Undoubtedly Ingrid Bergman’s magnum opus, Casablanca sees the actress alongside Humphrey Bogart as a former couple that reunites at a club in Morocco in the midst of World War II. It’s romantic, it’s dramatic, it’s thrilling, it’s one of the greatest films ever made and the best showcase for Bergman’s immense talent.
As noted above, Swedish director Ingmar Bergman has no relation to actress Ingrid Bergman. Still, that doesn’t mean that the two didn’t collaborate throughout their equally important careers—Autumn Sonata is the only instance of this, released in 1978 toward the end of the latter’s career. Naturally, the movie is as great as the two’s careers would suggest.
A lesser-known effort from Alfred Hitchcock, but one that is largely regarded as one of his best, 1946’s Notorious (stylized as Notorious!) puts Bergman alongside Cary Grant as the two play characters who get wrapped up in an international spy conspiracy involving the Nazis. Bergman never allowed herself to just be the female lead—she was always dynamic, always engrossing.
The story of a European couple who find their marriage tarnished by a seemingly innocent trip to Italy, this Rossellini film only solidified Bergman’s status as a pillar of the Golden Age. It was an incredibly influential film in its own right, due in large part to Bergman’s performance.
George Cukor is undoubtedly one of the most prolific filmmakers to ever live. From the Philadelphia Story to My Fair Lady to one of the original A Star is Borns, Cukor never stopped churning out hits as a director—Gaslight is no exception, a drama starring Bergman that is responsible for coining the term “gaslighting.”
Another one from Rossellini and Bergman (the first collaboration of many), Stromboli juxtaposes a woman’s spiral into an existential crisis following World War II with the beautiful scenery found on the volcanic island of Stromboli. Bergman and Rossellini are all-star collaborators, clearly.
The collaborations between the two were almost never not enthralling, clearly. Europa ’51 puts Rossellini and Bergman back together again, with Bergman playing a mother declared insane after the suicide of her son. It’s certainly a heavy film, but one that showcases Bergman’s talent to the fullest.
A collaboration with Hitchcock that arrived the year before Notorious, Spellbound is a film about the new director of an asylum who turns out to be far from what he initially presented himself to be. Bergman costars with Gregory Peck, earning herself the leading role in Hitchcock’s next film too.
The story of a dentist who tells his girlfriend he’s already married in order to keep her from pushing the idea on him… only for her to ask to meet the wife, Cactus Flower serves as the inspiration for the 2011 Adam Sandler film Just Go With It. Needless to say, Bergman does a better job here than Jennifer Aniston ever could.
One of many adaptations of Agatha Christie’s classic novel, 1974’s Murder on the Orient Express is an all-star line-up of characters: Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery, Vanessa Redgrave, and, of course, Ingrid Bergman all get time to shine here. It might not be Old Hollywood, but it’s a worthy entry in the actress’s filmography.