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Intermezzo

(1939 b 70')

En: 6 Ed: 7

 

Based on the 1936 Swedish movie of the same name, also with Ingrid Bergman, a married violinist has an affair with his new accompanist.

Swedish violinist Holger Brandt (Leslie Howard) announces the retirement of his accompanist Thomas Stenberg (John Halliday) and goes home. Holger is welcomed by his wife Margit Brandt (Edna Best), his son Eric (Douglas Scott), and his daughter Ann Marie (Ann E. Todd), who plays a record for him. Holger meets Ann Marie's music teacher Anita Hoffman (Ingrid Bergman). Holger tells Margit he wants to run away with her; but she won't leave their children. Ann Marie invites Anita to her birthday party, and Anita plays piano with Holger, impressing him. After a concert Holger goes out with Anita and asks her to accompany him on his tour; but she is working for a scholarship. Holger and Anita talk of spring. Anita tells her teacher Thomas that she is going away. Anita tells Margit she can't teach Ann Marie, because she is going to Denmark. Anita meets Holger secretly and is ashamed. Anita says she must leave him, and they part. Margit asks Holger if she is getting old and wants to go with him on the tour; but Holger turns away and asks to talk with her.

At the train Holger tells Anita he left his home for her. They go on tour together. Ann Marie listens by radio, but unhappy Margit tells her to go to sleep. Anita tells Holger that she could never be happier. Holger and Anita are on vacation when Anita gets a letter from Thomas that she won the scholarship. Holger says turn down any invitation, and Anita says she will not take the scholarship. While sailing Anita tells Holger that she is afraid. Thomas finds Holger and asks him to sign the divorce papers for Margit. Holger plays the zither with the child Marianne (Marie Flynn). Anita greets Thomas and says that Holger misses Ann Marie. Thomas asks Anita if happiness can be built on the unhappiness of others but tells her to make her own decision. Holger and Marianne get ready for a picnic; but Anita tells Thomas she is going, and she excuses herself from Holger's picnic. She is saying good-bye, but he thinks he'll see her soon. Holger gets a letter from Anita that their love is wrong because it causes unhappiness. Thomas asks Holger to come home; but Holger asks for the divorce papers.

Thomas greets Holger, who says he is leaving again. Holger takes Ann Marie the camera she wanted; but she runs to him and is hit by a car. Holger brings Ann Marie home to Margit. Eric asks his father why he came back, and Holger says he needs Eric now. Holger learns that Ann Marie will recover, and in the final scene Margit welcomes him home.

This poignant love story contrasts the happiness of a new affair with the sadness it causes the family. The child's accident symbolizes the harm done to a child by the parents' broken relationship.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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