Friday, January 14, 2011

Movie review – “Indiscreet” (1958) **

Ingrid Bergman followed up her “rehabilitation” in Anastasia by reuniting with Cary Grant in a romantic comedy. It’s based on a play by Norman Krasna, which means it’s based on a deception – in this case, actor Bergman thinks that diplomat Grant is married, but he’s only pretending to keep the spark alive. Things had gotten ore racy in Hollywood by this stage: even though Grant says she’s married, still keen to have a fling with him (they head into her flat together for a night cap, fade down, cut to next day). They are even shown in bed together – via split screen, talking on the phone, wearing nightclothes that cover most of them.

Bergman doesn’t age as well as Grant – but then no one did. If you like both these stars you’ll like the film, because most of the running time consists of them coo-cooing each other (Grant dances a highland jig too). If you don’t, you’ll find it heavy going because it’s not exactly strong on plot – we don’t find Grant’s deception until 50 minutes in – Bergman takes around 15 minutes to try and make Grant jealous, and her plan only kicks in with five minutes to go. So the potential in the premise is not exploited. Director Stanley Donen piles on the costumes and glamour. Phyllis Calvert, the old Gainsborough star of the 40s, pops up as Bergman’s sister and Cecil Parker plays her husband, but it’s really the Grant and Bergman show.

1 comment:

danyulengelke said...

Great review!

We're linking to your article for Cary Grant Tuesday at SeminalCinemaOutfit.com

Keep up the good work!