Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. USA, 1948. Enterprise Productions, Arch of Triumph Inc.. Screenplay by Lewis Milestone, Harry Brown, based on the novel serialized in Collins Magazine by Erich Maria Remarque. Cinematography by Russell Metty. Produced by David Lewis. Music by Louis Gruenberg. Production Design by William Cameron Menzies. Costume Design by Marion Herwood Keyes. Film Editing by Duncan Mansfield.
Ingrid Bergman‘s first film after her release from her contract with David O. Selznick was this borefest that should have been better considering its pedigree. Source material by Erich Maria Remarque, direction by Oscar winner Lewis Milestone, Bergman herself and her Gaslight co-star Charles Boyer (who is a block of wood here) never for a moment produce a single spark between them in this murky tale of love and betrayal. Boyer is a hunted Austrian doctor hiding out from the Nazis in 1938 France who meets down-and-out Bergman, sets her up in a cushy situation and falls madly in love with her. They part, she marries someone else, they travel, they get back together, she never gets over him. All of it takes way too long to happen, and isn’t at all drenched in the kind of mysterious atmosphere or benefiting from the beautiful tension that its obvious inspiration, Casablanca, had.