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Smiles of a Summer Night

Sommarnattens leende

One of the most popular and acclaimed of Bergman’s films, Smiles of a Summer Night marks the culmination of the director’s achievements up to this point in his career. The movement towards establishing a balance of sympathies between idealistic young love and the compromises of experience that Bergman began in Waiting Women, reaches its final and perfect expression in Smiles. There are four men and four women who, during a single night at a country house at the turn of the last century, display their interests and affections in a mood of cultivated merriment. The tone is unstintingly hedonistic, and the dialogue is filled with licentiousness. Yet this Rabelaisian humour is never gratuitous. The complex interaction of the characters in the course of the intrigue makes the film a continually shifting kaleidoscope in which different relationships and attitudes to love become juxtaposed, to be compared and evaluated. 1955.
English subtitles.
Black and white.
108 mins.

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