Cast & Crew
Virtuoso violinist Holger Brandt returns home to Stockholm after a lengthy concert tour to discover that although he still loves his wife Margit, the romance has gone out of his marriage. Finding himself attracted to the youth and passion of his daughter Ann Marie's piano teacher, Anita Hoffman, Holger proposes that Anita replace his accompanist Thomas Stenborg, who is retiring to teach music. Anita refuses, but soon is drawn into performing as Holger's offstage accompanist. Ashamed, Anita insists upon ending their affair, but Holger is unable to face losing her. After confessing all to Margit, Holger goes to Anita, and the two leave on an extended tour together. After the tour ends, they go on a holiday during which Anita is notified that she has won a coveted music scholarship. Recognizing that acceptance of the scholarship would mean separation from Holger, Anita turns it down, but soon senses Holger's growing longing for his family. At the seaside, they encounter Stenborg, who counsels Anita to accept the scholarship and leave Holger, for he contends, she could never be happy with a forbidden love. Anita accepts Stenborg's advice, resigning herself to the reality that she can only fill the role of an intermezzo in Holger's life. After Anita's departure, Holger, disconsolate, wanders the country alone, returning much later to see his daughter Ann Marie. As Ann Marie runs to her father, she is struck by a car, and Holger carries her home in his arms. Margit and Holger are then reconciled by their mutual love for Ann Marie, and the family is reunited at last.
Hal C. Kern
Francis D. Lyon
David O. Selznick
Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939)
According to Selznick biographer Bob Thomas, Bergman had turned down other Hollywood offers from fast-talking Hollywood types but was impressed by Brown's personality, telling her, "You're so sweet and human that anyone you work for couldn't be nearly as crazy as I expected." She eventually signed with Selznick, although stipulating that she would commit to only one film before deciding whether she wanted to stay in Hollywood.
Bergman balked at Selznick's plans for a "glamour makeover" that involved capping her teeth, plucking her eyebrows and dying her hair. "You must have liked me to bring me all the way over here," she told him, adding that she had not had plucked eyebrows or dyed hair in the original Intermezzo. Selznick then realized that a great publicity campaign could be built around Bergman's "naturalness," and a new type of Hollywood star appeared to captivate an international public.
Intermezzo tells of a bittersweet love affair between a young pianist (Bergman) and a famous concert violinist (Leslie Howard) who is married with two children. The movie was Oscar-nominated for its musical score and for Gregg Toland's beautiful black-and-white photography, which gave Bergman a special glow. Upon the film's release, critics warmed to the actress as quickly as audiences did. "There is that incandescence about Miss Bergman," wrote Frank S. Nugent in the New York Times, "that spiritual spark which makes us believe that Selznick has found another great lady of the screen."
Producers: David O. Selznick, Leslie Howard (Associate)
Director: Gregory Ratoff
Screenplay: George O'Neil, from screenplay by Gustaf Molander and Gosta Stevens
Cinematography: Gregg Toland, Harry Stradling Sr. (uncredited)
Original Music: Max Steiner
Editing: Hal C. Kern
Costume Design: Travis Banton, Irene
Cast: Leslie Howard (Holger Brandt), Ingrid Bergman (Anita Hoffman), Edna Best (Margit Brandt), John Halliday (Thomas Stenborg), Cecil Kellaway (Charles Moler), Enid Bennett (Greta Stenborg), Ann E. Todd (Ann Marie Brandt).
BW-70m. Closed captioning.
by Roger Fristoe
Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939)
I have been an intermezzo in his life.- Anita Hoffman
I wonder if anyone has built happiness on the unhappiness of others.- Friend
David O. Selznick bribed Leslie Howard into accepting the role of Ashley in _Gone With the Wind (1939)_ by giving him the right to co-produce this film.
In a published memo, David O. Selznick stated the title "Intermezzo" was not used because he feared the obscurity of the word would confuse audiences.
The working title of this film was Escape to Happiness. It is also known as Intermezzo. According to David O. Selznick memos reproduced in a modern source, the title Intermezzo was not used because Selznick feared that the obscurity of the word would confuse the audience. The opening credits of the film read "introducing Ingrid Bergman." This was Bergman's first English-language film. She also appeared as "Anita Hoffman" in the 1936 Swedish film of the same name, directed by Gustaf Molander and starring Gosta Ekman and Inga Tidblad. According to news items in Film Daily, William Wyler was originally to have directed this picture but when the script was not ready on time, Wyler resigned because of a previous committment to Samuel Goldwyn to direct Hans Christian Anderson. (That film, however, was not made until 1952, at which time Charles Vidor was the director.)
Hollywood Reporter production charts add that Harry Stradling began photography on the film, but was later replaced by Gregg Toland. Stradling received no credit onscreen or in reviews. A news item in Los Angeles Times notes that John Van Druten was to have worked on the script, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. News items in Hollywood Reporter note that the picture was originally to have been produced by the late Merritt Hulburd. This was the first film produced by Leslie Howard. Selznick offered Howard the job as an inducement to appear in Gone With the Wind. Assistant director Walter Mayo was on loan from M-G-M, director Gregory Ratoff was borrowed from Fox and photographer Gregg Toland was borrowed from Goldwyn for this picture. According to another news item in Hollywood Reporter, Ratoff wanted to act in this picture, but Selznick vetoed his request.
According to the memos, Selznick bought the rights to the Swedish film because he thought that he could save money by "actually duplicating, as far as practicable, the cut [foreign] film." This would save on unnecessary camera angles and scenes. Selznick also considered Ronald Colman, William Powell and Charles Boyer for the male lead and Loretta Young for the female lead. The film was shot partially on location in Monterey and Santa Monica, CA. A news item in Hollywood Reporter notes that production was shut down for several days at the end of July for script revisions. The film marked actress Enid Bennett's return to the screen after an eight-year absence.
Materials contained in the MPAA/PCA disclose that Joseph Breen insisted that "Anita" be punished for her adultery. The picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Musical Score. In 1945, Bergman starred with Joseph Cotton in a Lux Radio Theater version of the story.
Released in United States 1939
Released in United States 1939