It's late nineteenth century Sweden. Middle aged lawyer Fredrik Egerman and his nineteen year old current wife Anne Egerman's two-year marriage has not yet been consummated. Fredrik wants ... See full summary »
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A kind but pampered beautiful young virgin and her family's pregnant and jealous servant set out to deliver candles to church, but only one returns from events that transpire in the woods along the way.
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It's late nineteenth century Sweden. Middle aged lawyer Fredrik Egerman and his nineteen year old current wife Anne Egerman's two-year marriage has not yet been consummated. Fredrik wants to give Anne as much time as she needs to feel comfortable before losing her virginity. Although she loved Fredrik when they got married, Anne realizes she is attracted to Fredrik's adult son, Henrik Egerman, a brooding seminary student who is home following his most recent exams. Also a virgin, Henrik has been in an awkward flirtation with the Egermans' sexually experienced maid, Petra, in an effort to lose his virginity. When she first sees actress Desirée Armfeldt, Anne, without Fredrik telling her, knows that Desirée and Fredrik used to be lovers, the two who still have feelings for each other. Desirée currently is having an affair with married Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm. While he is jealous of any man who Desirée shows any attention to such as Fredrik, he is not the same with his young wife, the ... Written by
When Egerman looks in the mirror at Desiree's, his nightcap is bent forwards over his face. In the next shots after he has moved away from the mirror, the nightcap is now bent towards his right shoulder. See more »
Petra the Maid:
And then the summer night smiled for the third time.
Frid the Groom:
[to the audience]
For the sad, the depressed, the sleepless, the confused, the frightened, the lonely.
See more »
Bergman and comedy rarely mix, but this one has something
Begrman's comedy's tend to leave me cold, but I was persuaded that this one would be interesting. Bergman to some extent made his name on the back of this film. Woody Allen famously based A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy on this movie, thus coming out as a Bergman fan.
Frankly, I think Allen has more talent for comedy than Bergman, but Smiles of a Summer Night has more depth and more interesting development of ideas than the Allen follow-up.
This movie is a typical comedy of manners and the plot is of little consequence - it has a few fun moments but the interest is in the acting and the ideas. In terms of performances, Gunnar Bjornstrand and Harriet Andersson are both superb - the rest are Bergman's usual suspects, mostly of ensemble quality. Perhaps it is Bergman's weakness with comedy, but Eva Dahlbeck and Jarl Kulle (who appear frequently in his comedies) usually seem very weak to me. Bibi Andersson is in this movie, but I blinked at the appropriate moment so I missed her. Sigh.
The core ideas of the film (that love visits few of us, even fewer of us make a good fist of it, most of us live lies and/or make fools of ourselves in matters of love) are examined well and in an enjoyable way. The style of this comedy reminds me of Jean Anouilh's lighter plays, which I suppose reflects the European style of the 1950's.
Most Bergman comedies have aged disgracefully, but this one has aged gracefully and certainly has something. Worth watching.
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