Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fantastic Film and Fabulous Art...oh so Indiscreet

Not long ago I saw the tail end of a terribly romantic movie featuring Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and a GORGEOUS set. It was pure glamour and I made it my business to find the movie, Indiscreet.
And when I did, I watched it over and over again, pausing to stare at the gorgeous apartment design and Bergman’s couture gowns. The story itself is charming. Anna Kalman, a famous actress (Bergman), tired of an endless stream of lackluster men (sound familiar?), meets the man of her dreams, Philip Adams (Grant), a charming, handsome, debonair, diplomat. Sadly, or so it would seem, he’s married. Throwing caution to the wind, the two engage in a scandalously, passionate affair which does nothing to tarnish their destiny as soul mates. In actuality Grant is NOT married, but only pretending to be so that he can avoid a commitment (I mean really). The story has lots more charm and wit, but what I want to talk about is the set design, which only enhances the folly of the film. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any movie stills, so I took some shots of my television screen.

The majority of the film takes place in Anna’s London apartment, one with a distinctive European flair and Parisian essence. Modest in its proportions, the architectural accents and art make the small space appear larger than life. Central to most scenes in the movie are two collections of black and white sketches, framed with vibrant, candy-colored mattes and simple moldings. The collections flank a beautiful limestone fireplace and an antique landscape painting—that juxtaposition imparts a real sense of confidence in Anna’s style. I sure wish I knew who the set designer was………

That’s not really how the movie ends, but you’ll need to watch it and see!


  1. We have lost our artist way of story telling and it all has to do with awareness. We are morally over-the-top about so many things. Nothing stays fresh or romantic. The price we pay for evolving leaves little to wonder about.


  2. That apartment is amazing! I love the last line of the movie when he says, "You'll love being married--I promise!"

  3. I love these images!! LOVE LOVE LOVE them!

  4. Oh, I've had a glance at this movie and was enticed as well. Don't you just love watching old movies for all the glam and interior design? I'm a sucker too.

  5. By far one of the best movies ever made. I love how she invites him over for breakfast! The set designer is a genius, pretty hard to compete with cary grant on grabbing your attention!

  6. Thanks for these marvelous stills! According to IMDB, the set designer was John Graysmark (1935-2010). I like the interiors very much. The use of color comes as a lovely jolt, so different from the current love of "greige" and taupe, doesn't it? I also love the color in the "Private" rooms scenes in another Donen movie, "The Grass is Greener."