2015 marks the centennial anniversary of one of the most iconic stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Ingrid Bergman – an occasion The Loft Cinema is celebrating with a month-long tribute to the legendary actress, featuring some of her greatest and most beloved films.
“I was the shyest human ever invented, but I had a lion inside me that wouldn’t shut up!” – Ingrid Bergman
Born in Stockholm, the young actress had made a few films in her native Sweden before producer David O. Selznick saw her work in Intermezzo, and signed Bergman for the 1939 American remake, thus launching her international career. Three years later she achieved movie immortality as Ilsa Lund, Humphrey Bogart’s long-lost love in Casablanca. With her radiant beauty, Bergman could have played angelic love interests for the rest of her career, but she also had great range as an actress and was eager to explore it. By the end of the 1940s, Bergman was a top box-office draw, having made three films with Alfred Hitchcock, and earning the first of her three Oscars for her role in Gaslight. She was equally impressive on stage, winning a Tony Award for her performance as Joan of Arc. Bergman’s search for authenticity eventually led her to Italy, where she made five features with the pioneering Neorealist director Roberto Rossellini, a body of work now recognized as one of the foundations of modern cinema. “People saw me in Joan of Arc and declared me a saint. I’m not,” noted Bergman, who went from saint to sinner in the eyes of the American public when the married actress had a scandalous affair with Rosselini that effectively exiled her from Hollywood. But after her relationship with Rossellini ended, Bergman was welcomed back to America, where she continued her celebrated career working with some of cinema’s most creative filmmakers for the remainder of her life. Casablanca’s Rick Blaine may have said, “We’ll always have Paris,” but thanks to the magic of film, we’ll always have Ingrid Bergman.