En karl i köket (1954) Poster

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Light hearted about the rights of the oppressed.
Fredrik Josefsson26 January 2005
I will write this for any English speaking person.

The movie is a light-hearted comedy called "En karl i köket". This means "A Man in the Kitchen". The plot is about the man Olle Larsson, who has previously worked as a butler, and now wants to buy a hotel. For this he needed 50.000 Swedish Kronor, an amount he has borrowed from an old rich man. But the rich man died, and the note of debt was taken over by an anonymous person who now wants the loan back in eight days. Thereby Olle will not be able to buy the hotel.

Olle smells something fishy. The lawyer (Arwid Stenmark) who represents the anonymous debt note owner, has personal gains from not allowing Olle to buy the hotel, and Olle suspects that it is in fact the lawyer himself who owns the note. This lawyer is a very mean and shrewd business man. Olle meets the daughter of the lawyer (Karin), who is a very nice girl, and she tells him that she will inquire her father about who owns the note of debt.

At the lawyers house, a new maid is needed. Olle visits the mother of the house, and she agrees, somewhat reluctantly, to hire Olle as a Kitchen Help, despite that he is male. The lawyer himself (who is the father of the house) does not know about it! Olle does a fabulous job at housekeeping. He looks after the children Karin and her brother, and cooks good meals, and plays bridge. When the father (the lawyer) gets home, he surely does not find it amusing to see Olle working in his home! Olle, I'd say, is less than disrespectful towards the lawyer, none the less one of his employers.

Now, dear foreign people, I'd like to explain why you might find this film interesting. If you are interested in Swedish culture from this time, here is a good example of constant family feuds in the middle class home. The acting in these scenes are very good, maybe because all the actors had an experience with it.

Number two: we see the worker's demand to set things straight with the unfair oppressor, the morally corrupt employer. It seems that Olle is justified to do what he likes against the lawyer, since the lawyer is such a bad person. The Social Democratic Party has traditionally been very strong in Sweden, maybe that is the reason.

As I said, the acting is good in most parts and the film is intelligently directed and edited. It is also funny. I did however notice that the characters were not consistent in their behaviors, which must be attributed to a somewhat sloppy screen writer. I give the movie 7/10.
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