7.9/10
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Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)

Sommarnattens leende (original title)
Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 23 December 1957 (USA)
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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Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Anne Egerman
...
...
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

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Sexy Frolic About the Sport of Love See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

23 December 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Smiles of a Summer Night  »

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Technical Specs

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| (2001 DVD release)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This light, frothy piece (in terms of Ingmar Bergman's general oeuvre) was made whilst the director was undergoing financial troubles, stomach pains (he weighed only 125 pounds at the time) and a romance with Harriet Andersson that was on the rocks. Bergman later said that if he hadn't made this film when he did, he probably would have attempted suicide. 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

Mrs. Armfeldt: Why is youth so terribly unmerciful? And who has given it permission to be that way?
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Connections

Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #18.1 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

BORT MED SORG OCH BITTERHET
Written by Ingmar Bergman
Music by Erik Nordgren
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User Reviews

 
Bergman and comedy rarely mix, but this one has something
13 February 2003 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

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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