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Elvira Madigan (1967)

The Danish tightrope dancer Elvira Madigan meets Lieutenant Sixten Sparre, a Swedish officer who is married and has two children. They both decide to run away.

Director:

Bo Widerberg

Writer:

Bo Widerberg
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Pia Degermark ... Elvira Madigan, alias Hedvig Jensen
Thommy Berggren ... Sixten Sparre
Lennart Malmer Lennart Malmer ... Kristoffer
Cleo Jensen Cleo Jensen ... Cleo (as Cleo)
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Storyline

Hedvig Jensen is a famous ropewalker and is known to her public as Elvira Madigan. She meets Lieutenant Sixten Sparre, a Swedish officer who is married and has two children. They both decide to run away, but since Sixten deserted the army, he cannot find any job and the couple encounters many hardships. Moreover, while on the run, Sixten meets a friend who tries to convince him to come back to his country and family. Written by Papakamayo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

as beautiful as love is See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Swedish | Danish

Release Date:

24 April 1967 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Elvira Madigan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Europa Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Pia Degermark. See more »

Quotes

Elvira Madigan, alias Hedvig Jensen: Don't talk about love, Sixten. We can't butter our bread with it.
Sixten Sparre: You want me to find a job? Where? Tell me!
Sixten Sparre: You want me to find a job. Tell me! Where?
Sixten Sparre: How am I supposed to do it? Should I go in and say, "My name is Count Sparre. I've deserted from the Swedish army. Can you give me work?" Is that how I should do it?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Stjärnbilder (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467 (second movement: Andante)
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Performed by Géza Anda (piano)
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon
Main theme
See more »

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User Reviews

 
As beautiful as advertised
18 June 2001 | by DeeNine-2See all my reviews

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon.)

This really is a beautiful movie, exquisite in detail, gorgeously filmed, directed with great subtlety and intensely focused. Nothing wasted or thrown away here. Everything counts. We feel the forebodings of tragedy first in the straight razor in Sixten's hand as he caresses the back of Elvira's head, and then again there is the knife on their picnics, stark, solid, sharp steel in the paradise of their love. Note too the shots on her belly. The child touches her stomach. She vomits from eating flowers...

To really appreciate this movie it should be understood that it was filmed in the sixties and it represented to that audience something precious and true. Note the anti-war sentiment seemingly tangential to the story of the film, but nonetheless running as a deep current underneath. He was an army deserter, like those in the sixties who fled to Canada to avoid the draft and the body bags in Vietnam. Note his confrontation with his friend from the regiment, a scene that many in the sixties lived themselves. He gave up everything for love, but it really is her story, her choice. She chose a man with a wife and two children, a soldier. She had many other choices, as the friend reminded her, but for her he was the "last one." What they did was wrong, but it was indeed a summer of love, the cold northern winter in the distance, ripe red raspberries and mushrooms to eat and greenery everywhere and the sun brilliant and warm; and then in the next to the last scene with the children when she faints as the child pulls off the blindfold of the game and is surprised to face Elvira's belly, there is just a little snow on the ground, perhaps it is from the last winter, not completely melted.

If you can watch this without a tear in your eye and a melancholy feeling about the nature of human love, you have grown too old. Theirs was a forbidden love, like that of Romeo and Juliet, a tragic love, doomed from the start, which is why the ending of the movie is revealed in the opening credits. Those who think a story is spoiled by knowing the ending, know not the subtle ways of story, of great tales that are told again and again. Knowing the ending only sharpens the senses and heightens the appreciation.

Pia Degermark who plays Elvira, who is a tightrope walker, a girl of gypsies, has beautiful calves (which is all we see of her body), a graceful style and gorgeous eyes, made up in the unmistakable style of the sixties, very dark with long heavily mascara'ed eyelashes. And she is a flower child, a fairy child of the forest, drawn to things earthy and mysterious, to a strong young man and a fortune teller who finds for her only small black spades in her future. In life we chase after butterflies. Sometimes we catch one.


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