1953's Gycklarnas Afton (aka Sawdust and Tinsel and The Naked Night) predated the films that earned Ingmar Bergman his international reputation by several years -- Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries, which appeared between 1955 and 1957 -- but it was one of his first pictures that truly displayed the master's confident touch, and gave Bergman's favorite themes of longing, despair and the cruelties of fate an intelligent and imaginative airing, earning the film a potent reputation among his admirers. The Criterion Collection have given Sawdust and Tinsel a long-overdue release on DVD, and the results live up to the high standards Criterion set for their previous releases of Bergman's work. Sawdust and Tinsel has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the sensuous play of light and shadow in Sven Nykvist's cinematography has been captured in all its glory in this release, sourced from a print that's practically spotless. The audio for the film has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, and the quality is admirably strong given the age of the source materials. The dialogue is in Swedish, with optional English subtitles. Compared to many of Criterion's releases, this is a bit short on bonus materials; the film is prefaced by an introduction Bergman shot for a Swedish television broadcast in 2003, and critic and film historian Peter Cowie contributes an informative alternate commentary track. (The booklet also includes essays from John Simon and Catherine Breillat.) But if this edition of Sawdust and Tinsel isn't packed to the brim with additional material, the transfer is beautiful and this pivotal film from Ingmar Bergman is finally given a quality DVD release in the United States, which makes it a must for students of the international cinema.