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:
...
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:

The wittiest, most daring romantic comedy of the year, starring four of Sweden's most beautiful actresses. 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

Runtime:

| (2001 DVD release)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in 55 days in the midst of a heatwave. 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

Carl Magnus: I have fought 18 duels. Pistol, rapier, foil, spear, bow, poison, rifle. I have been wounded six times.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Desperate Housewives: Smiles of a Summer Night (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Ingmar Bermgan Sends In The Clowns
19 April 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

This was director Ingmar Bergman's break-through film, the winner of the 1956 Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, the first of his many internationally acclaimed films. The story is a time honored one, referencing the same tradition of romantic complications found in Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM and Rostand's LA RONDE: every one is either in love with or married to the wrong person.

A famous actress with two very different lovers invites both, their wives, and the son of one lover to her mother's country estate in the hope of sorting out the romantic entanglements to her satisfaction--and the result is considerable charm and unexpectedly dry wit. All the performances are excellent, with Eva Dahlbeck's Desiree a standout, but the real star of this ensemble piece is the unexpectedly witty script. Never quite veering over into broad farce but never sinking into romantic sentimentality, it is a very precisely written tale, and both cast and director make the most of it.

In the face of Bergman's later work, SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT may seem rather slight, and indeed both psychology and cinematography is considerably less complex than one expects. Even so, it is very much a Bergman film: the visual style is distinct, and the themes of appearances vs. reality, the inability to correctly interpret another's behavior, and the failure to understand one's self are very much in evidence--only here to comic effect. It is in every way a charming film that Bergman fans will enjoy.

Incidentally, SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT was successfully translated to the stage as the musical A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, the score of which includes the famous "Send In The Clowns." Fans of the original film will be interested to compare the two works.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


20 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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