Indiscreet (1958 film)

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Cinema poster
Directed byStanley Donen
Produced byStanley Donen
Written byNorman Krasna
Based onKind Sir
1954 play
by Norman Krasna
StarringCary Grant
Ingrid Bergman
Music byRichard Bennett
CinematographyFreddie Young
Edited byJack Harris
Distributed byWarner Brothers
Release date
26 June 1958
Running time
100 min.
Box office$8 million (US)[1]

Indiscreet is a 1958 Technicolor British romantic comedy film directed by Stanley Donen and starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman.

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


Anna Kalman (Ingrid Bergman) is an accomplished London-based theatre actress who has given up her hopes of finding the man of her dreams. Through her brother-in-law, Alfred Munson (Cecil Parker), she meets a handsome economist, Philip Adams (Cary Grant). She is instantly captivated by him and expresses visible interest in him.

At the end of their first meeting, she makes a pass at him to go on a date sometime later to which he politely states that he is married. He further adds that he is separated and unable to get a divorce from his wife. Anna is seemingly unperturbed by the fact and still asks him out whereupon he agrees.

They hit it off on their first date and continue seeing each other frequently. Soon after, they fall in love. Anna is then cautioned by her sister Margaret (Phyllis Calvert) about the affair but she rebuffs her approach.

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

On the day before Philip's scheduled sail, Alfred tells Philip that he knows Philip is a bachelor from Scotland Yard investigations and asks him the reason for this secret. Philip reveals that he is unenthusiastic about the idea of marriage but can't give up on women which led him to develop this white lie. However, he assures Alfred that he sincerely loves Anna. He also tells that he plans to surprise Anna on her birthday the next day by delaying his departure by a few days and visiting her at midnight.

Anna informs Alfred and Margaret that she plans to go to New York to surprise Philip. To discourage her Alfred unwillingly discloses Philip's plan. Margaret further worsens the situation by stating that Philip is actually unmarried. Anna becomes furious upon learning this as she takes this as an insult to her dignity. She decides to go on as if nothing happened but secretly concocts a plan to get even with him.

She 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 at midnight on her birthday. But it does not go as planned when David meets an accident and she is informed that he can't come. She tries to solve it by making her elderly caretaker Carl (David Kossoff) play the part of David. Despite this, her plan goes haywire when Philip comes and actually proposes marriage to her and leaves when he mistakes Carl for David. She is absolutely distraught by this but luckily, Philip returns and she is able to clear up the confusion. She tells him that she is happy the way things are. But now Philip is adamant about getting married and tells her so. Hearing this, Anna becomes extremely happy and the film ends with the couple embracing each other.

Main cast[edit]


No film studio sought the rights to the play Kind Sir so Norman Krasna's co-producers - Joshua Logan, Mary Martin, and Charles Boyer - 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.[2]

In March 1955 United Artists announced Krasna would direct a film version for that studio.[3] 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.[4]

Krasna asked Stanley Donen if he wanted to direct while the latter was making Kiss Them for Me 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, as 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.[5] In September 1957 Bergman announced she and Grant would star in the film for Warners.[6]


Box office[edit]

The film ranked in the top 10 British box office hits in terms of gross profits in 1958.[7][8] Kinematograph Weekly listed it as being "in the money" at the British box office in 1958.[9]

It was popular and well reviewed. 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."[10]


Indiscreet was nominated for three Golden Globes, two BAFTAs and one Writers Guild of America award, but failed to win any of them.

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

1988 television remake[edit]

Directed byRichard Michaels
Produced byJohn Davis
Written byNorman Krasna
Walter Lockwood
Sally Robinson
Based onKind Sir
1954 play
by Norman Krasna
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.[12] Wagner pitched the idea to CBS because he loved the original.[13] Lesley Ann Downe's casting was announced in February 1988.[14] Filming was supposed to start in February 1988 but was pushed back to mid April. Filming finished by May.[15]

The Chicago Tribune wrote: "Leslie-Anne 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."[16]

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"."[17]

"Go out and rent the original on video cassette," said The New York Times.[18]


  1. ^ "Indiscreet - Box Office Data". The Numbers. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  2. ^ Logan p 384
  3. ^ 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 Mar 1955: 40.
  4. ^ Louella Parsons: Mary Martin Role Tailored for Monroe, The Washington Post and Times Herald 11 Oct 1956: 48.
  6. ^ Bergman, Grant May Star New York Times 8 Sep 1957: 126
  7. ^ "Britain's Money Pacers 1958". Variety. 15 April 1959. p. 60.
  8. ^ Thumim, Janet. "The popular cash and culture in the postwar British cinema industry". Screen. Vol. 32 no. 3. p. 259.
  9. ^ Billings, Josh (18 December 1958). "Others in the Money". Kinematograph Weekly. p. 7.
  10. ^ Logan p 384
  11. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 19 August 2016.
  12. ^ Tom Cruise Is the People's Choice: [FINAL Edition] Swertlow, Frank. San Francisco Chronicle 4 Mar 1987: 45.
  13. ^ "By remaking vintage movies with lesser actors, TV can play it again, Sam". Arar, Yardena. Chicago Tribune 3 May 1988: 7.
  14. ^ "Wagner still hurts over Hart". Shaw, Ted. The Gazette6 Feb 1988: T10.
  15. ^ Robert Wagner plays it `Indiscreet' Series: Personalities: [CITY Edition] Beck, Marilyn. St. Petersburg Times 17 Apr 1988: 15.
  16. ^ "The remade classic: Pond scum on the waters of time". Clifford, Terry. Chicago Tribune 24 Oct 1988: 5.
  17. ^ Television Reviews Sans Ingrid and Cary, `Indiscreet' Is Inept: [Home Edition] Christon, Lawrence. Los Angeles Times (24 Oct 1988: 8.
  18. ^ Reviews/Television; An Amish Farmer and a Prosecutor: [Review] O'Connor, John J. New York Times 24 Oct 1988: C.16.

Further reading[edit]

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

External links[edit]