22 August 2002 | rsoonsa
Much Here To Enjoy
A 1961 black and white film made for television and poorly and unfairly received, this work is based upon a novella by Stefan Zweig, and provides an interesting story, told in spare and elegant fashion and, typically for the Austrian writer: in flashback, of a middle-aged woman who is persuaded by her family to travel through Europe as a means of overcoming longstanding grief at the death of her husband, to whom she was married for 17 years. While in Monte Carlo, the woman (Ingrid Bergman) meets with a family friend, played tastefully by John Williams, who escorts her to a casino where her path crosses that of a young gambler (Rip Torn), a depressive with the customary problem of wagerers, that of having lost everything, and she and the young man become entangled in a brief relationship that will mark the woman for the remainder of her life. The scenario, by novelist John Mortimer, is a faithful transcription of the original, with a challenging part for Bergman, and the only real weakness of the production is a tendency of Method-trained Torn to attack and hurry his lines; the score by John Kleinsinger is appropriately romantic and the ending, with the woman now old and recalling the events of the narrative, is strikingly subtle.