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 Posted:   Apr 16, 2019 - 11:49 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE was a 6-part, 5-hour mini-series shot for Swedish television. This 1973 Ingmar Bergman film traces the painful disintegration of the marriage between divorce lawyer "Marianne" (Liv Ullmann) and university professor/researcher "Johan" (Erland Josephson). After ten years of marriage, they appear the perfect couple. They seem to enjoy one another's company, have all their material needs, two young daughters, and the envy of all their friends. They revel in the fact that their marriage is nothing like their friends' Katarina (Bibi Andersson) and Peter (Jan Malmsjö), who they often see carrying on one of their many open arguments.

In the third episode, however, Johan suddenly reveals, with brutal honesty, that he's been having an affair and intends to leave Marianne and their children. Worse, Marianne learns that many of their friends had known about the affair for some time but chose not to tell her about it. Subsequent episodes follow the couple as each considers reconciliation and prepares to finalize the separation.

The mini-series was a huge hit on Swedish television. It was always Bergman's intent to reach a mass audience, but he was staggered by the reaction that it generated. He would find himself frequently accosted in the street by bickering couples, desperate for advice. Eventually, he had to change his phone number to escape from a constant barrage of entreaties. According to an interview with Bergman, after the original TV mini-series version of the film was broadcast, the divorce rate in Sweden increased substantially and the number of couples who sought marriage counseling also doubled.

In 1974, the mini-series was cut down to 168 minutes for theatrical release. The theatrical film was ruled ineligible for Oscar consideration because the longer mini-series version of it had already been telecast in Sweden. Bergman's script for the theatrical film version has been used for stage performances. The film has no credited musical score.

Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson in SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE

 Posted:   Apr 16, 2019 - 1:43 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Ingmar Bergman was a genius, but his work was made all the better--and perhaps easier to produce-- by having the likes of Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, and my personal favorite, the magnificent Ingrid Thulin, among his leading performers.

Yes, but did any of these women ever come close in their other roles to the depths of feeling that Bergman elicited from them? Let's not forget Harriet Andersson (no relation to Bibi).

 Posted:   Apr 16, 2019 - 11:20 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Three years after the 1964 publication of I NEVER PROMISED YOU A ROSE GARDEN, a novel by Joanna Greenberg written under the pseudonym “Hannah Green,” a 15 June 1967 Los Angeles Times news item announced that Columbia Pictures was developing a screen adaptation to be written by David Rayfiel. Actress Natalie Wood was cast and production was scheduled to begin in early 1968. Over the next two years, the project underwent various cast and director changes.

The project was resurrected three years later, when Columbia negotiated a multi-picture deal with Lawrence Gordon, former vice-president of American International Pictures. But again delays ensued. The project was passed to Palomar Pictures. However, the project remained in limbo for yet another year. A 9 June 1976 Variety news item announced that executive producer Roger Corman was “preparing to embark on his most expensive film yet,” as his New World Pictures had reportedly purchased domestic distribution rights by investing “an unspecified share” of the film’s $3 million budget.

The film concerns a disturbed, institutionalized 16-year-old girl, "Deborah" (Kathleen Quinlan), who struggles between fantasy and reality. Deborah envisions a native warrior named Anterrabae, who warns her not to reveal her secret world, the Kingdom of Yr. Bibi Andersson stars as the girl's psychiatrist, "Dr. Fried." Although specific dates of principal photography cannot be verified, filming likely took place between December 1976 and early 1977.

After the film opened on 14 July 1977 at New York City’s Cinema I and on 18 August 1977 in Los Angeles to successful box-office grosses, New World appealed the MPAA's [R] rating of the film, hoping a [PG] rating would further boost revenues. Although the rating was not changed, the picture continued to fare well at the box-office. Ultimately, the film grossed $34.8 million in the U.S.

The picture received mixed reviews, with the 15 July 1977 New York Times hailing the believability of the fantasy world Yr and the 20 Jul 1977 Variety complaining that the “sensationalistic aspects” were “confusing or repulsive, sometimes both.” However, Kathleen Quinlan was generally singled out for praise. A 31 October 1977 Off Our Backs review pointed out that the film eliminated key elements of the novel that provided background for Deborah’s mental illness, including her family’s Judaism (Deborah’s last name was changed from “Blau” to “Blake” in the movie) and the antagonism of the anti-Semitic neighborhood in which she was raised; as noted in the Variety review, “not much light is shed on the root of the problem.”

The film was nominated for two Golden Globe awards in the categories Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Motion Picture Actress – Drama, for Kathleen Quinlan. It was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Writing (Screenplay based on material from another medium) for Gavin Lambert and Lewis John Carlino.

Anthony Page directed the film. Paul Chihara's score has not had a release.

 Posted:   Apr 17, 2019 - 12:06 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Perhaps it was fate that Bibi Andersson would need to come to America to co-star in a film of a major Scandinavian play. The play was AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, written by Henrik Ibsen in 1882. In the film, a scientist, "Dr. Thomas Stockmann" (Steve McQueen) stands against an entire town when he discovers their medicinal spa is polluted. Bibi Andersson played Stockmann's wife, "Catherine".

AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE was set to mark the second film produced in The First Artists Production Company, Ltd.’s contract with actor-executive producer Steve McQueen, and the arrangement allowed McQueen to choose his own projects. He told the Hollywood Reporter that he was taking the risk of performing in a screen adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play because he was previously “somewhat of a coward as an actor,” afraid to take on projects that might be unsuccessful. As of 1976, however, he was at a point in his career where he could “afford to fail.” In addition, McQueen reportedly retained the “final cut” of the film.

Screenwriter Alexander Jacobs’s adaptation remained true to the spirit of Ibsen’s 1882 play, "En folkefiende," as well as to Arthur Miller’s 1950 version of the drama, but the ending was changed for the film. George Schaefer directed the film. Leonard Rosenman provided the unreleased score.

Although principal photography was scheduled to begin 1 August 1976 for a five-week shoot, a 2 August 1976 Hollywood Reporter brief revealed that filming had been delayed to 30 August 1976, with Bibi Andersson and Nicol Williamson in starring roles. Two days later, it was disclosed that Williamson had been replaced by Charles Durning, and a 23 August 1976 Newsweek item reported that McQueen was still preparing for the role, gaining thirty pounds and growing a beard. Steve McQueen had wanted his wife Ali MacGraw to star opposite him, until they broke up just before production began.

Steve McQueen, Bibi Andersson, and Charles Durning in AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE

Filming began on 7 September 1976, in Hollywood, CA, following three weeks of rehearsals that started on 13 August 1976. Because it was hard for Steve McQueen to convince his partners at First Artists to make the film, he agreed to take a union scale fee and promised to keep the budget under 3 million, which he did.

Production was complete in November 1976, but distributor Warner Bros. withdrew the film from public exhibition after audiences responded negatively at several test screenings. In March 1978, the studio resumed its market research with test audiences in Denver, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, St. Louis, MO, Tyler, TX, Seattle, San Diego and Santa Barbara. Despite poor audience reception, a general release was planned for October 1978, with an official world premiere at the Montreal Film Festival.

However, the picture’s release remained in limbo for the next year. On 22 October 1979, the Village Voice announced that Arc Film Enterprises, a new, independent film company known for purchasing distribution rights to shelved or abandoned films, had attempted to acquire AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, but Warner Bros. was demanding a $1 million advance. Two years later, Warner Bros. Classics released the film theatrically, with an opening date of 11 August 1981 at the Joseph Papp Public Theater.

 Posted:   Apr 17, 2019 - 12:51 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

QUINTET takes place during a future ice age, as humanity struggles to survive. Paul Newman stars as a seal hunter named "Essex." After his entire family is killed in an explosion, Essex finds a group of people who are engaged in an extreme life-or-death version of "Quintet," a chess-like board game that's become an obsession for mankind's last and aging survivors. Investigating further, Essex acquaints himself with others tied to the game, including referee "Grigor" (Fernando Rey) and player "Ambrosia" (Bibi Andersson), who becomes romantically involved with Essex.

QUINTET was Paul Newman’s first film following a year and a half hiatus from acting,. He had previously worked with director Robert Altman on BUFFALO BILL AND THE INDIANS, OR SITTING BULL'S HISTORY LESSON (1976). Except for casting and location choices, Altman withheld any pre-release publicity about the film, including the plot, to avoid “conditioning” the audience in advance. The set was closed and the actors were requested not to discuss the project with the media.

According to Altman, Quintet was an actual board game that he invented himself, complete with rules and pieces, to represent the culture of the film’s post-apocalyptic future. However, the game was not only a prop. Cast and crew often played for fun on set, and there were plans to market a commercial version. While the film was playing in theaters, a branded brochure was distributed with the full rules of the game inside.

The setting was also meant to be unidentifiable in terms of a particular country, and Altman stated that using an international cast with various accents helped to “denationalize the story.” In the film's major lead cast, Paul Newman was the only American and only non-European actor. Brigitte Fossey was French, Fernando Rey was Spanish, Nina van Pallandt was Danish, Vittorio Gassman was Italian and Bibi Andersson was Swedish.

The filmmakers originally considered shooting in Chicago, before deciding to film the entire picture in the vicinity of Montreal. The primary set was an open-air, steel-grid building on Saint Helen's Island, situated on the Saint Lawrence River outside Montreal. The deteriorating complex, which provided an ideal representation for Altman’s frozen city in ruins, had been originally built for the 1967 World’s Fair, known as Expo 67, and remained in place after the Fair as an exhibition called “Man and His World.”

In order to maintain the story’s sub-freezing temperature in every scene, interior sets were also constructed within the exposed multi-story building, unprotected from the area’s winter weather. Strong winds required welding the scenery to the structure. Snow already surrounded the location, and the crew splashed the set with water each night to enhance the icy appearance. Art director Wolf Kroeger mentioned that his team was not in complete control of production design, since the glacial weather influenced about fifty percent of the final effect.

While the unsheltered nature of the building created an appropriate atmosphere for the story, executive producer and assistant director, Tommy Thompson, stated that the extreme cold was challenging for cast and crew because the set was difficult to heat. Shooting required warming devices for equipment, such as cameras, lenses, cables and dollies, and for paint and makeup, which would immediately freeze.

Before entering the frigid set, actors were dressed in heated quarters, then moved to their trailers, known as “decompression chambers,” which were kept at approximately fifty degrees. Multi-layered costumes were designed for warmth as well as for visuals. The twenty Rottweilers used in the film were from California, and the animal training company, Frank Inn, Inc., relied on a local Rottweiler club to locate most of the dogs. After being trained, they were driven, instead of flown, to Canada so they could gradually acclimatize to the cold weather.

Production costs were approximately $6.4 million and marketing expenses, $2.9 million. The film opened on 9 February 1979. When the picture garnered mostly negative reviews, Alan Ladd, Jr., then-president of Twentieth Century-Fox, revealed that although Altman did not have final editing cut on the “complicated” film, the studio’s input was restricted by the director’s unique vision for the story and by the remote location. A 4 May 1979 Daily Variety article called QUINTET a “financial disaster” and explained that Fox would quickly shift the picture to the cable television market in September 1979 to help offset losses. The film's domestic box office gross was $2.4 million. Tom Pierson's score for the film, recorded by the London Symphony, has not had a release.

 Posted:   Apr 17, 2019 - 10:33 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Bibi Andersson was part of the ensemble cast for the final film of the AIRPORT series--THE CONCORDE...AIRPORT '79. Alain Delon gets top billing as the captain of the title airliner. The cast included Susan Blakely and John Davidson as reporters, Robert Wagner as a crooked arms dealer; Sylvia Kristel as the head stewardess; Eddie Albert as the airline owner; Sybil Danning as his trophy wife; Avery Schreiber as a Soviet Olympic coach with a deaf daughter; Andrea Marcovicci as the oldest Russian Olympic gymnast ever; Mercedes McCambridge as her busybody chaperone; Cicely Tyson as a mother to a child desperately in need of a heart transplant; Nicolas Coaster as the doctor to perform it; David Warner as the dieting flight engineer; Bibi Andersson as "Francine," a prostitute; Jimmie Walker as a pot-smoking sax player; Charo as "Margarita"; and Martha Raye as the woman who can't stay out of the bathroom.

And of course, George Kennedy played "Joe Patroni" for the last time. In this entry, Patroni is a veteran American pilot, who is on his first official flight on the supersonic aircraft. Kennedy was the only cast member to appear in all four AIRPORT films. In this one, not only does he co-pilot the plane, but he's the person who hooks up with prostitute Bibi Andersson in Paris.

In 1981, ABC decided to add additional footage to the film for its television broadcast. Actors Sybil Danning, Eddie Albert, and George Kennedy were brought back for twenty-five minutes of extra scenes directed by Peter Rich, son of CONCORDE’s director, David Lowell Rich. Lalo Schifrin's score was finally released by La-La Land in 2018.

Bibi Andersson and George Kennedy in THE CONCORDE...AIRPORT '79

 Posted:   Apr 17, 2019 - 11:01 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In the 1983 thriller EXPOSED, Wisconsin farm girl "Elizabeth Carlson" (Nastassja Kinski) leaves her family--father "Curt" (Ron Randell) and mother "Margaret" (Bibi Andersson)--and her English teacher lover behind, and escapes to New York City. There she soon makes a career for herself as a fashion model. During a private viewing of paintings, she's approached by violinist "Daniel Jelline" (Rudolf Nureyev), with whom she initiates a romance.

James Toback directed the film, and also made an onscreen appearance as the English teacher lover, "Professor Leo Boscovitch". Georges Delerue's score was released by Intrada in 2011.

Bibi Andersson and Nastassja Kinski in EXPOSED

 Posted:   Apr 17, 2019 - 11:21 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In the 1985 made-for-television biopic WALLENBERG: A HERO'S STORY, Richard Chamberlain starred as Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat responsible for saving thousands of lives from the Nazi Holocaust. Bibi Andersson played his mother, Maria "Maj" Wallenberg. Lamont Johnson won an Emmy Award for directing this two-part film, which aired on NBC on April 8–9, 1985. The film also won three other Emmys among the nine for which it was nominated. Ernest Gold's score for the film has not had a release.

 Posted:   Apr 17, 2019 - 11:41 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

BABETTE'S FEAST is set during the late 19th century, when a strict religious community in a Danish village takes in a French refugee, "Babette Hersant" (Stéphane Audran), from the Franco-Prussian War as a servant to the late pastor's daughters. Bibi Andersson plays a Swedish Lady-in-Waiting in the film.

Gabriel Axel directed the 1987 film, which became the first Danish movie to win an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Per Nørgaard's score was released on a Milan CD.

 Posted:   Apr 17, 2019 - 12:10 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Despite her work in Hollywood in the latter half of her career, Bibi Andersson will always be best remembered for her work with Ingmar Bergman, with whom she made 11 released theatrical features. They were:

Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
The Seventh Seal (1957)
Wild Strawberries (1957)
The Magician (1958)
Brink of Life (1958)
The Devil's Eye (1960)
All These Women (1964)
Persona (1966)
The Passion of Anna (1969)
The Touch (1971)
Scenes from a Marriage (1973)








 Posted:   Apr 20, 2019 - 9:26 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Too bad Bibi Andersson didn't play "X-Wing Pilot #7" or something in one of the many cash grab Star Wars films. Maybe then she would have received the outpouring of grief and appreciation an actress of her high caliber deserves.

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