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Saratoga Trunk

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saratoga Trunk
Saratoga Trunk film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySam Wood
Screenplay byCasey Robinson
Based onSaratoga Trunk
1941 novel
by Edna Ferber
Produced byHal B. Wallis
CinematographyErnest Haller
Edited byRalph Dawson
Music byMax Steiner
Color processBlack and white
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release dates
  • November 21, 1945 (1945-11-21) (New York City)
  • January 30, 1946 (1946-01-30) (US)
Running time
135 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$7,801,000[1]

Saratoga Trunk is a 1945 American drama romance western film directed by Sam Wood and starring Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman, and Flora Robson. Written by Casey Robinson, and based on the novel Saratoga Trunk by Edna Ferber, the film is about a Texas gambler and the daughter of a Creole aristocrat and his beautiful mistress. They become lovers and work together to seek justice from a society that has ruined their parents and rejected them.


It is 1875 in New Orleans, and Clio Dulaine has revenge on her mind. Years earlier, she and her late mother had been banished to Paris by the Dulaine kin as the result of scandal. Now, Clio is back, and she has two devoted allies—her maid Angelique and a dwarf servant, Cupidon. Together, they remodel her rundown homestead on Rampart Street. The location becomes a base of operations where Clio plots her strategy. At one point she enlists the services of a tall Texan, Clint Maroon. Eventually, the two fall in love. Together, they carry out a series of episodes designed to embarrass the Dulaine clan. This all finally pays off—literally—when a lawyer for the family negotiates a contract, part of which stipulates the Dulaines pay Clio $10,000 to leave New Orleans and never return.

As this final agreement is being worked out, Clint and Clio have split. Now, having traveled to Saratoga Springs, a vacation spa for America's elite, Clint writes Clio that Saratoga is “crawling with...respectable millionaires.” Clio and servants are impressed. Thus, they depart New Orleans, arriving at the spa by train. And as Clint observes from a distance, Clio Dulaine plots her conquest of railroad heir Bartholomew Van Steed, despite his snobbish mother's objections. Van Steed is enchanted, but he has business problems. A competing combine have hired an army of goons to physically take over his railroad. Clint then steps in and makes Van Steed a proposal. In exchange for shares in his business, he will import a gang of toughs from Texas to repel the goons.

Unbeknownst to all, Cupidon secretly boards Clint's train full of Texans who travel the line and take back the railroad, station by station. However, Van Steed's enemies send a train from the other end—and later, the trains crash head on. In the battle that follows, Cupidon is injured protecting Clint. Cut to Saratoga Springs and a fancy costume ball, where Angelique informs Clio of the battle. An angry Clio then confronts Bart, accusing him of cowardice. But the insult matters not. He offers to marry Clio. Just then, Clint staggers in, carrying Cupidon, and collapses. The next day, Clio is weeping at Clint's bedside. In an apparent delirium, he dreams of another girl. Clio protests that she loves him.  “Rich and respectable, that's me,” he moans, echoing Clio's deepest desire. When she says she will let him wear the pants, he snaps out of his fake semiconsciousness and replies, “That's all I wanted to hear!” They laugh and kiss, as Cupidon laughs along with them.


Production notes

Ethel Waters and Lena Horne were both considered for the role of Angelique, the Haitian maid. Instead of a woman of color, Warner Bros. cast British actress Flora Robson in dark makeup. This was unusual, as by this time, the use of what was blackface was considered inappropriate and offensive.[2] Shot in 1943, the film was not released until 1945.[2]


Box office

The film was Warner Bros.' most popular movie of 1946. According to Warner Bros. records, it earned rentals of $5,148,000 in the U.S. and $2,653,000 elsewhere.[1] According to Variety, the film earned $4,250,000 in theatrical rentals through its North American release.[3]


At the 19th Academy Awards, Flora Robson was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 26 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  2. ^ a b Bogle, Donald (2011), Heat Wave: The Life and Career of Ethel Waters, Harper-Collins, p. 369, ISBN 978-0-06-124173-4
  3. ^ "All-Time Top-Grossers", Variety 18 January 1950 p 18
  4. ^ "The 19th Academy Awards". Retrieved June 27, 2022.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 June 2022, at 22:51
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