Smiles of a Summer Night

Smiles of a Summer Night

3.6 3
Director: Ingmar Bergman, Eva Dahlbeck, Ulla Jacobsson, Harriet Andersson

Cast: Ingmar Bergman, Eva Dahlbeck, Ulla Jacobsson, Harriet Andersson

     
 

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Bergman's comic masterpiece opens with middle-aged lawyer Frederik Egerman (Gunnar Bjornstrand) again failing to consummate his marriage with the much younger Anne (Ulla Jacobsson). While visiting a former lover, actress Desiree Armfeldt (Eva Dahlbeck), he crosses swords with her current lover, Count Malcolm (Jarl Kulle), after both men learn that Frederik is the

Overview

Bergman's comic masterpiece opens with middle-aged lawyer Frederik Egerman (Gunnar Bjornstrand) again failing to consummate his marriage with the much younger Anne (Ulla Jacobsson). While visiting a former lover, actress Desiree Armfeldt (Eva Dahlbeck), he crosses swords with her current lover, Count Malcolm (Jarl Kulle), after both men learn that Frederik is the father of her illegitimate child. At Desiree's behest, her mother invites Egerman, the Count, and their wives along with Egerman's grown son, Henrik (Björn Bjelvenstam) to her manor house for the weekend. Before their departure, divinity student Henrik wards off the eager advances of the housemaid by reading from the Bible aloud, but it seems clear that he and Anne are quite taken with one another. After arriving at the Ryarp estate the guests are served a dinner spiked with a love potion which provokes swift reactions. The bewildered Frederik becomes aware of the increasingly intense bond between Henrik and Anne, and the Countess (Margit Carlquist) makes a public bet with her husband that she can seduce Frederik. Shocked by the dinner-table conversation, the strait-laced Henrik retires to his room to commit suicide. In the course of his bumbling attempt, he has the good fortune to learn why so many prefer sex to death.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
A welcome anomaly in the career of the famously angst-ridden director, this eight-part rondo is a dazzling comedy of manners suffused with the shimmering eroticism of summer nights. Under the influence of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Bergman sets his mismatched couples awhirl, and in the stumbling slapstick and sublime ecstasy of the chase, he gently punctures the illusions and pretensions that have made their current ties so stifling. Of course, as is the director's wont, the men are the truly benighted creatures here, in particular the hapless Frederik, who is as blind to the farcical nature of his marriage as he is to the intentions of the designing Desiree. But even amidst the Ryarp manor's lush atmosphere of abandon and sensuality, none of the players can escape an undercurrent of bittersweet longing, a sense of the transience of romantic love. Despite a characteristic dash of Strindbergian venom, one might not immediately recognize the director's signature in the elegant epigrams and polished wit of the screenplay, but his genius is evident in the inspired ensemble of acting of the entire company, particularly the ineffable work of these four intoxicating actresses.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/03/2011
UPC:
0715515070713
Original Release:
1955
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:48:00
Sales rank:
20,343

Special Features

Video Introduction to the Film by Director Ingmar Bergman; ; Video Conversation between Bergman scholar Peter Cowie and Writer Jörn Donner, Executive Producer Of Fanny and Alexander; ; Original Theatrical Trailer; ; Plus: a Booklet featuring an Essay by Theater and Film Critic John Simon and a 1961 review by Film Critic Pauline Kael

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Eva Dahlbeck Desirée Armfeldt
Ulla Jacobsson Anne Egerman
Harriet Andersson Petra, the maid
Margit Carlquist Charlotte Malcolm
Gunnar Björnstrand Fredrik Egerman
Jarl Kulle Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm
Åke Fridell Frid, the groom
Björn Bjelvenstam Henrik Egerman
Sigge Fuerst Policeman
Julian Kindahl The Cook
Gosta Prnzelius Footman
Naima Wifstrand Madame Armfeldt
Anders Wulff Footman,Desirée's Son
Bibi Andersson Actress
Sten Gester Servant
Svea Holst Dresser
Ulf Johansson Legal agency clerk
Arne Lindblad Actor
Mona Malm Maid
Gull Natorp Malla
Gunnar Nielsen Niklas
Yngve Nordwall Ferdinand
Mille Schmidt Servant
Hans Str__t Almgen the Photographer
Birgitta Valberg Actress
Boerje Mellvig Clerk
Lena Soderblom Actor
John Melin Actor

Technical Credits
Ingmar Bergman Director,Screenwriter
Allan Ekelund Producer
Gunnar Fischer Cinematographer
P.A. Lundgren Art Director
Carl M. Lundh Makeup
Mago Costumes/Costume Designer
Erik Nordgren Score Composer
Oscar Rosander Editor

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Smiles of a Summer Night 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Below average for Bergman. I didn't find much to laugh at.. frankly I found "The Seventh Seal" had more comedic moments.