Saturday, May 16, 2015

Saturday Matinee: For Whom the Bells Toll starring Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper


Since Ingrid Bergman is being honored at this year's Cannes Film Festival—check out the poster for the 68th annual event happening now—I decided For Whom the Bells Toll starring Bergman and Gary Cooper made the perfect movie for a Saturday Matinee. Besides, I'm still thinking about Florida and you might remember I saw the poster for this movie hanging on Hemingway's wall in Key West.

The 1943 release earned Bergman her very first Oscar nomination. You read that right. Bergman didn't even receive a nomination for her portrayal of Ilsa in Casablanca which was up for an Oscar the same year.

Those coveted gold statuettes were handed out for the very first time that year as well; before that the winner had their names inscribed on a plaque. Whoopi! Ingrid Bergman wasn't the lucky lady to take one home but her fellow castmate, Katina Paxinou playing Pilar, did; she won the Best Supporting Actress trophy. Don't feel bad for Bergman, neither of her male costars won either. While For Whom the Bells Toll won just the one Oscar, at least Casablanca won Best Picture but much more than that, Casablanca has achieved true classic status, it's one of the most beloved films of all time, and is always at the top of everyone's Best Films of All Time lists. You can watch it Sunday at 11 am on TCM, check your local listings to be sure of the time.


The character of Maria in Hemingway's book was based on a nurse the author met when he was wounded while volunteering as an ambulance driver in the Spanish Civil War. She was 26 while Hemingway was just 19 years old. He fell desperately in love and was devastated when she called it off due to their age difference. 

I wonder how the real Maria must have felt when she read the novel—of course she read it! Surely she would devour everything he ever wrote—and then when she saw Hemingway had hand-picked Ingrid Bergman to play her part? Not a bad way to be remembered, immortalized by one of the greatest writers who ever lived!

I don't know what you're doing this weekend while the stars, directors and big shot producers are spending this Saturday in Cannes, strutting the Croisette and the critics continue to boo and hiss Gus Van Sant's The Sea of Trees starring Matthew McConaughey; tickets are long sold out so dot even think about hopping on a plane but you can always get a ticket to watch For Whom the Bells Toll on Amazon Instant Streaming. 














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