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Publication Date



UM campus only

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Communication Studies (Communication)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

William Rothman, Christina Lane

Second Committee Member

Grace Barnes

Third Committee Member

Otávio Bueno


Starting her acting career in Sweden, Ingrid Bergman was one of Hollywood’s greatest stars of the 1940s. She went on to act in countries like Italy and France and established her intentional stardom. Although she had worked with some of the world’s greatest directors, such as Gustaf Molander, Alfred Hitchcock, Roberto Rossellini and Jean Renoir, the star was able to retain in her acting a consistent style and a coherent moral outlook echoing her contemporary life off the screen. She thus proved her authorship of her characters and preserved her integrity as a woman, rather than a flat persona or image, which is manufactured by film industries. My dissertation focuses on her creation of her characters for her films. Through analysis of Bergman’s performances, it shows that as an intelligent actress, she influenced the meanings of her films and her directors’ filmmaking practices. In her performance, a moment of reticence, a little glance, or even an eye movement can alter the film’s direction and provide her film and character with suspense, ambiguity and mysteriousness, which are rooted in her singular characteristics. My methodology is deeply (but not exclusively) indebted to star studies and performance analysis in film criticism. My dissertation revises and complements the methodology from each field. It melds them into an integrated framework for understanding both the stars and their films.


Ingrid Bergman; Star Studies; Screen Performance; Film Theory and Criticism; Classical Hollywood Cinema; European Cinemas