Thursday, August 30, 2012

Saratoga Trunk (1945).

Saratoga Trunk (1945). Written by Edna Ferber and Casey Robinson, based on Ferber's best-selling novel of the same name. Cast: Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman, Florence Bates, and Flora Robson, who was nominated for a Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance.

The illegitimate daughter Clio Dulaine, of an aristocratic New Orleans Creole man and a light-skinned Creole woman, returns from Paris to her birthplace, Rampart Street. Wanting, to get even with her fathers family for sending her and her mother to Paris. After, her mother accidently killed her husband.

Clio,arrives with her maid, Angelique and her dwarf manservant, Cupidon. They fix up a rundown house on Rampart Street.

At the marketplace, Clio stops for a bowl of jambalaya, there she meets Texan Clint Maroon, who is also eating lunch. Clint, offers to drive Clio to the cathedral in his carriage, but ... Angelique, does not like the idea and prevents her from going with him.

After the service, Clio, Angelique and Cupidon, decide to have breakfast at Begue's, the Dulaines favorite restaurant. There she tells the maitre d' that she is a relative of the Dulaines and he sits her at the table reserved for the Dulaines. When, the Dulaines arrive, they recognize her and leave. Clint and Clio, meet again at the restaurant and he drives her home. Clio and Clint, are attracted to each other and begin a romance.

Clio, who is so obsessed with her plans for revenge, destroys their relationship, with her odd behavior. She wants to marry a rich and powerful man to prove that she is as good as her father's family. Clint, has his own problems and is out for revenge on the railroaders who ruined his father.

Clio, wanting to embarrass the Dulaines, every chance she gets, sees the perfect opportunity to sabotage the society debut of her half-sister Charlotte Therese. The Dulaines, are willing to do anything to get rid of her and offer to pay her $10,000, to destroy the Rampart Street house and bury her mother in a New Orleans cemetery.

Later, Clio joins Clint in Saratoga Springs, where she sets her sights on wealthy railroad heir Bartholomew Van Steed. The hotel is completely booked, Clint, who is now calling himself Colonel Maroon, offers Clio two rooms in his suite. Later, Clint explains to her that Bart owns a railroad, the Saratoga Trunk, that is now worth millions. Railroader Raymond Soule, the same man who ruined Clint's father, is now trying to steal the railroad from Bart.

Clio, comes up with the idea to poses as the widow of a French count and is backed up by a fast thinking socialite Mrs. Coventry Bellop, who dislikes Van Steed's mother. Clio, quickly wins Bart's heart.

Clint, offers to help Bart, save the Saratoga Trunk from Soule, for shares in the railroad. When Clio learns that Bart is paying Clint to do his dirty work, she calls him a coward. Bart, now knows the truth about who she really is, but.. wants to marry her anyway.

During the costume ball, Clint and Cupidon, who saves Clint life, arrives seriously wounded after a train wreck and fight with Soule's men. Will Clio realizes before it is too late, that she loves Clint too much to marry another man?

Fun Facts:

It was shot in late February 1943 to late June 1943 but because of the overload of war related films they held the release to 1945. Share this The word "Trunk" refers to a branch railroad line - a 'trunk' line - in this case, to Binghamton, New York on the Delaware and Hudson.

Due to wartime rationing shortages, most of the vegetables in the New Orleans market scene were fake.

Jack L. Warner purchased the rights to the novel with the hopes to star Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn. But scheduling conflicts with both performers caused them to turn down the project.

Warners had hoped to possibly borrow Lena Horne from MGM for the role of Clio, but the studio refused to loan her out.

Two songs were published based on themes from the Max Steiner score: "As Long As I Live" and "Goin' Home", both with lyrics by Charles Tobias.

For the climactic train wreck scene, director Sam Wood used two complete trains, including 2 locomotives and 12 cars. Six cameras were used to film the scene where the trains meet in a head-on collision.

I have seen this film a couple of times and thought Ingrid, is at her best. I did have a little sympathy for Ingrids character, even though she was a little ruthless at times. Gary Cooper, is wonderful playing the handsome Texan Bachelor/Gambler, Clint. I do not think Gary Copper, can give a bad performance.

I loved the scene where Bergman, walks to the Saratoge Springs, to get some of the "sulfur" water and after she drinks it, she forces herself not to make a face and says " how good it is and that she must have more ".

The climactic train wreck scene, is amazingly well done.

Dame Flora McKenzie Robson, DBE (28 March 1902 – 7 July 1984) was an English actress, renowned as a character actress, who played roles ranging from queens to villainesses.

She was educated at the Palmers Green High School and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Her father discovered that Flora had a talent for recitation and, from the age of five, she was taken around by horse and carriage to recite, and to compete in recitations.

 This established a pattern that remained with her. Robson made her stage debut in 1921, at aged 19. She specialised in character roles, notably that of Queen Elizabeth I in both Fire Over England (1937) and The Sea Hawk (1940).

At the age of 32, Robson played the Empress Elizabeth in Alexander Korda's Catherine the Great (1934). She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Ingrid Bergman's servant in Saratoga Trunk (1945).

That same year audiences in the U.K. and the U.S. watched her hypnotic performance as nursemaid and royal confidante Ftatateeta, to Vivien Leigh's Queen Cleopatra, in the screen adaptation of George Bernhard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra (1945).

After the war, demonstrating her range, she appeared in Holiday Camp (1947), the first of a series of films which featured the very ordinary Huggett family; as Sister Philippa in Black Narcissus (1947); as a magistrate in Goodtime Girl (1948); as a prospective Labour MP in Frieda (1947); and in costume melodrama, Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948).

Her other film roles included the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland (1972), Livia in the abortively-attempted I, Claudius (1937), Miss Milchrest in Murder at the Gallop (1963). She acted late into life, latterly for American television films, including a lavish production of A Tale of Two Cities (in which she played Miss Pross).

 She also gave performances for British television, including The Shrimp and the Anemone. She also continued to act in the West End, in such plays as Ring Round the Moon, The Importance of Being Earnest and Three Sisters. Robson essentially retired from the theatre in the early 1970s, her last role being as a Stygian Witch in the fantasy adventure Clash of the Titans in 1981.

A very young Dame Flora McKenzie Robson


  1. i really like this movie and i've even read the Edna Ferber novel which was really good too. great picture of Flora Robson. i've never seen her that young before.

  2. I haven't seen this movie in several years. It is time for a re-watch.

    I remember that Coop and Ingrid had amazing chemistry with each other in this. I also remember that he was drop-dead gorgeous. He was in the most handsome years of his career at this point, and I spent the whole film swooning over him.

  3. Alyssa LM, I really want to read the novel. Flora Robson, sure was a beauty in her younger day.

    Patti, me too... Gary Cooper(sigh).

  4. I love Saratoga Trunk--it is so funny! Bergman and Cooper have great chemistry and they play such characters!

  5. Kim, I have only seen this movie a couple of times .. The train wreck scene is amazing!!


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