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Sweden: Heaven and Hell (1968)

Svezia inferno e paradiso (original title)
Edmund Purdom narrates a pseudo-documentary about sexuality in Sweden. It shows contraceptives for teen girls, lesbian nightclubs, wife swapping, porno movies, biker gangs, and Walpurgis ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Narrator (English version) (voice)
Enrico Maria Salerno ...
Narrator (voice)
Jean Topart ...
Narrator (French version) (voice)
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Storyline

Edmund Purdom narrates a pseudo-documentary about sexuality in Sweden. It shows contraceptives for teen girls, lesbian nightclubs, wife swapping, porno movies, biker gangs, and Walpurgis Night celebrations. It also examines Sweden's purported drug, drinking and suicide problems. It features the original appearance of the Piero Umiliani's nonsense song "Mah Nà Mah Nà" which was later popularized by "Sesame Street" and "The Muppet Show". Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Sweden... where the facts of life are stranger than fiction!

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Documentary

Certificate:

X | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

4 September 1968 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Sweden: Heaven and Hell  »

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(Eastmancolor)

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening credits end with this warning: «Tutti le scene del film sono state girate dal vero e ispirate e riferite alla realtà. Ogni riferimento a fatti e a personne NON è casuele.» (All the scenes of this film were turned live. and inspired and referred to real life. All references to facts and people are NOT coincidences.) See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Brutes and Savages (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

You tried to warn me
(Theme drug-treatment)
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User Reviews

Entertaining (but mostly unintentionally so)
22 April 2009 | by (Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

I'm not a big fan of Italian "mondo" movies, not so much because of their sleazy, hypocritical exploitation of the Third World, but mostly because of their occasional use of unsimulated animal (and occasionally human) slaughter. You don't have to worry about that here though because instead of this "mondo" movie taking place in some primitive tropical hellhole, it takes place in a more modern dystopian hellhole--Sweden! And NOTHING here is unsimulated. Ironically, this is kind of the reverse of the usual mondo film where a "modern" society passes judgment on more backwards "primitive" ones. Here it is the more modern society (Sweden) that is taken to task by what was then still a backward theocracy (Italy) for having such things as sex education and day-care for working mothers.

Like most mondo films though a lot of this is just laughably ridiculous. There's a scene where a man is arrested for beating up a kid who is trying to steal his car because car theft was supposedly perfectly okay in Sweden but violence wasn't. But even if anybody then or now believed that, wouldn't you have to wonder how the filmmakers manage to record this "spontaneous" scene from several different camera set-ups? Even more unconvincing is a scene where a group of marauding bikers "gang-rape" a young girl. You might ask why the Italian filmmakers didn't try to help the "victim" instead of doing various set-ups and close-ups of her during her ordeal. Of course, you might also notice that the "rape victim" here is actually Swedish sex star Marie Lilljedahl from Joe Sarno's "Inga" movies and Jess Franco's "Eugenie", so the better question might be why Italian filmmakers in this ridiculously staged scene didn't have the "bikers" tear the clothes off this Scandanavian lovely for the delectation of the audience (but I guess for that you have to check out "Eugenie" or "Inga"). Don't worry though, the movie does show plenty of naked, nubile Swedish girls including a nude photography session and whole gaggle of them running around bare-assed in the snow or sunbathing nude. (The narration claims Swedish women always sunbathe nude, yet almost all these girls have visible bikini lines).

Other scenes like one of blind orphans diving for stolen property in the bay are so bizarre it's hard to tell if they're fabricated or not. And, of course, you also get scenes of alcoholism, drug use, and even a ridiculously staged suicide! The English version I saw was narrated by British actor Edward Purdom (who adopts quite a smarmy, morally superior tone for a guy that would later direct "Don't Open Until Christmas"). The music is actually pretty good including the famous "M'nah. M'nah" song that later appeared on "The Muppet Show". Any other entertainment value here though was purely unintentional.


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