Christian Dior really ought to be considered one of the stars of Indiscreet
, director Stanley Donen's consummately glamorous, altogether grown-up love story. The magnificent 1950s "New Look" gowns Dior designed for Ingrid Bergman, herself at the peak of sophistication and loveliness, are a high point of the film's chic, cosmopolitan mise en scène. Bergman plays Anne Kalman, a celebrated actress who's "the envy of everyone who knows her," yet is bored and lonely. Then she meets suave diplomat Philip Adams (Cary Grant), her match in every way: looks, charm, elegance--the works. The electricity is palpable between them and neither makes any attempt to hide that fact. When Anne learns that Philip is an expert on international finance, she's bold enough to crack: "I'm crazy about hard currency."
It's the very maturity of the romance between Anne and Philip that makes this movie so exhilarating, so romantic, and so affecting. When people fall in love at "a certain age" it's much more poignant; much more is at stake. (The film has a truly surprising plot twist, which throws everything into chaos.) The two "sadder but wiser" stars Bergman and Grant had certainly seen their share of love and heartbreak by this time in their lives, and it shows. (Grant was on the third of his five marriages; Bergman's career had already survived the scandal of her adulterous affair with Roberto Rossellini.) It's fascinating to watch them both, knowing what we know of their personal lives: to see Bergman's Anne throw caution to the wind to commit an "indiscretion" with a married man; to observe Grant/Philip's distinct ambivalence about the institution of marriage. It's a case of picture-perfect casting. --Laura Mirsky
In this reteaming of the stars of Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious by producer and director Stanley Donen (Charade) - Romance is in the air when a dashing diplomat (Cary Grant) is introduced to a beautiful and famous actress (Ingrid Bergman). The fact that he’s married doesn’t stop the love-struck pair from falling into a passionate affair. But it turns out that the actress isn’t the only one with the talent for role-playing – her married lover is actually a single playboy with no intentions of settling down. When his secret is revealed, she decides to give her Romeo a taste of his own medicine. Two of the film’s best features are the terrific color photography by legendary cinematographer, Freddie Young (Doctor Zhivago) and the magnificent new look gowns by Christian Doir designed for Bergman. Norman Krasna adapted his own play “Kind Sir” for the big screen.