Beck (1997– )
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Den japanska shungamålningen 

Martin Beck gets a phone call from his German colleague, Hans Sperling, who is in Stockholm to buy a painting at auction. Sperling has found a dead woman in his hotel, and needs Martin's ... See full summary »


Kjell Sundvall


Cilla Börjlind (story), Rolf Börjlind (story) | 4 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Haber ... Martin Beck
Mikael Persbrandt ... Gunvald Larsson
Marie Göranzon ... Margareta Oberg
Stina Rautelin ... Lena Klingström
Ing-Marie Carlsson ... Bodil Lettermark
Måns Nathanaelson ... Oskar Bergman
Ingvar Hirdwall ... Grannen
Dieter Pfaff Dieter Pfaff ... Hans Sperling
Jan Malmsjö ... Ernst Levendahl
Philip Zandén ... Malte Beverin
Katarina Lundgren Katarina Lundgren ... Marie Liskowska (as Katarina Lundgren-Hugg)
Dan Bratt Dan Bratt ... Jan Forsgren
Jeff Ranara Jeff Ranara ... Sun
Hans V. Engström Hans V. Engström ... Jovan Andrecz
Ingrid Luterkort ... Gila Andrecz


Martin Beck gets a phone call from his German colleague, Hans Sperling, who is in Stockholm to buy a painting at auction. Sperling has found a dead woman in his hotel, and needs Martin's help. The murder investigation leads them into a dark world of art fraud. Written by Anonymous

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Swedish | English | German

Release Date:

6 June 2007 (Sweden) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Gunvald is making a phone call with a mobile phone (with built-in camera) inside the castle - despite he could not have brought that phone inside the castle due to a metal detector at the front entrance. Later on, when Beck and the other police officers are trying to save Gunvald, they go there by car and can't alert Gunvald as he has told them in a previous phone call (from inside the castle) that he is unreachable and had to leave his mobile phone in his car due to a metal detector at the front entrance. When Beck and the police officers, who all are heavily armed, enters the castle - no alarm from a metal detector goes off. In other words, a lot of plot holes in the end of this movie... See more »


References Sperling (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Implausible yet Enjoyable Hokum
18 July 2016 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

Compared to other episodes of this entertaining detective series, "The Japanese Painting" is full of plot-holes. The criminal mastermind behind the whole operation, Ernst Levendahl (Jan Malmsjö) claims that his mansion is phone-proof, yet Gunvald (Mikael Persbrandt) manages to make a call back to base. And, given that the mansion was supposed to be impregnable, maintained 24/7 by armed guards, Beck (Peter Haber) and his fellow-officers find it extremely easy to get in. Likewise Gunvald, although handcuffed to a water- pipe and beaten by the guards, manages to escape free, beat one of the guards on the back of the head and steal the guard's pistol.

Yet such implausibilities do not really jar in an episode concentrating far more on characterization, especially the relationship between Beck and his long-time German police colleague Hans (Dieter Pfaff). The two of them, it seems, have been acquainted for a long time; and share a mutual fondness for a cappella choral singing. Together with Beck's dipsomaniac neighbor Malte (Philip Zandén), they form an impromptu trio: fueled by copious amounts of calvados, they embark on a rendition of "Danny Boy" (in English). This might be the only popular song they collectively know, but they perform it highly competently at least twice, the last time at the very end of the episode, as the camera moves slowly out of their apartment to focus on a Swedish sunset, the river glittering in the fading light.

Confronted by such unaccustomed matiness, Gunvald reacts in surly fashion to Hans, especially when acting as Hans's chauffeur, ferrying him to Ernst's mansion. It seems that the bond linking Beck with Gunvald has been severed; and Gunvald, for one, resents it. In response Gunvald becomes more and more aggressive in his police procedure; he gets results, but treats everyone with uncharacteristic disdain.

Although a self-contained episode, there are sufficient loose ends to keep us watching the next installment in the series - specifically what happens in Gunvald and Beck's daughter Inger's personal lives.

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