Stanley Donen’s charming, and quite often frank and adult romantic melodrama, Indiscreet (1958) finds Cary Grant cast as seemingly stuffy monetary funds diplomat, Philip Adams. He turns out to be quite charming and suave – but he’s also quite married – much to the chagrin of intercontinental stage star, Anne Kalman (Ingrid Bergman).
Despite his supposedly loveless marriage, Philip and Anne become weekend lovers against the stoic backdrop of post war Britain. She develops a growing resentment that theirs’ is an love affair that cannot result in a life together – he plays along with the great lie and enjoys himself for as long as he can. But when fellow diplomat Alfred Munson (Cecil Parker) finds out that Philip is actually single and just faking a marriage so that he doesn’t have to commit to Anna wholeheartedly, the rouse becomes the crux of a struggle of romantic wills. Who will give in sooner – Anne or Philip?
What sets Donen’s film apart from like-minded fare is not so much the chemistry between its’ two stars – which is palpable and electrifying – but the very mature handling of their blossoming romance. Never contrived, forced or deliberate – the film is a delicious prelude to grand sentiment nervously grounded in all too real apprehensions.
Artisan Home Video’s DVD is disappointing. Presented in letterbox widescreen, overall picture quality is adequate at best, though dated with a slightly faded color palette. The opening credits are rather harshly digitized, but then the image quality fairs moderately better – from relatively sharp to softly focus. Blacks are deep and solid. Contrast is generally good. But severe aliasing and edge enhancement occur in several scenes. The audio is mono and strident in spots. There are NO extras.
FILM RATING (out of 5 - 5 being the best)