Smiles of a Summer Night [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1955]

A masterful romantic comedy exploring love and loyalty as seen through the eyes of distinguished Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, the director's international breakthrough comes to DVD as part of The Criterion Collection. Presented in 1.33:1 full-frame and offering audio rendered in Swedish Dolby Digital Mono with optional English subtitles, this release also offers a wealth of bonus materials that will certainly be of interest to Bergman fans. Beginning with an introduction by the director himself, viewers can also access a newly filmed video discussion of the Smiles of a Summer Night with film historian Peter Cowie and producer Jörn Donner, a new piece from Ingmar Bergman Directs author John Simon, an essay by noted film critic Pauline Kael, and an original Swedish theatrical trailer.
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Overview

Special Features

  • New high definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound
  • Video introduction to the film by director Ingmar Bergman
  • New video conversation with film historian Peter Cowie and writer Jörn Donner
  • Swedish theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition
  • 24-page booklet including a new essay by theater and film critic John Simon and an essay by film critic Pauline Kael

Synopsis

Smiles of a Summer Night
Bergman's comic masterpiece opens with middle-aged lawyer Frederik Egerman (Gunnar Bjornstrand) again failing to consummate his marriage with the much younger Anne (Ulla Jacobsson). While visiting a former lover, actress Desiree Armfeldt (Eva Dahlbeck), he crosses swords with her current lover, Count Malcolm (Jarl Kulle), after both men learn that Frederik is the father of her illegitimate child. At Desiree's behest, her mother invites Egerman, the Count, and their wives along with Egerman's grown son, Henrik (Björn Bjelvenstam) to her manor house for the weekend. Before their departure, divinity student Henrik wards off the eager advances of the housemaid by reading from the Bible aloud, but it seems clear that he and Anne are quite taken with one another. After arriving at the Ryarp estate the guests are served a dinner spiked with a love potion which provokes swift reactions. The bewildered Frederik becomes aware of the increasingly intense bond between Henrik and Anne, and the Countess (Margit Carlquist) makes a public bet with her husband that she can seduce Frederik. Shocked by the dinner-table conversation, the strait-laced Henrik retires to his room to commit suicide. In the course of his bumbling attempt, he has the good fortune to learn why so many prefer sex to death. ~ Michael Costello, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Eva Dahlbeck
    Eva Dahlbeck - Desirée Armfeldt
  • Ulla Jacobsson
    Ulla Jacobsson - Anne Egerman
  • Harriet Andersson
    Harriet Andersson - Petra, the maid
  • Image coming soon
    Margit Carlquist - Charlotte Malcolm
  • Gunnar Björnstrand
    Gunnar Björnstrand - Fredrik Egerman
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