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Sawdust and Tinsel (1953)

Gycklarnas afton (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 9 April 1956 (USA)
The complicated relationships between a circus ringmaster, his estranged wife and his lover.

Director:

Ingmar Bergman
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Åke Grönberg ... Albert Johansson
Harriet Andersson ... Anne
Hasse Ekman ... Frans
Anders Ek ... Frost
Gudrun Brost ... Alma
Annika Tretow ... Agda
Erik Strandmark ... Jens
Gunnar Björnstrand ... Mr. Sjuberg
Curt Löwgren Curt Löwgren ... Blom
Kiki Kiki ... The Dwarf
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Storyline

While traveling in caravan through the country of Sweden, one member of the decadent Alberti Circus tells the owner and ringmaster Albert Johansson a sad story about the clown Frost: seven years ago, his wife Alma was surprised by him bathing naked in a lake with a regiment. When the circus arrives in the town where Albert's wife Agda and sons live, he decides to pay a visit with his young mistress Anne to a famous local troupe to borrow some capes, hats and vests for their tonight show. They are humiliated by the director Mr. Sjuberg, but he lends the pieces, and the lead actor Frans gives an unsuccessful pass on Anne. When Albert decides to visit Agda, the jealous Anne meets Frans, who seduces her with an apparently valuable necklace, and they have a love affair. Anne finds that the necklace is actually worthless and returns to the circus. Meanwhile, Agda refuses to accept Albert back and he sees Anne leaving the theater and going to the jewelry. During the exhibition, Albert and ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

DESPERATELY they fought the desires, the passions that dragged them down deeper and deeper into... "The Naked Night" See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally marketed in the States as a sex film under the title "The Naked Night". See more »

Quotes

Agda: First it was infatuation. Then it was love. But when you left me, all that died practically overnight. It was very strange.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The missing scene (above) is in the Criterion Collection release. See more »

Connections

References Variety (1925) See more »

User Reviews

A dark, disturbing dream
24 July 2001 | by Bobs-9See all my reviews

It's undoubtedly true, as has been pointed out in a newsgroup review, that the characters in this film are not particularly likable. I have never been able to understand why that should necessarily work against a film's worth or effectiveness, though. Profound darkness seems to me an integral part of Bergman's work, at least the earlier films like this one. If you're looking for action, adventure, or romance, you're certainly barking up the wrong tree here, and the idea of identifying with the characters in this film scares the hell out of me. Maybe it's just not suited to some viewer's personalities.

You're not likely to come across `Sawdust and Tinsel' much these days, unless it's at an art-house, museum or festival screening, or on video. Here in the U.S., Public Television used to show Bergman films in the distant past. That time is long gone, but I can well remember seeing it on TV as a kid, and its imagery lingered in my mind like a vivid nightmare. The black and white cinematography, with wonderful use of darkness and silhouettes, makes it a very beautiful-looking film, but it is unrelentingly dark and gloomy.

Not for everybody, but it is what it is, and Bergman is Bergman. Its dream-like imagery and brutal, primal view of human nature can leave a deep impression, especially on impressionable viewers. This is undoubtedly why having seen it when growing up, I've never forgotten it. Though it doesn't seem to be particularly well-regarded these days, I regard it as great and powerful cinema in the Bergman/Nykvist tradition. At the very least, its cinematography should be well-appreciated by anyone who admires the look of films like `The Virgin Spring, ` or `The Silence.'


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Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Swedish

Release Date:

9 April 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sawdust and Tinsel See more »

Filming Locations:

Arild, Skåne län, Sweden See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sandrews See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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