Indiscreet (1958): Cary and Ingrid's Affair to Remember

It's such a shame that Ingrid Bergman didn't do more comedies. A brilliant, flawless actress, Bergman could do it all, and 1958's Indiscreet is proof that she could handle comedy just as well as she could drama. To make it even more enthralling, Indiscreet is the second (and sadly final) pairing of Bergman and her friend Cary Grant after their 1946 work, Notorious.

Ingrid is a stage actress who has become lonely. She has many friends and she is close to her sister and brother-in-law, but something is missing -- until Cary shows up at her apartment one evening. Even though he warns her that he is separated from his wife, he and Ingrid embark on a passionate affair over many months with the understanding that it would be impossible for him to get a divorce. Their happiness is overwhelming... until Ingrid learns one little thing: Cary isn't married at all and never has been. (You can watch the full film on YouTube here!)

Bergman and Grant's friendship and previous collaboration makes them completely in tune with one another. They're comfortable, sweet, and flirtatious with each other. Although Notorious was made twelve years ago, Bergman and Grant were still as luminous and stunning as ever. Both of them aged so gracefully and with dignity. Perhaps what is most incredible about Indiscreet is that the middle-aged stars were allowed to play middle-aged people who meet and fall in love. It isn't often that such a romance is the
focus of a film, especially since this is during the days of classic Hollywood and it isn't a tragedy. What is also lovely is that Grant and Bergman were still in high demand and they were still doing quality work. Just look at some of the films that remained in their future: North by Northwest, Charade, Father Goose, Goodbye Again, Cactus Flower, Murder on the Orient Express...

One of the best features of this film is Ingrid's apartment. It is absolutely stellar. The colors are eye-popping but not vulgar; the furniture is modern but still classic; and it is all lavish but not over-the-top. And it's in London, so I'm doubly envious of it. I took sooo many screenshots.







The kitchen:





Ingrid's bedroom:




There are many delicious moments in this film. Some of them are fleeting, such as Ingrid screaming out "damn!" when she realizes she has been duped. Others are more sophisticated, like the long-distance phone call between Ingrid and Cary with the split screen cleverly suggesting they are in the same bed. There is a terrific scene where Cary dances a Scottish jig and you feel like it's the most amazing thing you'll ever see. The montage of them going on more dates and becoming more infatuated is also very charming.


Perhaps my favorite part of the movie, though, is when Ingrid and Cary first meet. Ingrid has returned to London early, full of melancholy and ready for a night in. When her sister (Phyllis Calvert) arrives, she continually hounds Ingrid to go to a dull banquet with her and her diplomat husband (Cecil Parker). Ingrid, clad in a robe and face cream, is adamant that she doesn't want to go, but when she turns around, there is Cary standing in the doorway. It is as if everything she wished for is suddenly there:
a kind, drop-dead gorgeous man with a beautiful voice that enchantingly expresses witty repartee and romantic sentiments. From the second their eyes meet, the air is charged with a playful sensuality as both of them are instantly smitten. Watch it here.

Honestly, every element of Indiscreet clicks, from the music to the Technicolor to Stanley Donen's superb direction. Ingrid's wardrobe is particularly marvelous, thanks to Dior.












If you ever wanted to see the immense range of either Ingrid or Cary, just watch Notorious and Indiscreet back to back. They were complete masters of their craft, and their onscreen affairs were cinematic events that audiences will always remember.











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This post is my contribution to the 3rd Wonderful Ingrid Bergman Blogathon. Celebrate the captivating actress by reading the other tributes to her artistry here.

Comments

  1. I love this movie! It is probably in my top five, as far as classics go... Ingrid and Cary are my absolute favorite actors, and though I love "Notorious," there is just something special about them in a romantic-comedy. ☺ I love your blog, and the screenshots of her apartment are awesome!

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    1. Thanks so much! I appreciate Indiscreet more and more each time I watch it. It really is lovely to see Ingrid star with Cary, the king of romantic comedies, in a film like this.

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  2. I LOVE this review, and so going to put it on my to watch list - can't resist Cary Grant and I love that apartment too,its so lovely. So big thanks for this movie review!

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    1. Thanks for the comment! Isn't that apartment dreamy? I have a feeling you'll really enjoy this film, Gill!

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  3. Such a lovely film. Ingrid and Cary are magical together, I wish they had made more films together. I always laugh at the scene where he tries Scottish dancing. :-) Maddy

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    1. Weren't they amazing together? I always feel like they made more than two films -- maybe it's just wishful thinking.

      That dancing scene is everything. His intense enthusiasm makes it so much funnier, too.

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  4. Haha you really like screenshots! :) I loved your review! It refreshed my memory about this film since I've only seen it once and around 2 years ago. I agree that Cary and Ingrid's chemistry is hard to top. You make this film sounds so beautiful and worthy through your review! :) I didn't remember the costumes were by Dior! I was wondering what you generally think of Phyllis Calvert? She wasn't has famous as Ingrid, but she's also a personal favourite of mine.
    Thanks again for participating to the blogathon! :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm all about the screenshots, haha. This film is a lot of fun and very sweet. It's odd -- Dior doesn't have a screen credit, but I read in an article that they did Ingrid's costumes, so hopefully I haven't been steered wrong.

      This is actually the only film I've seen with Phyllis Calvert. I like her a lot, even though her character in Indiscreet is slightly annoying in my opinion.

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  5. Lovely how you posted screenshots from Notorious that mirrored this film. It's one of my favorites and had no idea it was on youtube! Thank you my dear.

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    1. You're quite welcome! I didn't pick up on the similarities between those two scenes until my latest viewing. It's pretty cool and I have a feeling Stanley Donen did it on purpose.

      Two different people actually uploaded the full film on to YouTube, which surprised me since it's not in the public domain. I'm not complaining, though!

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  6. Indiscreet is such a wonderful film! I love Cary's dance, and recently I stayed up until late because the film was on TV and I just wantedto see the dance bit again! And I agree that it's amazing to see middle-aged actors playing their age in a romantic comedy.
    Kisses!
    Le

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    1. I just love that dancing scene. It's well worth staying up for. Cary was just as spry as he was in the 1930s!

      Seeing older couples in romantic films is important. It's good to see Cary and Ingrid contribute to this.

      Thanks for reading!

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  7. This is a very fine article. I enjoyed reading it. It would have been good in the "Duo Dual Blogathon" which is being hosted by The Flapper Dame!

    By the way, I would like to invite you to join my first blogathon, "The Great Breening Blogathon:" https://pureentertainmentpreservationsociety.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/extra-the-great-breening-blogathon/. I think you would be good at breening a pre-Code or post-Code film. You could even breen "Indiscreet!" I hope you will join. We could really use your talent!

    Yours Hopefully,

    Tiffany Brannan

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    1. Thanks so much! October is already a pretty busy month for me due to other commitments, but I'll keep your blogathon in mind and if inspiration strikes, I'll certainly join.

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  8. Thank you! Have a pleasant month.

    Yours Hopefully,

    Tiffany Brannan

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