Movie Report: Indiscreet (1958)

Book coverI bought this film in June in Arkansas, and as it had been almost two months since I’d seen a Cary Grant film (three, actually), it was time.

Ingrid Bergman plays a London actress who comes back from a holiday early after yet another suitor cannot hold her attention. Her sister and brother-in-law stop to use her flat to change before a formal dinner and are surprised to find her back. They invite her along, but she demurs because she finds those dinners and their speakers boring. But Cary Grant shows up as the American economist scheduled to speak, invited to also change at the flat from his trip into his evening clothes, and Bergman is smitten. Pardon me if I don’t bother to include the character names–I’ve already forgotten them.

So Grant and Bergman spend a wonderful evening together, but at the end of the night, Grant says that he’s married, separated, but cannot get a divorce–right after Bergman says she hears that from all the men.

But they take up an affair anyway. Wait, what? Blatant immorality in the 1950s? Get out of town!

So the film is them flirting, bantering, and pitching woo until it is revealed that Grant’s character is not actually married–that he just says that because he does not want to get married, and when he has said that in the past, women always thought they would be the one to make him change his mind. Bergman is just such a woman, and she hopes to change his mind. When she finds out, though, that he is not, in fact, married, she is scandalized and plans a surprise when he is to surprise her for her birthday–she plans to be caught in flagrante delicto with an old flame who falls ill, so she has her elderly chauffeur play the role briefly. But it ends happily, though.

You’re watching it to see Grant and Bergman flirt and caper about (well, not as caper as in some other Grant films).

I’ve seen Bergman in a number of films, but something about the color in this film really emphasized the lines between her teeth, and it was distracting.

Weird. Probably not on a real woman–now watch me as I stare at women’s teeth in the real world until I’m tased–but not something we generally see nowadays on actresses and influencers due to orthodontia and veneers.

So I got to thinking about the leading men/heroes that played opposite of Ingrid Bergman who I most closely resemble in my own mind. Gentle reader, those include Cary Grant (this film and Notorious which I have yet to see), Humphrey Bogart (from Casablance), and Bing Crosby (The Bells of St. Mary’s which I’ve seen a couple of times and include it in my Christmas film rotation). Of all them, of course, I would prefer to be Cary Grantish, but I am pretty sure I am mostly Humphrey Bogartish (I have had a picture of him on my office wall for…. well, probably not decades, plural, yet, but for a long time). Of course, in this accounting, I have forgotten For Whom The Bell Tolls with Gary Cooper, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen that. I would hunt it down for a re-watch but I have other films I’ve not yet seen to get to first.

At any rate, best viewed by a Grant or Bergman completist, but kind of pedestrian and of questionable moral worldview otherwise.

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