Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler

Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler

DVD - 2007
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Hedda has just come back from her honeymoon, married to boring but reliable academic George Tesman. Refusing to tie herself down in life and name, Hedda is banking on George being appointed a professorship to secure a better life for the young couple. However, the arrival of cleaned up ex-lover Eilert threatens to destroy everything

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Mar 13, 2017

Excellent adaptation of the nineteenth century Ibsen tale of a proud, unhappy woman and the destruction she wreaks on the lives of those around her. The first clue of trouble to come is the title. As the play opens the newly married Hedda has returned home from her honeymoon with her loving but dull academic husband George Tesman; almost immediately it is revealed that she still considers herself her late father's daughter rather than her new husband's wife.
This black and white presentation was made for television by the BBC in 1962 and features a stellar cast including Michael Richardson, Ralph Richardson, Trevor Howard and the great Ingrid Bergman in the title role.
Though still quite striking, Bergman was 47 at the time of this production and thus struck me as at least 10 years too old for the role. But she is such a fine actress and had lived such a dramatic life--having survived the "scandal" that ended her Golden Age Hollywood career (In 1948 she left her husband for Italian neo-realist director Roberto Rossellini, candidly admitting she was carrying his child out of wedlock)--that in many ways she seemed perfectly right regardless.

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