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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Movie Review: Indiscreet (1958)

Bonjour mon ami,

I'm going to review a film I watched a while back, as the movie I watched over this weekend was "Elena and Her Men", a French film I watched only because Ingrid Bergman was in it. Despite it being directed by Jean Renoir, who has made quite a name for himself, I could not follow the plot and ultimately gave up on reading the subtitles and just sat there, watching the pretty Technicolor and the awesome costumes on Ingrid. I don't really think I can write a review of that (considering I don't even understand the plot, even after WATCHING the film), so...

Then I watched "An Affair to Remember" again, but only to show a friend (who sort of fell asleep). That film is too perfect to review, though.

So instead I shall review another Ingrid film that I watched earlier this past summer: "Indiscreet." The review will be pretty short (as all of my reviews land up in being), so for that I apologize. Hopefully I'll have a proper review up for next Sunday.


^^ I'm not really crazy about this poster. I like it but not for this movie. It does not seem to depict the light feeling of the movie and seems totally wrong for this film.

Wealthy American diplomat Philip (Cary Grant) and famous actress Anne (Ingrid Bergman) meet just as Anne has decided that all the best men in the world are taken. Although Philip is indeed married, Anne can't resist their instant attraction and electricity, and they begin a passionate affair. But an unexpected secret Philip hides from his new love threatens to spoil everything. Stanley Donen directed this sparkling romantic comedy.
[from Netflix]

The cast has:

  • Cary Grant as Phillip Adams
  • Ingrid Bergman as Anna Kalman
It is directed by Stanley Donen.

Okay, so let me tell you, I love Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant together. They made only two movies, the other, "Notorious" happens to be one of my favorites. I don't know why, I just really love the pairing of those two, I wish they had made more films together.

To begin, I'll start with the plot. When I was reading the trivia for this movie on IMdb, it said this film did well at the box office because the romance of "slightly older and wiser lovers" seemed "more relevant" to 1958 audiences. Though I guess they are slightly older lovers (though I thought they both still looked really beautiful), I must disagree with the "wiser lovers" part. They act kind of lovesick but while that really perturbed my father, I didn't mind it all that much. I'll elaborate on that in a moment, however.

The plot was nothing exactly special because it's quite predictable and was easily recycled throughout the last 50's and into the 60's (think of the Doris Day/Rock Hudson rom coms). 

With this being said, that doesn't mean the film can't have it's moments. Check out the scene above, for example. Or this scene - I posted this at the end of a blog last week or something, but please don't mind my adding it again as it was one of my favorite moments (albeit 30 seconds in length):

I think if it had been another pairing in the lead role I perhaps would have become tired with the movie. Cary and Ingrid sparkle in their chemistry against one another. The roles they are given are not that complex and common characters of what you would expect from this sort of a romantic comedy. The supporting cast was not exactly chock full of familiar faces - familiar faces are always nice in those character roles, but they do the job neccersary: supporting Ingrid and Cary's leading characters.

The thing is, and Ingrid wasn't very much given the opportunities to do it, but she can do comedy excellently. This film is a good example as well as "Cactus Flower", in which she shone, and she had her other funny moments in movies. It would have been nice to have seen her in more comedies because she just does really with them.

Cary Grant is wonderful, of course, even if it is a character we have seen him often play: charming, debonair. To be fair I find Cary Grant wonderful in everything.

The thing that annoyed my father most about this movie was the way the two main characters acted like "lovesick teenagers". For example, there are moments in the films where Anna and Phillip just stare at each other for very long periods of times or take a totally silent walk.

Example: a silent meal

He felt that the characters were simply too old to be behaving that way.

I guess I must agree, but it's Ingrid and Cary, so who cares?

The underlying factor is I wasn't jumping over the moon for this film, but if you like Ingrid and Cary (and, like me, if you like them together) you'll probably enjoy this film well enough. It has cute moments, moments for Ingrid to shine and be hilarious (and Cary, too) - moments like these:

I still like "Notorious" better. But this was fun. If you like them, give it a try. You don't really need to see this movie, but it's cute and if you want to I wouldn't stop you. I'll give it a four out of five stars. I would have given it a three but the extra star is for the pairing of Cary and Ingrid.


By the way, I got a pretty good reaction to my Link Love yesterday. I enjoyed doing it so I think perhaps I'll do it more often than I originally thought I would! :)

Till later!


Meredith said...

I haven't seen Indiscreet yet, but Notorious is one of my favorites!

Carmen said...

So once again I completely agree on everything you say. I love Ingrid, and I love Cary... but together... my! they were on fire. Notorious is also one of my favorites (my Hitchcock favorite and probably my Ingrid favorite, too). But Indiscreet also has its good moments. I love when she says "How dare he make love to me and not be a married man!" She really was good at comedy! I agree; it's a shame she didn't have enough chances to show it. Oh, by the way, don't you love this scene?

It made me laugh like crazy. Maybe I wouldn't have enjoyed this movie so much either without Ingrid and Cary. It's not the best plot, but with them, who cares?

Rianna said...

Meredith - I ♥ Notorious. One of the best movies ever!

Carmen - YES! I love Ingrid and Cary together. I know they were friends but I actually wish they had gotten married or something ;). Notorious I think would also have to be my Hitchcock favorite. I LOVE that part too. It's hilarious, because you know Ingrid's all mad inside and Cary's dancing and oh I just adore those two together! And once again, I agree, Ingrid and Cary so what else is there? (We're like twins).

Carmen said...

We really are like twins, and I'm sure we'll go on discovering more and more things in common. Ingrid and Cary would have been a wonderful couple, but you know how this Hollywood marriages usually end. And I just love the fact that they were such good friends! Sometimes I think it makes it more enduring, so I like it the way it is.

Rianna said...

Oh, I agree. Though there are a few exceptions Hollywood marriages generally don't work out even if the two are a really good pair. There's usually a clash over egos and spending hours away from each other on movie sets with OTHER good looking actors. (At least that's what I gather from the books I've read, lol). They did have a pretty awesome friendship though. Looking at photos of them together just makes me want to go and hang out with them - then again, most Classic Hollywood pictures do!

Audiojoe said...

Nice review. I think Indiscreet is best consumed with wine, when your demands are at an easy low, and when all you want to do is smile and watch two masters light up a screen.

Notorious is better, but it's a very different film. Indiscreet is a sophisticated, adult romantic comedy that perfectly captures a moment in film history. They just don't make them like that anymore. Damn shame

danyulengelke said...

Great review!

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

Keep up the good work!

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