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Ingrid Bergman Collection [6 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Autumn Sonata
Ingrid Bergman, the Swedish expatriate who became one of Hollywood's greatest stars, and Ingmar Bergman, one of the world's most acclaimed filmmakers and Sweden's most honored director, worked together for the first and only time in this intensely personal drama about the troubled relationship between a mother and daughter. Charlotte (Ingrid Bergman) is an acclaimed concert pianist who is visiting her daughter Eva (Liv Ullmann), the wife of a parson in a rural community, for the first time in seven years. While Charlotte and Eva struggle to be civil, there is a deep emotional gulf between them. Eva resents her mother for not caring enough for her as a child, feeling that Charlotte was more interested in her career and her other daughter, Helena (Lena Nyman), who is severely handicapped and can only communicate through inarticulate noises. Charlotte, on the other hand, is uncomfortable with the fact that Helena now lives with Eva, and she is still coming to terms with the emotional devastation of her husband's recent death. Herbstsonate, released in America as Autumn Sonata, earned Ingrid Bergman some of the most enthusiastic acclaim of her career; she received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, and she won the same honor from the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle. It was also her last theatrical release; she would appear in only one more project, a TV movie about the life of Golda Meir, before her death in 1982. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Gaslight
Ingrid Bergman won her first of three Oscars for this suspense thriller, crafted with surprising tautness by normally genteel "women's picture" director George Cukor. Bergman stars as Paula Alquist, a late 19th century English singer studying music in Italy. However, Paula abandons her studies because she's fallen in love with dapper, handsome Gregory Anton (Charles Boyer). The couple marries and returns to the U.K. and a home inherited by Paula from her aunt, herself a famous singer, who was mysteriously murdered in the house ten years before. Once they have moved in, Gregory, who is in reality a jewel thief and the murderer of Paula's aunt, launches a campaign of terror designed to drive his new bride insane. Though Paula is certain that she sees the house's gaslights dim every evening and that there are strange noises coming from the attic, Gregory convinces Paula that she's imagining things. Gregory's efforts to make Paula unstable are aided by an impertinent maid, Nancy (teenager Angela Lansbury in her feature film debut). Meanwhile, a Scotland Yard inspector, Brian Cameron (Joseph Cotten), becomes suspicious of Gregory and sympathetic to Paula's plight. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

Anastasia
Anastasia is adapted from the popular stage play by Marcelle Maurette. The scene is Paris in the early 1920s. Ingrid Bergman plays a would-be suicide who is rescued by Russian expatriate Yul Brynner. Brynner's motives are far from altruistic; together with a group of Russian cohorts, he hopes to pass Bergman off as Princess Anastasia, the daughter of the late Czar Nicholas. If the conspirators are successful, they stand to collect the ten million pounds held in trust for Anastasia in the Bank of England. The biggest obstacle facing Brynner and company is the surviving Romanov empress (Helen Hayes), who must be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that Bergman is the genuine article. Anastasia represented Ingrid Bergman's return to Hollywood after several years' exile following her "scandalous" affair with Italian director Roberto Rossellini. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

For Whom the Bell Tolls
Based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls is a romantic drama set against the turbulent tapestry of the Spanish Civil War. Gary Cooper plays Robert Jordan, an idealistic American fighting with a Spanish guerilla band. He is assigned to blow up a crucial bridge in order to halt the enemy's progress. He falls in love with Maria (Ingrid Bergman), a young peasant girl who's joined the fight after being ill-used by enemy troops. Pablo (Akim Tamiroff), the eternally drunken leader of the guerillas, resents Jordan's attentions toward Maria, and he refuses to help Jordan in his sabotage work. Pablo's wife Pilar (Oscar-winner Katina Paxinou) takes over command of the guerillas and helps Jordan by arranging horses for the band's departure after their job is done. The man supplying the horses (Joseph Calleia) is killed, and Jordan is left to finish his task minus a means to escape. For Whom the Bell Tolls was a long, faithful adaptation of the Hemingway novel, with excellent performances, torrid love scenes, and first-rate Technicolor photography. Available for many years only in the 130-minute reissue version, it was restored to nearly its full original length of 168 minutes. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Arch of Triumph
Based on the novel by Erich Maria Remarque, Arch of Triumph is a complicated war romance directed by Lewis Milestone. Dr. Ravic (Charles Boyer) is a refugee physician practicing medicine illegally in Paris under a false name. He saves Joan Madou (Ingrid Bergman) from committing suicide after the sudden death of her lover. He gets her a job singing at the nightclub where his only friend, Boris Morosov (Louis Calhern), is the doorman. Joan falls in love with Ravic, but he is deported and she finds herself the mistress of wealthy Alex (Stephan Bekassy). Meanwhile, Ravic seeks revenge against a Nazi officer (Charles Laughton) and war is declared between France and Germany. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

Casablanca
One of the most beloved American films, this captivating wartime adventure of romance and intrigue from director Michael Curtiz defies standard categorization. Simply put, it is the story of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a world-weary ex-freedom fighter who runs a nightclub in Casablanca during the early part of WWII. Despite pressure from the local authorities, notably the crafty Capt. Renault (Claude Rains), Rick's café has become a haven for refugees looking to purchase illicit letters of transit which will allow them to escape to America. One day, to Rick's great surprise, he is approached by the famed rebel Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) and his wife, Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), Rick's true love who deserted him when the Nazis invaded Paris. She still wants Victor to escape to America, but now that she's renewed her love for Rick, she wants to stay behind in Casablanca. "You must do the thinking for both of us," she says to Rick. He does, and his plan brings the story to its satisfyingly logical, if not entirely happy, conclusion. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

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