7.9/10
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Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)

Sommarnattens leende (original title)
In Sweden at the turn of the century, members of the upper class and their servants find themselves in a romantic tangle that they try to work out amidst jealousy and heartbreak.

Director:

Ingmar Bergman

Writer:

Ingmar Bergman
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Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ulla Jacobsson ... Anne Egerman
Eva Dahlbeck ... Desiree Armfeldt
Harriet Andersson ... Petra the Maid
Margit Carlqvist ... Countess Charlotte Malcolm (as Margit Carlquist)
Gunnar Björnstrand ... Fredrik Egerman
Jarl Kulle ... Count Carl Magnus Malcolm
Åke Fridell ... Frid the Groom
Björn Bjelfvenstam Björn Bjelfvenstam ... Henrik Egerman (as Björn Bjelvenstam)
Naima Wifstrand ... Mrs. Armfeldt
Jullan Kindahl ... Beata, cook
Gull Natorp ... Malla
Birgitta Valberg ... Actress
Bibi Andersson ... Actress
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Storyline

It's late nineteenth century Sweden. Middle aged lawyer Fredrik Egerman and his nineteen year old current wife Anne Egerman's two-year marriage has not yet been consummated. Fredrik wants to give Anne as much time as she needs to feel comfortable before losing her virginity. Although she loved Fredrik when they got married, Anne realizes she is attracted to Fredrik's adult son, Henrik Egerman, a brooding seminary student who is home following his most recent exams. Also a virgin, Henrik has been in an awkward flirtation with the Egermans' sexually experienced maid, Petra, in an effort to lose his virginity. When she first sees actress Desirée Armfeldt, Anne, without Fredrik telling her, knows that Desirée and Fredrik used to be lovers, the two who still have feelings for each other. Desirée currently is having an affair with married Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm. While he is jealous of any man who Desirée shows any attention to such as Fredrik, he is not the same with his young wife, the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Sexy Frolic About the Sport of Love See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Swedish

Release Date:

23 December 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Smiles of a Summer Night See more »

Filming Locations:

Ystad, Skåne län, Sweden See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Svensk Filmindustri (SF) 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the end of the shoot, Ingmar Bergman weighed 57kg. See more »

Goofs

While everyone is at the supper, Henrik collapses on the table. Anna puts her hand on his right shoulder but after a cutaway to Fredrik's face, her hand is now on the left shoulder. She is also much closer to the table, and Fredrik is looking the wrong way. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Armfeldt: Your children are very beautiful, especially the young girl.
Fredrik Egerman: The young girl is my wife, Mrs Armfeldt.
Mrs. Armfeldt: I believe you lead a very strenuous life, Mr Egerman.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally, the UK theatrical version had the words "lust" changed to "passion" and "lecherous fantasies" changed to "unspeakable dreams". The lines "Nearly everything that's fun is a sin. Then I say three cheers for sin" were completely cut. See more »

Connections

Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #18.1 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

MADIGANS VISA / ELVIRA MADIGAN
Written by Johan Lindström Saxon
Traditional music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ingmar Bermgan Sends In The Clowns
19 April 2005 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

This was director Ingmar Bergman's break-through film, the winner of the 1956 Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, the first of his many internationally acclaimed films. The story is a time honored one, referencing the same tradition of romantic complications found in Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM and Rostand's LA RONDE: every one is either in love with or married to the wrong person.

A famous actress with two very different lovers invites both, their wives, and the son of one lover to her mother's country estate in the hope of sorting out the romantic entanglements to her satisfaction--and the result is considerable charm and unexpectedly dry wit. All the performances are excellent, with Eva Dahlbeck's Desiree a standout, but the real star of this ensemble piece is the unexpectedly witty script. Never quite veering over into broad farce but never sinking into romantic sentimentality, it is a very precisely written tale, and both cast and director make the most of it.

In the face of Bergman's later work, SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT may seem rather slight, and indeed both psychology and cinematography is considerably less complex than one expects. Even so, it is very much a Bergman film: the visual style is distinct, and the themes of appearances vs. reality, the inability to correctly interpret another's behavior, and the failure to understand one's self are very much in evidence--only here to comic effect. It is in every way a charming film that Bergman fans will enjoy.

Incidentally, SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT was successfully translated to the stage as the musical A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, the score of which includes the famous "Send In The Clowns." Fans of the original film will be interested to compare the two works.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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