Under Capricorn

Screening on Film
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
With Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotton, Michael Wilding.
US, 1949, 35mm, color, 116 min.
Print source: British Film Institute

Conceived as a star vehicle for Ingrid Bergman, this Gothic romance remains little-seen and underappreciated, perhaps because of its hothouse period setting, despite the esteem in which it is held by numerous critics. Bergman plays the alcoholic spouse of a successful Australian businessman who is nonetheless a social outcast. The arrival of an Irish acquaintance brings out the tortured past that links husband and wife. Hitchcock’s experiment with long takes in Rope pays off here, as the film incorporates several brilliant lengthy shots, climaxing with one built around a tour-de-force monologue by Bergman. Under Capricorn in fact constitutes one of Hitchcock's most moving, and most sensual, portrayals of the power of love and the struggle for fulfillment.

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