Smiles of a Summer Night (Sommarnattens leende)*
- 1955 ----- b & w ----- 119 min ----- vhs
(Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman; with Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Margit Carlqvist, Jarl Kulle, Bjorn Bjelfvenstam, Naima Wifstrand, Gull Natorp) At a country estate in turn-of-the-century Sweden, eight characters become four couples during a long, languorous summer night. Under the spell of a mysterious elixir, the mismatched couples switch partners in an intricate roundelay that is both lyrical and erotic. But since there are no real winners in Bergman's game of love, the rapture is brief, and quickly gives way to frustration and loneliness. One of the greatest tragi-comedies of all time, Bergman's perceptive send-up of social rites and sexual mores was the inspiration of Stephen Sondehim's A Little Night Music.
(In Swedish with English subtitles)
(Restricted to classroom use only)
- Topics: (Motion Pictures: Features, Scandinavian Languages and Literature)