By DAVID BREAKFIELD
Special to the Herald
Actress Ingrid Bergman was born in Sweden Aug. 29, 1915. Bergman knew she wanted to be an actress from a young age.
While she is best known for co-starring in the classic "Casablanca" (1942) opposite Humphrey Bogart and Paul Henreid, she had an accomplished career and eventful life. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the film is the fact that it was a trouble-plagued production that nearly everyone concerned thought would be a flop. Needless to say it is required viewing and would be a great pick for family viewing.
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The library has a nice selection of her films, ranging from the aforementioned "Casablanca," to the Gothic psychological drama "Gaslight" (1944) opposite Charles Boyer. She had a demanding role as a woman whose husband might be driving her insane. This was the second film version of Patrick Hamilton's play "Angel Street," which had been a great theatrical success (there had been a British film version made a few years earlier).
Another film from this same period was "The Bells of St. Mary's" (1945) with Bing Crosby. It has become a perennial Christmas favorite, shown on TV networks such as Turner Classic Movies.
Other films in the library's collection are the
romantic comedy "Indiscreet" (1958) with Cary Grant, "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness"(1958), and two films made later in her career, "Murder on the Orient Express"(1974) based on the classic Agatha Christie novel, and "A Woman called Golda" (a 1982 TV film).
The made-for-television film "A Woman Called Golda" was a biographical film about Golda Meir (1898-1978), one of the major figures in the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Shortly after the completion of the film Bergman succumbed to breast cancer at the age of 67.
The library system has two excellent biographies about Bergman, "Notorious: The Life of Ingrid Bergman" by Donald Spoto and "Ingrid: Ingrid Bergman, A Personal Biography" by Charlotte Chandler. Both authors have written many other great books dealing with other talents from Hollywood's Golden Age such as Bette Davis and Alfred Hitchcock, and their books on Bergman are no exception. After seeing these films and reading about her, you'll find out why Bergman was one of the most talented, beloved and respected talents of the 20th Century.
Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday. You may access the library at .mymanatee.org/library. David Breakfield is a librarian in the Information Services Dept. of the Central Library