Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words

Director: Stig Bjorkman (2016) BBFC cert. PG

This comprehensive and sincere documentary explores the lengthy career and complicated home life of the triple Oscar winning actress.

The statuesque Swede overcame childhood adversity to become a star of the golden age Hollywood. A scandalous affair with a married director saw her leave LA to work in Europe before a before a triumphant return to Hollywood late in her career.

She remains most famous for starring with Humphrey Bogart in the classic romance Casablanca (1942) and her stellar career saw her co-star opposite Gregory Peck and Gary Cooper among other leading men.

Plus there were three films with Hitchcock as well as opportunities with Victor Fleming and George Cukor.

The 1949 affair with Italian director Roberto Rossellini called time on her Hollywood career but led to work in Europe. There was  still time for a successful return to Hollywood in Sidney Lumet’s Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and a third Oscar win.

Bergman’s actress daughter Isabella from her marriage to Rossellini contributes her thoughts among the many clips home videos and chat show appearances.

Fellow Swede and Oscar winner Alicia Vikander reads from Bergman’s diaries which reveal an earnest, restless and strong willed woman who was unashamedly ambitious in her pursuit of the best roles and directors.

However there’s little gossip in her diaries, probably because the thrice divorced mother of four was too busy to record it.

In Her Own Words is entertaining but Bergman’s words are an argument actors should never be allowed to write their own lines.


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