyer, Cary Grant, Alfred Hitchcock, Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Yul Brynner, Ernest Borgnine, Pia Lindström, Roberto Rossellini, Renato Rossellini, Isabella Rossellini and Isotta Ingrid Rossellini, plus several unidentified co-stars.

Film Clips include a screen glimpse of Ingrid Bergman through the years, in scenes from Intermezzo (Swedish, 1936/I), Intermezzo: A Love Story (American screen test, 1939), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941), Casablanca (1942), Gaslight (1944), The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), Notorious (1946), Joan of Arc (1948), Anastasia (1956), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Autumn Sonata (1978), and A Woman Called Golda (1982) (TV), plus home movies and Newsreel coverage, including "Rome Open City" (1946).

Television Clips include "Joan of Arc" (Stage, 1945), Film Critics Awards (1956), plus The 29th Annual Academy Awards (1957) (with Cary Grant's accepting on behalf of Ingrid), and "20/20" (1980).


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