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3.9 out of 5 stars26
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 30 May 2013
I must say that when I first saw Intermezzo, I was taken mostly by it's simple elegance. It's not drenched in glamour, but grounded in simplicity. The story is of a famous violinist, Leslie Howard, returning to his family as a world tour ends. There, he tries to take up with his life once more, but finds himself falling in love with his young daughter's piano teacher, here played by a luminous Ingrid Bergman.

It's clear to see why the world fell in love with Ingrid Bergman in this, her English speaking debut. She is positively radiant in every frame in which she appears. I've also seen the Swedish original, and it's clear that her reputation as one of the world's greatest beauties is well deserved. The 1936 Swedish original is a slightly different film. In that version, the acting is less stagey, the dialogue more naturalistic and daring. In this version, it does seem rather scripted, especially when it comes to Howard's dialogue. Some of the lines he delivers are embarrassingly trite, but this actually adds to the charm in a nostalgic way.

The reason I adore this film is for its trust in the viewer, and for its understatement. Many films of the period often relied on heavy exposition to convey a character's feelings, and while there are some very florid declarations here, the subtext does most of the work. We don't see the conversation between Howard and Edna Best that confirms her worst fears, we only see its effect. When Bergman describes the pair as "two guilty people", it's with an air of weary resignation as we realize that this love is not in the least bit glamorous. The scene towards the end in which she tells him to enjoy his picnic trip is a masterclass in how to hide a breaking heart.

It is these touches that bring these characters to life in an extraordinary way. I must confess that I've seen it around twenty times now over the years and it always affects me deeply, perhaps more so now that I myself am a father and husband. However, I am also haunted by Bergman's final scene, and her uncertain future. I've always wondered what became of Anita Hoffman, and hope that she found happiness. She was a good soul. It's a rare film that causes me to care about a fictional character so much.
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Ingrid Bergman made her English-speaking film debut in the romantic tear-jerker, "Intermezzo." She plays Anita, a young pianist who gives piano lessons to the daughter of a famous violinist, Holger Brandt (Leslie Howard). Brandt is first attracted by her musical talent and soon they are a couple, meeting in dark cafes. He leaves his family and takes Anita on tour with him. They are having a wonderful time until a friend from home visits them.
Bergman is so young and luminous; who wouldn't fall in love with her? She's very good as Anita, having played the role in the 1936 Swedish film. Howard is suitably tortured, weak, and confused. At 70 minutes, the movie is too short and moves too quickly. The music, chiefly "Intermezzo" by Provost, is lovely and adds to the bittersweet quality of the film. A touching romance with beautiful stars.
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on 8 November 2008
... when it comes to picture quality! It doesn't get much better than this!

By the way, look at Ingrid Bergman playing the piano. I'm a pianist myself and hasn't yet figured out wether it is Ingrid really playing or if this is the most accompliched overdub/fake made in a film - ever!

For example, look at the terrible fake in a film like Casablanca, where it is obvious that the guy (not Ingrid, she's not playing the piano here) at the piano can't play at all! And that's the case in most films. No matter how accomplished a director, but when it comes to directing someone playing an instrument, most of them fall short.

Daniel
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VINE VOICEon 5 September 2011
Simple movie about a Musician (Howard) who falls for a Musical Teacher (Bergman) whilst being married and having a small daughter. Leslie Howard it is said can have women falling at his feet just by ignoring them - one can see why! He leaves his wife temporarily.

For me the outstanding part in this goes to the cute little girl marvellously played by 'Ann Todd' - especially when she winks at her father whilst he plays - I always remember this moment, it's so sweet.

Like the later movie 'Brief Encounter' only in reverse; (see my Review for that title) all ends well 'morally' when the man returns to his wife and child.
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on 19 May 2014
Overall, this film is entertaining, but not memorable (for me). It has a short running-time, so does not outstay its welcome. The main reason for my review, though, is to comment on the outstanding quality of the print on this DVD. It is almost impossible to believe that this film was made 75 years ago when you are watching it, the print is that good. There is nothing on the packaging to indicate that this has been remastered or restored in any way, and this makes it all the more remarkable. SO, if you are a fan of this film, naturally you will not be disappointed by the film itself, but you will surely be delighted by the quality of the print.

Film: 3/5 Quality of Print: 5/5
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VINE VOICEon 9 April 2005
This David O. Selznick film is a remake of an earlier film with the same name. Ingrid also played in this one so it is easy to get them mixed-up at first.
The story is a classic and has been told in many ways. A famous violinist (Leslie Howard) falls in love with his daughter's piano teacher (Ingrid Bergman). Unlike many movies where the couple cause each other trouble and force the other one to beg his/her way back into good graces, the situations are real enough that you feel that you are part of the story. You will have to watch to find out how they deal with feelings and act on them.
You can easily get wrapped up in the story and forget that there is quit a bit of beautiful music in this film.

If you find this movie as intriguing as I do, your next story should be "Brief Encounter" - Criterion Collection (1945). See my review "When you feel like British, no other film will do as well." May 6, 2001
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VINE VOICEon 12 September 2009
This is an elegant drama fuelled by the luminous Ingrid Bergman. I watched it one Saturday afternoon and it passed swiftly stirring up a few conflicting emotions, which are settled by a satisfactory conclusion. Mundane and romantic at the same time.
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on 5 March 2014
I enjoyed this film although the social mores in today's world are so different. That factor made it interesting to me as did the fact that it was the film which introduced Ingrid Bergman to our screens.
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on 11 April 2014
Ingrid Bergman had played the same part with one of the at that time most famous Swedish actors (Gösta Ekman) as professor Brandt. The theme is the same but the films somewhat different. Both enjoyable.
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VINE VOICEon 7 May 2006
This David O. Selznick film is a remake of an earlier film with the same name. Ingrid also played in this one so it is easy to get them mixed-up at first.

The story is a classic and has been told in many ways. A famous violinist (Leslie Howard) falls in love with his daughter's piano teacher (Ingrid Bergman). Unlike many movies where the couple cause each other trouble and force the other one to beg his/her way back into good graces, the situations are real enough that you feel that you are part of the story. You will have to watch to find out how they deal with feelings and act on them.

You can easily get wrapped up in the story and forget that there is quit a bit of beautiful music in this film.

If you find this movie as intriguing as I do, your next story should be "Brief Encounter" - Criterion Collection (1945). See my review "When you feel like British, no other film will do as well." May 6, 2001
0Comment|3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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