Ingrid Bergman: The Life, Career and Public Image
Smit studies the woman behind the public image as a natural, wholesome, even saintly person, an image carefully crafted by Bergman’s first producer David O. Selznick. Bergman hid behind that image to live her life on her own terms. That life included three difficult marriages, numerous lovers, and a major scandal that stained her reputation but which she survived by creating her own legend. Bergman was filled with contradictions: she was dependent upon men and chafed under their control; she loved her children but constantly left them to perform; she longed for romance but walked away from her affairs without looking back; she desired to make great films but settled for being an entertainer; she hated the scrutiny of the media but learned to charm reporters. The author also assesses Bergman’s artistry—her star qualities and her acting skills. She did her best work in Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious, Roberto Rossellini’s Voyage in Italy, and Ingmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata. Her life and image were the inspiration for these films in the first place.
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