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Miriam (1957)

After her aunts death, young Miriam gets a position with the Allnes family. They have a son, Hans. Miriam and Hans fall in love. But the Hans mother is jealous and disapprove.



(novel) (as Valentin Chorell), | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Britta Allnes
Pentti Siimes ...
Hans Allnes
Leo Riuttu ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yrjö Aaltonen ...
Paavo Hukkinen ...
Man at the station
Arvi Järvinen
Heimo Karppinen ...
Man at the station
Veikko Kines ...
Aino Lehtimäki ...
Aunt Anta
Annikki Linnoila
Jaakko Maakorpi ...
Horse Driver
Liisi Palteisto ...
Miriam as Child
Yrjö Saari ...


After her aunts death, young Miriam gets a position with the Allnes family. They have a son, Hans. Miriam and Hans fall in love. But the Hans mother is jealous and disapprove.

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based on novel | See All (1) »







Release Date:

18 October 1957 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Mirjam  »

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Did You Know?


During the days Jean-Luc Godard was still a film critic, he went to Berlin film festival and left many screenings after 10 minutes, but screening of this movie he left after 5 minutes. See more »


Torvald Allnes: [to Hans] You are not smoking before breakfast? That is unhealthy!
See more »


Featured in Katseen vanki (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

18 November 2010 | by See all my reviews

William Markus' directorial career was not as long as those of many of his contemporaries and I must admit I had not seen any of his work until now, apart from a few acting jobs in other directors' films. Miriam from 1957 has been called his best film and was also entered in the 8th Berlin International Film Festival, but I must say that I don't see it as an example of great Finnish cinema of the era.

The story is based on a novel by Walentin Chorell and deals with themes like class differences and social norms in a rural society. At the beginning an orphaned 17-year old girl Miriam (Anneli Sauli) moves in with a kind middle-aged teacher Torvald Allnes (Leo Riuttu) and his strict and uptight wife Britta (Irma Seikkula) to work as a maid at the local school. Miriam is also a childhood friend of the Allneses' handsome student son Hans (Pentti Siimes) and mutual romantic feelings soon light up between them, much to the chagrin of Britta who does not approve close relationships between different social classes. Illness in the family eventually leads things to escalate in an unfortunate way.

As a chamber-drama, the film mostly takes place in the Allneses' house and relies on unhurried pacing and old-fashioned withdrawnness instead of larger-than-life melodrama. The style is not without its problems; for one thing, I felt the storytelling dragged heavily and spent way too much time on the same situation with little sense of heightening passion. Instead of expressing the characters' thoughts and emotions verbally, the film utilizes the score by Heikki Aaltoila excessively: the music is playing almost non-stop, ranging from playful and cheery to serious and dramatic. The score itself is very pleasant to hear, but in my opinion some of the lighter melodies were not in tune with the general tone and it soon started feeling that too much is just too much even with regard to good music. In fact, the score could be described as stealing the show at many points.

The eponymous Miriam is played by the beautiful Anneli Sauli, who had got her breakthrough in the controversially sensual The Milkmaid (Hilja maitotyttö) a few years earlier. She gets one risqué dream scene in Miriam as well even though the suppressed nature of the story turns the attention more to her acting than physical assets. Sauli does her part well enough, as does Seikkula as the suspicious Britta, but the over-aged Pentti Siimes is not entirely convincing in the role of the indecisive Hans; perhaps his unforgettable comedic performances in other movies keep showing through the serious surface. Siimes' fellow comedian Leo Riuttu makes his character very likable for the most part, but I feel he could have put even more intensity in the scenes near the end.

The portrayal of the clash between love and social expectations is basically interesting, but the poorly conveyed tension ultimately renders the ending one of those "this is it?" type of lackluster conclusions. When it comes to Anneli Sauli's earlier films, I would much rather recommend her debut Me tulemme taas (1953) or The Milkmaid (also 1953), but perhaps Miriam can seem more fruitful to chamber story aficionados.

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