Posts Tagged ‘stanley donen’

This romantic comedy teamed up the ever charismatic Cary Grant, with the beautiful Ingrid Bergman.  Bergman is Anna Kalman, a successful actress in London.  When she meets Philip Adams (Grant), a successful diplomat, the attraction is instant and the two embark on a passionate romance.  But Philip has told Anna a big lie, and when she finds out, she plots her revenge…

This year I have become a huge fan of Cary Grant – I love his effortless debonair charm, his gorgeous unmistakeable voice, and the visual humour he brings to his roles.  Here, he is on top form and perfectly suited for the role he plays.  Ingrid Bergman is also terrific – and beautiful – as the feisty and passionate Anna.  The first half of the film is more of a romance, but there is plenty of comedy in the second part, with one scene of Grant attempting a dance which he has no idea how to do (and which is shown in the clip I’ve posted) being an absolute delight.

The supporting cast are great, being mainly Phyllis Calvert, as Anna’s sister Margaret, and Cecil Parker, who was fantastic as Alfred, Margaret’s husband.

There are no deep messages in Indiscreet; it is simply a lovely looking movie with lovely looking and very talented leads, who have amazing chemistry together.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and definitely recommend it.

Year of release: 1958

Director: Stanley Donen

Writers: Norman Krasna

Main cast: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Phyllis Calvert, Cecil Parker

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Cary Grant, a Commander in the US Army stationed in Honolulu during World War II, is granted four days leave, together with three of his fellow army colleagues, and they decide to head to San Francisco.  There, they just want to relax and forget about the horrors of war for a while, but they keep getting pestered by various people who want them to rally the home front and give interviews in order to promote the war effort. Meanwhile, Commander Crewson (Grant) realises that he is falling in love with the fiancee of a rich shipyard magnate…

This 1957 movie was not well received, and time doesn’t seem to have been particularly kind to it either.  However, I thought it was better than many reviews would have you believe.  It does suffer somewhat due to the fact that it doesn’t seem to know whether it wants to be an out-and-out comedy, a romantic comedy/drama, or an attempt to highlight the suffering and sacrifices made during the war.  Jayne Mansfield is one of the supporting actresses, and while she does her best with her part, I found her irritating and something of a caricature in this film (I accept that she often portrayed the stereotypical dumb blonde, but she was a better actress in other films than she seemed here).

Suzy Parker plays Gwinneth Livingston, the engaged woman who falls for Crewson. Her performance has been criticised for being ‘flat’ but I thought she was fine in the role (she reminded me of Deborah Kerr, and after watching the film I discovered that Kerr had in fact dubbed Parker’s voice).

The film is saved by Cary Grant, who is always likeable and charming in such roles, and provides some much needed comic relief, although I would hesitate to call this a comedy film.  Ironically the fact that the film is far from one of his best, actually highlighted his charisma and talent – in the hands of a lesser lead actor, the film could have been a real disappointment.  However, due to Grant’s appearing in almost every scene, and peppering the movie with his legendary charm, it becomes watchable if not memorable.

Overall, this is not a dreadful film – but considering the talent involved (directed Stanley Donen, and actors Grant and Mansfield) it could have been so much better.  Still worth a watch though if you are a fan of any of the stars.

Year of release: 1957

Director: Stanley Donen

Writers: Luther Davis (play), Frederic Wakeman (book), Julius J. Epstein

Main cast: Cary Grant, Jayne Mansfield, Suzy Parker, Ray Walston, Larry Blyden

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