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» » Intermezzo (1936)

Short summary

The world famous violinist Holger Brandt comes back to his family after a tour. He and his wife have been married for many years, but their love has gone. Their young daughter gets a new piano teacher, Anita Hoffman. Mr. Brandt fall in love with her and together they go on a world tour. But he soon discovers that the feelings for his wife that he thought were dead return.

After a single viewing of the film, producer David O. Selznick brought Ingrid Bergman to Hollywood to sign a contract with Selznick International. Bergman and Selznick then remade the film as Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939), with Leslie Howard.

The film was remade a second time as Honeysuckle Rose (1980), starring Willie Nelson.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Unsoo
    The original version of this Swedish melodrama by Gustaf Molander is short (the American remake is even shorter) and to the point. A famous and not very young violinist (Gösta Ekman) meets a pretty and fresh-as-a-daisy pianist (Ingrid Bergman), he believes he met his match and she falls for him or something he has. Although the final solution tries to make us believe that the violinist is a fervent family man who will return to the loving arms of his abandoned but addict-to-marriage wife (Inga Tidblad), we know better: even if Hollywood insists in pairing ageing male stars with girls who could be their great-granddaughters, the truth is that age does count. On the pianist's side, it is obvious that his fame and talent impressed her, but when she wins a "stipend" to study, she takes the right decision. Interestingly, Hans Ekman who plays Åke, the son (to his real-life father) turned into filmmaking and was Ingmar Bergman's rival for a while.
  • comment
    • Author: WOGY
    "Intermezzo"(1939) was Ingrid Bergman's first American film, but it wasn't the first film she made. She had made 6 Swedish films before this original version of "Intermezzo"(1936). This made her a star in her native country. The American remake would make her a star around the world.

    It's a unique story of a brilliant violinist, with a sweet loving family, who falls for his accompanist, and the pain it brings to all involved. I haven't seen the American version, but the original is great. The acting is just so natural, just like they were actually living these lives. It's strange to hear Ingrid speaking Swedish, but she laughs and looks like she always did. The best things about this movie is the beautiful soundtrack, the intelligent script, terrific acting, and that cute little girl who played the daughter(I forgot kids were like that). I lucked out finding this video at a lumber store(?), but what a find. If you get the chance to see the original, see it. It's that good!!
  • comment
    • Author: Mitynarit
    The original Swedish version of "Intermezzo" was shown on cable recently. Having seen the American treatment, we felt curious to see how it compared. This film directed by a legend of the Swedish cinema, Gusfaf Molander, is a joy to watch. Mr. Molander also wrote the screen treatment with Gosta Stevens.

    The Swedish version shows American audiences a different style of acting. The idea of an older man with a loving family, falling in love with a prettier young woman is the basis of the story. In this version, the difference is more notable because Holger, the famous violinist, looks much older than in the American version. This seems to make a better case for making a case about how ultimately Holger comes back to the family. Also it makes it easier for us to accept the fact that Anita, the young pianist, realizes how deep Holger love for his family, and especially his young daughter, Anne Marie, weighed in her decision to leave him.

    The performances are strong. Gosta Elman, one of the best Swedish actors makes a formidable Holger. The young Ingrid Bergman is perfect as the young Anita. Inga Tidblat, the abandoned wife Magrit gives an understated reading to her part. She understands perfectly one day this would happen. Erik Berglund and Hugo Bjorne play Charles and Thomas, Holger's friends who never make any judgment to him, yet one can watch how much they disapprove of this liaison.

    The film is as effective as the American remake, although, the latter version seems to have been more fully realized and easy to take than its Swedish one. At any rate, this is a film to witness Gustaf Molander at his best!
  • comment
    • Author: Punind
    In musical terms, an intermezzo is typically a short composition that fits between two main movements of a larger musical work. For professional violinist Holger Brandt (Gösta Ekman), his romance with Anita Hoffman (the irreplaceable Ingrid Bergman) is exactly that, a brief interlude from his wife and children. Though he may have convinced himself that his love for Anita will last forever, it is inevitable that the older man will eventually return to where his heart truly lies, with his grown son Åke (Hasse Ekman) and precocious daughter Ann-Marie (Britt Hagman). His temporary liaison with a younger woman, as shameful as it might seem, does represent something akin to true love, since it had the power to draw him from his family. However, Anita's selfless decision to leave finally persuades Holger to return home, to recognise that there is a more important love waiting for him in Sweden.

    Gustaf Molander's 'Intermezzo' is a film that seemingly has everything going for it: Åke Dahlqvist's cinematography is absolutely beautiful; the acting performances are natural and sincere; Ingrid Bergman is perhaps the greatest beauty ever to grace the silver screen. However, despite a relatively brief running time, the film moved so slowly that it was difficult to hold my attention. A story as simple as that of 'Intermezzo' did not require 90 minutes to unfold, and several scenes could easily have been trimmed without any detrimental effect on the overall quality of the film. Though she had starred in numerous Swedish films previously, it was 'Intermezzo' that proved Ingrid Bergman's breakthrough role, and its success led to her migration to Hollywood in 1939, where she revived her role for an American remake, 'Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939),' opposite Leslie Howard {a version that I am yet to see}.

    Aside from Bergman, who is lovely as always, Gösta Ekman {in one of his final roles} gives a solid performance as Professor Brandt, whose infatuation with new love has led him to neglect those who are most important to him. Though I had not initially recognised his name, Ekman is, of course, the actor whose performance I had enthusiastically commended in my review of F.W. Murnau's 'Faust - Eine deutsche Volkssage (1926).' Also noteworthy are Inga Tidblad as Holger's knowing wife, Margit, and a delightful Britt Hagman as young Ann-Marie Brandt. While I must admit that I found the film very slow-going, perhaps this sluggishness served a very important purpose. In one of the film's final scenes, concerning the incident outside the school, I suspect that what transpired could never have been as shocking or jarring as it was, if not for the long period of sedateness that had preceded it.
  • comment
    • Author: Kigul
    The original version of 'Intermezzo', starring Ingrid Bergman - who later recreated the role in Hollywood opposite Leslie Howard - and Gosta Ekman, is an involving story of a mid-life crisis, an intermezzo, a passion driven by music.

    Tired, bored, and a stranger to his family, Holger Brandt (Ekman) is searching for a new accompanist but when he finds his daughter's music teacher, Anita Hoffmann (Bergman) events begin to move in quite a different direction. Of course we don't see any romantic involvements beyond a bit of friendly kissing and heightened dialogue between Brandt and Hoffmann which pinpoints their relationship - and the film is all the better for it.

    As good as the version with Bergman/Howard, this version is rarely seen but well worth catching. Ekman - who has more than a passing resemblance to the great German actor Conrad Veidt - is the perfect suffering artist, looking for excitement and a new definition of love; while Bergman makes the character of Hoffmann believable in her infatuation with Brandt without seeing ridiculous.
  • comment
    • Author: Akinohn
    This is coming from someone who is neither an Ingrid Bergman fan nor a fan of subtitled movies. I was surfing my cable channels, when this movie just popped up from nowhere. As you can tell my overwhelming joy in watching subtitled movies is pretty negative. The movie description said it was about a TORRID love triangle. Of course this peaked my curiosity. Peaking my curiosity and watching the movie until the end are totally two different things but to my surprise I watched the movie until the credits rolled and was not disappointed. I am still in shock that I actually enjoyed this movie. As soon as I come out of shock, which has to be soon if I plan to stay employed, I will be searching for more movies with subtitles. ENJOY!
  • comment
    • Author: Barit
    The Swedish version of "Intermezzo" is so heartwrenching that it must be true. Okay, so maybe that's an exaggeration, but this film is certainly one of the greatest screen romance films. It's definitely a film for artists, who need to always attempt to balance their lives between the home fires and the passion of one's creative calling. Watching this one will certainly remind the viewer to not take for granted what their love life offers them.
  • comment
    • Author: Sorryyy
    I was lucky enough to catch this at Melbourne's wonderful Astor Cinema and was astonished to re-read the external review that panned it. This was the first pre ww2 Swedish movie I'd seen and I'd have to say that I'm yet to see any Hollywood films of its vintage that are any better. I thought that the principal cast, Gosta Ekman, Inga Tidblad (who yes does look strikingly like Kristen Scott Thomas), Ingrid Bergman, Eric "Bullen" Berglund, and Britt Hegman were terrific and the telling and pacing of the story was faultless. The poor matching of sets and trite dialogue that often marred films that were coming out of the UK and USA at the time was mercifully missing and the film was a delight. Yes its great to see Ingrid Bergman looking radiant (and at times more than a little like Gretta Garbo) but all the other components that make up this film aren't too shabby either. If you get the opportunity to see this film, I don't think you'll regret seizing it.
  • comment
    • Author: Kipabi
    This is the Swedish version of INTERMEZZO. The film was remade for English-speaking audiences just 3 years later with a mostly non-Swedish cast, except for Ingrid Bergman who reprized her role from the original.

    While this Swedish version isn't quite as polished as the other, it is the original and seems a little less polished--and this ISN'T necessarily a bad thing. Because of the lack of polish, the film seems more like it was filmed with real people and the problems seemed more universal. Also, while I didn't approve of the lead running around on his family, it sure brought up a lot of moral questions and made me think. A decent, though not great, film.
  • Complete credited cast:
    Gösta Ekman Gösta Ekman - Professor Holger Brandt
    Inga Tidblad Inga Tidblad - Margit Brandt
    Ingrid Bergman Ingrid Bergman - Anita Hoffman
    Erik 'Bullen' Berglund Erik 'Bullen' Berglund - Impresario Charles Möller (as Bullen Berglund)
    Hugo Björne Hugo Björne - Thomas Stenborg
    Anders Henrikson Anders Henrikson - Swedish Sailor
    Hasse Ekman Hasse Ekman - Åke Brandt (as Hans Ekman)
    Britt Hagman Britt Hagman - Ann-Marie Brandt
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