(director/writer: Ingmar Bergman; cinematographer: Hilding Bladh; editor: Carl-Olov Skeppsledt; music: Stuart Görling; cast: Eva Dahlbeck (Susanne), Harriet Andersson (Doris), Gunnar Björnstrand (Otto Sönderby, Consul), Ulf Palme (Henrik Lobelius), Inga Landgré (Marta Lobelius), Sven Lindberg (Palle), Kerstin Hedeby-Pawlo (Marianne); Runtime: 86; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Rune Waldekranz; Embassy Home Entertainment; 1955-Sweden-in Swedish with English subtitles)

“Lacks the gravitas of the director’s more powerful latter psychological dramas but, nevertheless, shows-off his technical skills.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Early obscure Ingmar Bergman (“The Magic Flute”/”Wild Strawberries”/”Thirst”) film that didn’t make much of an impression on me. It lacks the gravitas of the director’s more powerful latter psychological dramas but, nevertheless, shows-off his technical skills.It has something to say about career women, desires, perversity, adultery and oppressive relationships, but is too vague to get across anything more than the obvious–it’s a bummer not to have the proper mate to share your dreams.

Susanne Frank (Eva Dahlbeck) owns a successful model agency in Stockholm, and her top model is the naive 20-year-old Doris (Harriet Andersson ). On a photo-shoot in Gothenburg, Susanne arranges to meet after work with her estranged married businessman lover Henrik Lobelius (Ulf Palme). Meanwhile Doris goes window-shopping, and the elderly effete consul, Otto Sönderby (Gunnar Björnstrand), lusts after the youth’s beauty. To win her over, the dirty old man buys her an expensive gown, a necklace and shoes, takes her on a roller-coaster ride and brings her back to his luxurious home.While the object of his sex desires feels sorry that the old coot’s wife has been in an asylum the last 23 years, she refuses to let the effete gentleman into her pants. Things become upsetting when his estranged daughter (Kerstin Hedeby-Pawlo), around the same age as Doris, comes home to get money and tempers flare over their strained relationship. When Doris shows late for the photo-shoot, she’s fired. Later when the wormy Henrik shows up at Susanne’s hotel to tell her their year-old affair is finished and he must keep up appearances because he’s a respected businessman, Henrik’s wife (Inga Landgré) bursts in on the two woeful lovers and gives them both a piece of her mind. Henrik shows himself to be a coward, his wife tactless (telling how hubby’s business has gone sour and she has the family’s money), while a humiliated and disillusioned Susanne realizes her dreams of marriage and raising a family can’t be fulfilled with this dud. Back in Stockholm the career girls reunite, as Doris takes up again with her jealous boyfriend Palle (Sven Lindberg) she dumped before going on the shoot.Doris dreams of celebrity and riches, so you know the relationship with the lackluster Palle is doomed from the start. But, as she says, at least he’s cute.

None of it touched me as a Bergman film I cared to remember.

REVIEWED ON 6/4/2010 GRADE: B-  https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/