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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Intermezzo (1936)

An internationally famous but very married classical violinist (Gosta Ekman, Murnau's FAUST) falls in love with his little daughter's (the excellent child actress, Britt Hagman) piano teacher (Ingrid Bergman). He leaves his wife (Inga Tidblad) and they run off together but their idyll is not without guilt. This is the film which caught David O. Selznick's eye and induced him to bring Bergman to Hollywood where she would make her American film debut in a remake of this very film with Leslie Howard in Ekman's part. The American remake was glossier and more romanticized, this Gustaf Molander film is a bit more sordid and Ekman's older man in love with a young girl is less sympathetic but the ending is no less sentimental. Its disturbing underlying message seems to be you can abandon your wife and kids for a year and run off with a hot young babe then come home and pick up where you left off. Bergman is actually more glamorous here than in the 1939 Hollywood remake but that might be due to the make up style of the day. In some scenes, I swear Ekman has more lipstick on than Bergman! Loosely remade in 1980 as HONEYSUCKLE ROSE with Willie Nelson. With Erik Berglund, Hugo Bjorne and Hasse Ekman.

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