Ingrid Bergman Had To Test The Waters Before Trusting The Hollywood System


By the end of the 1940s, World War II had come to an end. European cinema was blossoming, telling rich, emotional stories of post-war life. Nowhere did you find this more than in the neorealist movement in Italy, and one of its major figureheads was director Roberto Rossellini, who beautifully captured the harsh aftermath of WWII in masterpieces like “Rome, Open City” and “Paisan.” Ingrid Bergman was a big fan of Rossellini’s films and wanted to work with him. So she headed back over to Italy and made “Stromboli,” released in 1950.

Infamously, Bergman and Rossellini began an affair during the making of “Stromboli” and had a child. This scandal was so extreme that she could not get acting work back in the States for years. So many fear their accent or their look will make the public reject them as an actor, but it was just silly, destructive American puritanism that did this. Bergman remained in Europe, working with her now-husband Roberto and a few other European filmmakers. Ironically, this was the thing she always saw herself doing with her career, but it ended up being forced upon her. She didn’t make another Hollywood production until her relationship with Rossellini was basically over, when she appeared in 1956’s “Anastasia,” which won Bergman her second Academy Award.

Once she was able to get back into Hollywood’s good graces, Ingrid Bergman had the ability to basically go and do what she pleased. It could be in Hollywood, Europe, or the theatre. If the part was worth her time, that’s what she would go do, and that mentality lasted into her later years, as well. Bergman saw the highs and lows of the entertainment industry and always delivered excellent work, no matter where she made it.



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