"I don't have money, either, but I know how to turn a trick." -- Clint.
"Common. Common as dirt." -- Angelique to Clio.
"Shut your mouth -- or I'll send you away somewhere to starve." -- Clio to Angelique.
After her mother's death,.Clio Dulaine (Ingrid Bergman) travels from France to New Orleans with a weird entourage consisting of old Angelique (Flora Robson), who takes care of her as she did her mother before her, and little person, Cupidon (Jerry Austin), who is only a couple of feet tall but feisty and fun. Clio is in New Orleans to get revenge on all of those who turned on her mother, a supposed murderess of her father, but this plot is quickly resolved once she meets cowboy Clint Maroon (Gary Cooper). After a love-hate courtship, Clint leaves for Saratoga and Clio follows, hoping to snare the wealthy if weak, supposedly mother-dominated Bartholomew Van Steed (John Warburton of Secret File Hollywood). But are Clio and Clint really sure that they are out of each other's systems? Saratoga Trunk is a weird movie that loses its focus and grip early on, but offers an excellent performance from Bergman -- who has never been photographed more beautifully -- and a good turn from Cooper. The problem with the film, among many, is that the most exciting scene has to do with a railroad clash -- and crash -- where two trains collide, men jump off the trains, and a rousing fight scene ensues -- unfortunately, none of this has much to do with the main plot of Saratoga Trunk (and the whole business with the railroad is tedious aside from the aforementioned scene). Apparently playing a black woman, British actress Robson [Caesar and Cleopatra] is wonderful as Angelique; Austin offers a winning performance as Cupidon; and there are splendid turns from Florence Bates [Rebecca] as a Saratoga society lady who helps Clio, and Ethel Griffies as the formidable termagant mother of Van Steed, who is out to expose Clio as a phony. Throughout the movie the love-hate badinage between Clio and Angelique is priceless. This is based on a novel by Edna Ferber.
Verdict: Lots of good things in this movie, a striking performance from Bergman, but a half-baked and over-boiled story that doesn't quite work. **1/2.