23rd Oct 2019

Alfred Hitchcock gained notoriety for manipulating and mistreating some of the actresses he worked with, but with Ingrid Bergman, he seems to have met his match:  she was dedicated to her career and her craft, and wanted to be challenged creatively by working with the great directors of the time.

Both Bergman and Hitchcock did some of their best work in a succession of three films of enduring fascination. It seems to have been a collaboration from which both gained a great deal: Bergman was stretched creatively in three films of great emotional intensity, and Hitchcock was driven to express some of his own personal anguish for the first time in his work.

The trio is an odd one: SPELLBOUND and NOTORIOUS were major box-office successes, nominated for many Oscars and are still applauded by critics today.

In counterpoint, UNDER CAPRICORN, was an expensive Technicolor production which failed commercially and virtually disappeared from view for many decades; it is now increasingly finding avid supporters and is ripe for re-appraisal.

Although both Hitchcock and Bergman had at one stage intended to continue working together on further films, Bergman found the physical demands of the long takes in UNDER CAPRICORN arduous; during the filming in London, she met Roberto Rossellini and began her professional and personal relationship with him. Although she remained a friend to Hitchcock thereafter, she did not work with him again.