Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Ingrid Bergman, Michael Redgrave, Ralph Richardson, Trevor Howard, Dilys Hamlett
Director: Basil Coleman
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
This 1962 production of Ibsen's immortal classic features Ingrid Bergman in the title role! Hedda Gabler has just come back from her honeymoon, married to boring but reliable academic George Tesman (Michael Redgrave). Refu... more »
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"Better Truncated Ibsen Than No Ibsen At All"
Stanley H. Nemeth | Garden Grove, CA United States | 08/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This truncated adaptation of one of Ibsen's masterpieces does less than full justice to the elegant, classical dramatic architecture that distinguishes the craftsmanship of the original text. Moreover, as if to add insult to injury, additional scenes and new dialogue of matter merely narrated in the original are added here as unnecessary filler. For this reason, the production deserves less than 5 stars.
These limitations having been pointed out, what is nevertheless remarkable is the undeniable success of the extraordinary cast assembled here in conveying within a mere 75 minutes the essence of Ibsen's drama. Michael Redgrave, for instance, as the bumbling, foolish George Tesman is a scholar in the mode Nietzsche parodied and Ibsen similarly saw the folly of. Tesman is the sort of 19th century academic new man who believes one approaches a better conception of the real and the important by peering ever more closely at the domestic industries of Brabant in the Middle Ages. At the same time, inattentive to what's going on before his eyes, he's spectacularly unfit as a husband or a colleague. Ralph Richardson, in the reduced number of lines that remain to him, is a singularly reptilian, sophisticated Judge Brack, a true rival in at first witty and then sinister repartee to the aristocrat who's come down in the world, Hedda Gabler.
Ibsen once said that modern man is "a neurotic sufferer," and the principal exponent of such a conception of dramatic character here is, of course, Hedda herself. Ingrid Bergman plays this very character to the hilt. Spoiled, witty, above all bored to tears, she is cunning, manipulative, and finally at her wit's end. Great facial acting and caustic wit distinguish Bergman's Hedda. Her face is a book in which the audience, if not always the other characters, may read her thoughts. And she brings out the humor that is always in Ibsen. Her performance, even in truncated form, is in itself worth 6 stars.
Superb cast makes this a Must-See
R. Swanson | New Mexico | 09/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's been so long since I read the play that I can't compare this production, which another reviewer called "truncated," to the original. This is short but the collection of some of the finest actors in England plus Ingrid Bergman in her prime, make this a powerful performance. Ms. Bergman dominates every scene with her amazing presence. I had forgotten what a great actress she was. And, she is absolutely beautiful here. We are fortunate to have this on record."
dreamer | las vegas | 07/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ingred bergman as hedda,i've waited 40 yrs for this and i'm not disapointed,bergman,redgrave,richardson,howard can you ask for anything better,a 5 star production..."
Not Quite the Play But a Fine Film
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 01/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Much as I hate to admit it, the insufferable Stanley N has said most of what I planned to say about this cinema adaptation of Ibsen's most popular drama. Yes, Ingrid Bergman is exquisite on screen, her close-ups being worth at least the few hundred words that have been cut from the script. Yes, the rest of the cast is worthy of sharing the screen with her. Yes, this would be a powerful psychological film even if it had somehow been crafted by Hollywood hacks. One thing Mr. N fails to mention is the visual beauty of the film, all the action being contained within the parlor and the porch of the Gabler mansion as if on a stage, yet with very fluid camera work worthy of that other Swede named Bergman.
This film is available as part of the six-DVD, ten production Ibsen Collection from the BBC, which I've been carrying in my suitcase while on the road for a month. So far I've watched three plays: this Hedda Gabler made in 1963, An Enemy of the People, and Little Eyolf.
"Enemy" has been curiously adapted, relocated in Scotland several decades later in time than the original; it's an intellectually shallow interpretation but a fairly strong piece of cinema on its own, well acted and directed.
"Little Eyolf" is utterly faithful to the mood and content of Ibsen's drama; starring Anthony Hopkins and Diana Riggs, it has none of the stilted wordiness of Ibsen translations on stage even though it delivers the whole script without noticeable cuts. Again the visuals are evocative, graceful, and fluid. How I'd love to see the movie industry re-learn the art of editing more than five-second cuts!
The filmed plays also include: Brand, A Doll's House, Ghosts, The Wild Duck, The Lady from the Sea, and The Master Builder. Eight radio plays are appended to various DVDs, but I haven't yet tried to listen to them.
I heartily recommend this single film, but I urge everyone to consider the whole BBC collection. The dramas of Henryk Ibsen are not mere museum pieces. Though I hope films never completely replace stage productions, these films are good enough to bring Ibsen to life for home of hotel viewers."