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Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
"Sommarnattens leende" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 7,416 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 58 critic

A small town at the turn of the century. Lawer Fredrik Egerman has an ingénue-wife, Anne, and a grown-up son, Henrik, from an earlier marriage. His wife is still untouched, and instead he ... See full summary »

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Title: Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)

Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Anne Egerman
Eva Dahlbeck ...
...
Margit Carlqvist ...
Countess Charlotte Malcolm (as Margit Carlquist)
...
...
Åke Fridell ...
Frid the Groom
Björn Bjelfvenstam ...
Henrik Egerman (as Björn Bjelvenstam)
Naima Wifstrand ...
Mrs. Armfeldt
Jullan Kindahl ...
Beata, cook
Gull Natorp ...
Malla
Birgitta Valberg ...
Actress
...
Actress
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Storyline

A small town at the turn of the century. Lawer Fredrik Egerman has an ingénue-wife, Anne, and a grown-up son, Henrik, from an earlier marriage. His wife is still untouched, and instead he meets his former mistress Desiree after her performance at the theatre. They leave the theatre together and Egerman falls in one of the puddles. Desiree takes him to her home and Egerman changes into a night-shirt, owned by count Malcolm, Desirees present lover. Suddenly the count comes for a visit and throws Egerman out. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Sexy Frolic About the Sport of Love

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 December 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Smiles of a Summer Night  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2001 DVD release)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the end of the shoot, Ingmar Bergman weighed 57kg. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Frid the Groom: We invoke love, call out to it, beg for it, cry for it, try to mimic it. We think we own it and tell lies about it.
Petra the Maid: But we don't have it.
Frid the Groom: No my sugar pie. We are denied the love of loving. We don't have the gift.
Petra the Maid: Nor the punishment.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Love and Death (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

BORT MED SORG OCH BITTERHET
Written by Ingmar Bergman
Music by Erik Nordgren
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bravo Bergman
17 January 2005 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

Men, as a gender, do not come off well in Bergman's charming sex comedy Smiles of a Summer Night, made only one year before his breakthrough hit, The Seventh Seal. At the center of the film is Frederik Egerman (Gunnar Bjonstrand) pompous and self-assured as a lawyer but insecure and frightened by competition as a lover. His son, Henrik (Bjorn Bjelvenstam), torn between the church and the bedroom, is filled with self-hatred for even thinking about going to bed with Petra the maid (Harriet Andersson). Another over-the-top male character is Count Malcolm (Jarl Kulle) a poseur whose only response to his wife's infidelity is to challenge the paramour to a duel or a game of Russian Roulette.

In Bergman's world, men are childish, selfish, and arrogant. The women on the other hand are stronger, more self-reflective, capable of pandering to the male ego and to direct their affections elsewhere when the need arises. They suffer greatly, however. Charlotte Malcolm(Margit Carlqvist), the Count's wife admits that she hates men and finds them repulsive with their "hairy" bodies but nonetheless is hopelessly in love with her philandering husband. She says that in any event "a woman's view is seldom based on aesthetics. And one can always turn out the light." Set at the turn of the century, Frederik is married to the very beautiful 19-year old Anne (Ulla Jacobson) but their marriage has never been consummated even after the passage of two years. Though it remains unclear as to why this is the case, nonetheless, Frederik is not at a loss for romance, taking up with a famous actress the equally lovely Desiree Armfeldt (Eva Dahlbeck), a relationship that began soon after Frederik's first wife died but never revealed to Anne. He confides in her in a way that he cannot with his young wife and she is a comfort to him though their relationship is full of bitter verbal thrusts and parries. Desiree on the other hand has a string of lovers and it is not hard to understand why, given her fame, beauty, and rapier wit. One of them is the aforementioned Count Malcolm, a ludicrous character with his military getup and macho posturing.

The Count is also not averse to playing around and it turns out that he is also married to the stately and elegant Charlotte. He says that he can accept someone making overtures to his wife but if anyone goes after his mistress, he becomes a "tiger". Later he says the exact opposite when his wife and Frederik have a go round. Oh yes, Henrik secretly desires Anne, and Petra, well she's open to any offers. The situation could have deteriorated into farce but in Bergman's assured hand, everything is resolved in a civilized and even graceful way at a gathering of all eight combatants at Anne's mother's country retreat. Here they all drink a mystery wine and sort out their relationships in a remarkably satisfying manner.

Smiles of a Summer Night came as quite a surprise to me, being used to the philosophical Bergman of Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal (yet always with an added bit of humor). I found it thoroughly enjoyable, an opinion apparently shared with Woody Allen whose film A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy mirrored it and Stephen Sondheim who based his musical "A Little Night Music" on the film. I can't remember when there was such a collection of beautiful women in one film. Not only do they look wonderful but act impeccably and say wise and witty things. Bravo Bergman!


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