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Indiscreet (1958 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theatrical release poster
Directed byStanley Donen
Screenplay byNorman Krasna
Based onKind Sir
by Norman Krasna
Produced byStanley Donen
CinematographyFreddie Young
Edited byJack Harris
Music by
Grandon Productions
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • 26 June 1958 (1958-06-26)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office$8 million (US)[1]

Indiscreet is a 1958 British romantic comedy film produced and directed by Stanley Donen, and starring Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant.[2]

The film is based on the 1954 play Kind Sir by Norman Krasna. This was Bergman and Grant's second film together, following Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious (1946). It was one of the first films to popularize the artistic use of split screen. The film was remade for television in 1988 starring Robert Wagner and Lesley-Anne Down.

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  • Indiscreet (1958) dance
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  • Indiscreet (1958) title sequence



Anna Kalman is a famous London-based theater actress who has given up hope of finding the man of her dreams. Through her brother-in-law, Alfred Munson, Anna meets Philip Adams, a handsome economist, and she is instantly smitten with him.

Anna invites Philip go to the ballet, but he demurs, politely noting he is married. Philip adds that he is separated and unable to get a divorce from his wife. Undeterred, Anna asks again and Philip agrees.

They hit it off on their first date and continue seeing each other frequently. Soon, they fall in love. Anna's sister Margaret cautions her, but Anna rebuffs the suggestion.

As their romance blossoms, Philip receives a temporary transfer notice to New York for his work at NATO, which distresses Anna greatly as it will keep them apart for as much as five months.

On the day before Philip is scheduled to sail, Alfred reveals he knows Philip is a bachelor and asks him why he kept this secret. Philip reveals that he is unenthusiastic about the idea of marriage but can't give up on women. Philip assures Alfred that he sincerely loves Anna. He also says he plans to surprise Anna on her birthday the next day.

Anna tells Alfred and Margaret that she plans to go to New York to surprise Philip. To discourage her, Alfred discloses Philip's plan. Margaret complicates the situation by revealing that Philip is unmarried. Anna is furious upon learning this, but decides to go on as if nothing happened, secretly forming a plan to get even with him.

Anna arranges an elaborate ruse where it will appear that she was having an affair with David, an old flame, when Philip comes to visit her on her birthday, but it does not go as planned. When Anna hears David has had an accident and can't come, she tries to persuade her elderly caretaker Carl to stand in as David. Philip arrives and proposes marriage, but leaves when he mistakes Carl for David. Anna is distraught but Philip returns and she is able to clear up the confusion. Anna tells Philip she is happy the way things are, but Philip is adamant about getting married. Anna is overwhelmed with joy and the film ends with the couple embracing.



No film studio sought the rights to the play Kind Sir, so Norman Krasna's co-producers as Joshua Logan, Mary Martin, and Charles Boyer as agreed to Krasna's offer to buy the rights himself for $10,000. Krasna did not tell his fellow producers he had lined up Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman to star in a film.[3]

In March 1955 United Artists announced Krasna would direct a film version for that studio.[4] It was originally announced that the film would be made with either Marilyn Monroe or Jayne Mansfield, and with Clark Gable as the male star.[5]

Krasna asked Stanley Donen if he wanted to direct while the latter was making Kiss Them for Me (1957) with Grant. Donen agreed "but only with Cary". Grant agreed but only if his co-star was Ingrid Bergman (the two had last acted together in Notorious [1946]). Bergman agreed provided the film could be shot in England; she had a theatre commitment in Paris. Krasna agreed to make the changes from the play. Donen and Grant formed a company together, Grandon Productions, to make the film.[6] In September 1957 Bergman announced she and Grant would star in the film for Warners.[7]

Scenes in the Players' Club were filmed at the Garrick Club in London. The club agreed to let them film there but not to use their name.[8]

Logan saw the movie expecting to find it different from the play and was surprised to find it "verbatim" like Kind Sir. "Krasna's writing and my taste were more than vindicated," said Logan. "Had I been well [directing the play] it would have been another story."[9]


Box office

The film ranked in the top 10 British box office hits in terms of gross profits in 1958.[10][11] Kinematograph Weekly listed it as being "in the money" at the British box office in 1958.[12] In North America it made $3.6 million.[13]


The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote: "The story line of this comedy is extremely simple. Donen has presumably tried to make a film without incident, and he almost succeeds: one is often on the point of being bored, but one never is, quite. Indeed, there are many charming scenes in which hardly anything at all happens: the walk through London, the first lunch at home, the telephone call from Paris (with split-screen effect amusingly used). Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant are, to great effect, together again. She fails only towards the end of the film when she has to play the scorned woman; neither she nor Donen can quite manage this switch, and the film suffers accordingly."[14] In British Sound Films: The Studio Years 1928–1959 David Quinlan rated the film as "good", writing: "Glossy, entertaining comedy of manners, with stars expertly dispensing surface charm."[15]

Leslie Halliwell said: "Affairs among the ultra rich, amusing when played by these stars but with imperfect production values which the alarmingly thin plot allows one too much time to consider."[16]

The Radio Times Guide to Films gave the film 3/5 stars, writing: "Two of the screen's most elegant stars provide much of the pleasure in this glossy romantic comedy, adapted by Norman Krasna from his play Kind Sir. The action has been transplanted from New York to foggy London (it was filmed at Elstree) with Ingrid Bergman as a famous actress looking for love and Cary Grant as the diplomat who's pretending he's married when he's not. Highlights include Grant dancing a superb Highland reel and a witty supporting performance as a chauffeur in disguise from the underrated David Kossoff. It's nonsense, of course, but utterly charming."[17]


Indiscreet was nominated for three 1959 Golden Globes,[18] three 1959 BAFTAs,[19] and one Writers Guild of America award but failed to win any of them.

1988 television remake

Directed byRichard Michaels
Written byNorman Krasna
Walter Lockwood
Sally Robinson
Based onKind Sir
1954 play
by Norman Krasna
Produced byJohn Davis
StarringRobert Wagner
CinematographyBob Edwards
Release date
24 October 1988

The film was remade as a 1988 television movie. It was announced in March 1987 as a vehicle for Robert Wagner.[20] Wagner pitched the idea to CBS because he loved the original.[21] Lesley-Anne Down's casting was announced in February 1988.[22] Filming was supposed to start in February 1988 but was pushed back to mid April. Filming finished by May.[23]

The Chicago Tribune wrote: "Leslie-Anne [sic] Down obviously is no Bergman... Wagner is no Grant, try as he may.... "Indiscreet" is more flimsy than brittle, filled with lighter-than-air dialogue and the old hiding-out-on-window- ledges and falling-out-of-rowboat gambits. On the up side there is Down, who at times looks positively Ava Gardnerian, whether parading around in backless dresses or demonstrating a very special talent for saucily closing doors with her tush."[24]

The Los Angeles Times said: "The vapidity of both [lead] performances is magnified by come-hither camera shots that linger too long on their empty faces... Down has a little more flounce to the ounce, but the best she can do as a woman deceived is to fly into a deep snit. Production values evoke the silky-bland noblesse oblige that has been canonized for TV by "Dynasty" and "Knots Landing"."[25]

"Go out and rent the original on video cassette", said The New York Times.[26]


  1. ^ "Indiscreet - Box Office Data". The Numbers. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  2. ^ "Indiscreet". British Film Institute Collections Search. Retrieved 12 February 2024.
  3. ^ Logan p 384
  4. ^ VAN DRUTEN PLAY ON FILM SCHEDULE: Phoenix Will Make 'Bell, Book and Candle,' With Taradash Writing Screen Version By THOMAS M. PRYORSpecial to The New York Times. 16 March 1955: 40.
  5. ^ Louella Parsons: Mary Martin Role Tailored for Monroe, The Washington Post and Times-Herald 11 October 1956: 48.
  7. ^ Bergman, Grant May Star New York Times 8 Sep 1957: 126
  8. ^ "Inside Stuff - Pictures". Variety. 26 March 1958. p. 16. Retrieved 11 October 2021 – via
  9. ^ Logan p 384
  10. ^ "Britain's Money Pacers 1958". Variety. 15 April 1959. p. 60.
  11. ^ Thumim, Janet. "The popular cash and culture in the postwar British cinema industry". Screen. Vol. 32, no. 3. p. 259.
  12. ^ Billings, Josh (18 December 1958). "Others in the Money". Kinematograph Weekly. p. 7.
  13. ^ "Top Grossers of 1958". Variety. 7 January 1959. p. 48. Please note figures are for US and Canada only and are domestic rentals accruing to distributors as opposed to theatre gross
  14. ^ "Indiscreet". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 25 (288): 99. 1 January 1958 – via ProQuest.
  15. ^ Quinlan, David (1984). British Sound Films: The Studio Years 1928–1959. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd. p. 327. ISBN 0-7134-1874-5.
  16. ^ Halliwell, Leslie (1989). Halliwell's Film Guide (7th ed.). London: Paladin. p. 513. ISBN 0586088946.
  17. ^ Radio Times Guide to Films (18th ed.). London: Immediate Media Company. 2017. p. 463. ISBN 9780992936440.
  18. ^ "Indiscreet". The Golden Globes. Retrieved 12 February 2024.
  19. ^ "Indiscreet". BAFTA. Retrieved 12 February 2024.
  20. ^ Tom Cruise Is the People's Choice: [FINAL Edition] Swertlow, Frank. San Francisco Chronicle 4 March 1987: 45.
  21. ^ "By remaking vintage movies with lesser actors, TV can play it again, Sam". Arar, Yardena. Chicago Tribune 3 May 1988: 7.
  22. ^ "Wagner still hurts over Hart". Shaw, Ted. The Gazette6 Feb 1988: T10.
  23. ^ Robert Wagner plays it 'Indiscreet' Series: Personalities: [CITY Edition] Beck, Marilyn. St. Petersburg Times 17 April 1988: 15.
  24. ^ "The remade classic: Pond scum on the waters of time". Clifford, Terry. Chicago Tribune 24 October 1988: 5.
  25. ^ Television Reviews Sans Ingrid and Cary, 'Indiscreet' Is Inept: [Home Edition] Christon, Lawrence. Los Angeles Times (24 October 1988: 8.
  26. ^ Reviews/Television; An Amish Farmer and a Prosecutor: [Review]. O'Connor, John J. New York Times 24 October 1988: C.16.

Further reading

  • Logan, Joshua (1976). Josh, my up and down, in and out life. Delacorte Press.

External links

This page was last edited on 6 April 2024, at 11:30
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