16 user 24 critic

Port of Call (1948)

Hamnstad (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 1 August 1963 (USA)
A suicidal factory girl out of reformatory school, anxious to escape her overbearing mother, falls in love with a sailor who can't forgive her past.


Ingmar Bergman


Ingmar Bergman (screenplay), Olle Länsberg (story)




Complete credited cast:
Nine-Christine Jönsson ... Berit
Bengt Eklund ... Gösta
Mimi Nelson ... Gertrud
Berta Hall ... Berit's Mother
Birgitta Valberg ... Mrs. Vilander
Sif Ruud ... Mrs. Krona
Britta Billsten Britta Billsten ... Prostitute
Harry Ahlin ... Skåningen
Nils Hallberg ... Gustav
Sven-Eric Gamble ... Eken
Yngve Nordwall ... The Supervisor
Nils Dahlgren ... Gertrud's Father
Hans Strååt ... Mr. Vilander
Erik Hell ... Berit's Father
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Edvard Danielsson Edvard Danielsson ... Man (scenes deleted)


Berit is a young woman with problems. She is suicidal and depressed. Since it has been impossible for her to live with her mother, she has spent many years in institutions. She has now gotten a job in an industry on the condition that she can live together with her mother again. Their relationship is very tense however. One night at a dance she meets stevedore Gösta. Will he be able to give her the support she needs? Written by Mattias Thuresson

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Did You Know?


The book which Gösta reads on his bed is 'Resor utan mål' ('Journeys Without Destination') by Swedish author and future Nobel laureate in Literature (1974) Harry Martinson. Martinson was, indeed, a sailor before becoming an author, and the book, published in 1932 as Martinson's first prose volume (his greatest fame would come for his poetry), was a document of his own experiences as one, written at twenty-eight after he had given up the sea due to a combination of lack of employment and a bout of tuberculosis. A sailor like Gösta would indeed have found much interest in the book, as it dealt realistically with the life of a sailor from his country living a life very similar to his own. The book itself has sadly never been published in English, but Martinson's second novel, 'Kap Farväl!', somewhat similar to 'Resor utan mål', was translated as 'Cape Farewell'. Director Ingmar Bergman was indeed an admirer of his countryman Martinson and, in 1964, he staged the premiere of Martinson's play 'Tre knivar från Wei' ('Three Knives From Wei'), although, unfortunately, he considered the production an unmitigated disaster. See more »


When the camera pans from Gösta to Skåningen in the whistling scene, an object which is probably a microphone can be seen briefly in the upper right frame. See more »


Gertrud's Father: She never gave me any joy. Perhaps it's turned out for the best.
See more »


Features Poor Little Sven (1947) See more »


Swing Time at Wauxhall
Composed by Sven Sjöholm
See more »

User Reviews

"We can always try to forget our past"
19 January 2007 | by theachillesSee all my reviews

While Gosta, a seaman, arrives in Gothenburg, a young girl, Berit, makes a suicide attempt in the city harbour. After saving her, a rather promising relationship seems to begin but much work needs to be done from both of them in order to be together.

In 1948, Ingmar Bergman seems already familiar with the themes that he will never stop examining throughout his career. He observes and studies human behavior in everyday circumstances, in an effort to get a glimpse of its roots. Berit is depressed, but her situation has a long story, starting from her childhood. Growing up with a mother that never cared for anything and anyone but herself and a father that had a problem hiding his temper, she ended up in a reform school and the implications are therefore predictable. Gosta has just finished working in the ships and he finds himself working in the docks of Gothenburg, despite his ambition for something bigger. They are both in the need of a clean start in their lives, carrying their burdens from the past on the left and their dreams for the future on the right.

When they first meet, they can't possibly imagine how similar they are. In fact, they seem incapable of realizing anything because of the wall they have built around them in order to protect themselves. But she desperately needs to free herself from her mother (who impersonates all of her past) and he desperately needs to find someone to relief him from his loneliness. So, they will fight through all the difficulties for these goals. Eventually, she will learn to have some faith in other people, he will learn to forgive and they will both learn to face the past.

This film also works on a political level as the story takes place among the dock workers struggling everyday just for the essentials. Bergman himself admits the influence that the Italian Neo-Realists had on him in his first films and Port of Call is a characteristic example. It is mostly shot on location and the work in cinematography is really admirable, the black and white photography and the camera movement is stunning and Bergman proves how talented he is when it comes to framing. The leading actors give notable performances, especially Nine-Christine Jonsson.

Overall, Port of Call is an interesting film, a typical example of the first period in Bergman's filmography that will reach its climax with "Summer with Monika". The story may sound clichéd and naïve at times, but it is its honesty that engages its viewers, as well as the masterful shots of the great Swedish director.

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Swedish | English | German

Release Date:

1 August 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Port of Call See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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