Under Capricorn (Alfred Hitchcock, 1949)

Under Capricorn poster

This is my contribution to the Ingrid Bergman blogathon being organised by Virginie at The Wonderful World of Cinema. Please visit to read the other postings.

Ingrid Bergman starred in three Hitchcock films, all made during the 1940s. The first two, Spellbound (1945) and Notorious (1946), are both  recognised as classics, but the third, Under Capricorn (1949) has fallen under the radar. It seems to have disappointed many Hitchcock fans, partly because it was wrongly marketed as a thriller. There are some especially misleading posters which seem to have been issued for a 1960s rerelease, with a headline screaming “Murder will out!” and black-and-white photos arranged to make the film look like a close relation of Psycho.  

In fact, the film is a slow-burning romantic period drama set in 1830s Australia, and filmed in gorgeous Technicolor by the great cinematographer Jack Cardiff. Sadly, it wasn’t actually filmed in Australia, but mainly made in London, so there are no glimpses of the wildlife which is repeatedly mentioned, and it’s hard to believe in the characters’ complaints of heat! Bergman gives a brilliant, intense performance in the lead role as alcoholic Lady Henrietta Flusky, with Joseph Cotten and Michael Wilding as the two men caught up with her in a damaging love triangle.

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