Saratoga Trunk (Film)
Saratoga Trunk (Film)
In 1875 a woman with a mysterious past
returns from Paris to her familial home
in New Orleans, accompanied by her
unusual servants, a Mulatto maid
Angelique Buiton (Flora Robson) and
a manservant Cupidon (Jerry Austin).
Playing the role of a woman who is both
half-White and half-Creole-of-Color
Ingrid Bergman stars as Clio Dulaine
in the film Saratoga Trunk (1945).
Her character, Clio, is a woman made cruel
by her vendetta against the "pasty-faced
aristocrats" who cruelly humiliated and
scorned her mother into an early grave
after she gave birth to her daughter.
Clio vows revenge on her dead father's family
and vows to Angelique that she will marry a
rich man in order to gain the respectability
and status that her mother never had.
Clio makes a splash in New Orleans,
scandalizing the wealthy residents
when she takes up with a Texas gambler,
Colonel Clint Maroon (Gary Cooper),
who is enthralled and mystified her.
Determined to not go through what her mother
encountered, Clio is encouraged by Maroon
to travel to New York to meet and hopefully
also marry the wealthy railroad scion of the
Saratoga Trunk Line, Bartholomew Van
Steed (John Warburton), though his own
interest in Clio eventually intervenes.
Cooper and Bergman, directed by Sam
Wood, proved such a successful team in
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943) that
Warner Bros. attempted to repeat the
Paramount formula and hopefully reap
some of the rewards of a film that had
garnered ten Oscar nominations.
Sam Wood and Cooper would go on
to film Casanova Brown (1944)
together following Saratoga Trunk,
though this time without Bergman.
Ironically enough, Saratoga Trunk did little
to increase Cooper's star value, though it
was an enormous success for Bergman.
Yet, unlike Gary Cooper, who tended
to always play the same character,
Bergman often resisted the desire of
fans to see consistency in a performer.
She played both good and bad women.
The film was a modest commercial
success though casting of Bergman as
a part-Black woman involved with a
White man was considered to be rather
scandalous subject matter for the time,
at least for Joseph Breen, director of
the Production Code Administration.
Though Saratoga Trunk was
made in 1943, it was not released
to the general public until 1945.
Like a number of other productions caught
up in the gears of the war -- Devotion
(1946), My Reputation (1946), The
Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947) -- the film
was shown to members of the armed forces
but was not released until much later.
Saratoga Trunk was notable for featuring
as its second-unit director a young Don
Siegel who would go on to great success
with Invasion of the Body Snatchers
(1956) and Dirty Harry (1971); it showed
his early genre tendencies by taking charge
of all of the action scenes in the second
Saratoga Springs segment of the film.
Dorothy Dandridge's mother Ruby
Dandridge also appears briefly in the
film as a turbaned New Orleans vendor.
Gary Cooper (Colonel Clint Maroon),
Ingrid Bergman (Clio Dulaine), Flora Robson
(Angelique Buiton), Jerry Austin (Cupidon),
John Warburton (Bartholomew Van Steed),
Florence Bates (Mrs. Coventry Bellop),
Curt Bois (Augustin Haussy).