Sep 14, 2010

Saratoga Trunk (1945): a half-good movie

A very weird movie directed by Sam Wood (For Whom the Bell Tolls, Kitty Foyle, The Pride of the Yankees). Why weird? Well, because of the kind of characters it presents. Ok, Ingrid Bergman plays Clio Dulaine (what a name!), a girl coming from France to the US to a) seek revenge because her dead mother was humiliated by her father's aristocratic family b) become a wife of any Rich Guy and have a life full of luxury. Clio is always accompanied by her servants, a little guy, Cupidon (wait to hear how Ingrid pronounces it over and over, it's kind of catchy) and a white actress with bad make-up (Flora Robson) playing a mulatto woman.

I really had trouble getting used to these characters and their relationship. Ingrid is always arguing with them, and being ambitious and sending poor Cupidon to buy her things or to recollect useful information. Plus she has some kind of really bad fits of hysterics from time to time.
Gary Cooper as a Texan guy with a plan to get a lot of money out of a dispute between train companies, with hat and all, brings some of normality to the film (wait to hear how Ingrid pronounces his name, Clint, also in very catchy- French-accented-way). Obviously, he and Ingrid fall in love and have great chemistry. The only problem is that he's not rich (yet) so he doesn't fit in purpose b)


Here is when the movie really takes off (like in the middle). You will hear Ingrid Bergman singing for the first and only time on screen (song starts at 1.00):


Near the end there's a lot of action and a great scene that includes two trains colliding. Plus, it's just me, or characters trying to pass as important people in front of the upper class is always very fun to see? Well, Ingrid is great at it, displaying security, poise and a really ingenious mind to come up with successful plans to get closer a Rich Guy. Will she choose him or the man she really loves?
So I would recommend just the second part of the movie (?). The ending is really funny:


Gosh, I love Mr. Cooper.

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to see this movie restored to HD someday. I've never seen Ingrid Bergman look more beautiful.

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