|Index||3 reviews in total|
When his wife rejects motherhood in favor of a life devoted to pleasure
seeking, a businessman finds himself drawn towards his secretary, who
already loves him from afar.
The theme of this film is the superiority of marriage and parenthood to hedonism. A noble intention, but poorly executed. The stilted dialog sounds like a pro-and-con magazine article, which may explain the often awkward appearance of Lars Hanson, Karin Kavli, and even Ingrid Bergman. Victor Seastrom's presence lends the film some gravitas, but even his dignity is undermined by lines straight out of a seminary lecture. The plot isn't too convincing and has a twist straight out of P.C. Wren. The final closing shots make the film's point much better than the preceding hour and a half or so.
This film also has the worst musical score I've ever heard. Parts of it sound like they were played by an elementary school orchestra.
Being a Lars Hanson fan I watched this movie more interested in hearing his voice than anything else, which was actually pretty good, not a surprise as he was classically trained. It was better than I expected, but, that doesn't mean it was a great film. Swedish cinema was in decline at that time after it's zenith in the early 1920's had meant some of it's biggest talents (Hanson, Garbo, Sjostrom)had gone to America for a time . I found the beginning very preachy, but, I feel it was designed as more of a social message to Swedish film goers of the time, I'm sure research of the social history of the time would show us that there was a decline in the birth rate in Sweden etc... But, once it got going it wasn't too bad, the length was about right it didn't outstay it's welcome. I agree with the reviewer who said it was too full of coincidences, it felt claustrophobic that everyone seemed to know everyone else, but, that is a small fault. The acting wasn't that bad, the dialogue was dodgy, but all in all not bad, I have seen much, much worse and it did tackle a subject candidly that would never have made it out of a scriptwriters mind in America or Britain at that time. Give it a whirl if you get a chance, but, don't expect too much and you'll enjoy it.
While Bergman is gradient as ever in this early movie of hers, the plot on the whole is disappointing. The murdering scene even seems ridiculous with the unsurprising coincidence and unbelievable clumsiness. What a waste for Bergman!
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