The LikeTelevision movie channel is proud to present Smiles of a Summer Night, a tale of love, comedy, betrayal, religion, and carnal desires. Released in 1955 and directed by the Swedish master Ingmar Bergman, Sommarnattens leende is right up there in the list of top Bergman films. It reminded me very much of Jean Renoir's 1939 satiric look at love, Rules of the Game. My goodness, the folks back then sure did carry on. The scene at the end with seminarian son yearning for closure on his tortured love with his dad's wife - gets an answer from heaven. Well, not really - you will have to see it. A great movie - 10.
Smiles of a Summer Night
Directed by - Ingmar Bergman
(1955) - B&W - 109 min
We meet our main character, Lawyer Fredrik Egerman, a workaholic, neat freak, and oh so smart a dresser. Of course his beard is trimmed in the oddest of ways. Let's face it, Lawyer Egerman is pretty uptight. He was married, and had a son Henrik with his first wife. She died. So - he found an actress named Desiree that he feel in love with. . She left him and they never got married. Later on, he married a young 16 year old girl named Anne. Anyway... this is just some of the background of poor lawyer Egerman's legacy of love and love lost. Desiree comes back and Fredrik gets tickets for the show. His wife hates it and leaves - Fredrik sneaks out to be with Desiree.
Desiree Armfeldt, the famous actress played by Eva Dahlbeck
Desiree plays some guitar in the parlor for the count and her guests
But Frederik is not the only one who like Desiree Armfeldt. It seems there's a Count Carl Malcolm who is insanely jealous and has more than one screw loose. This poor guy is hopelessly enslaved by his testosterone. He's brute, a loudmouth, and a conceited puffball - and that's when he's behaving. Anyway - when he finds poor lawyer Egerman there, he is not very happy.
Ulla Jacobsson as young Anne Egerman, who is Lawyer Egerman's second wife - about 25+ years his junior
And speaking of not happy - there's the Count's wife, Countess Charlotte Egerman. She still really loves the Count, even though he is an adulterous lout. But she is also bitter and tells Anne, Egerman's young wife that Fredrik was out sneaking around last night.
Smiles of a Summer Night
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Gunnar Bjornstrand stars as lawyer Fredrik Egerman
And I forgot to mention - when Fredrik saw Desiree, she met her son who just happens to be named Fredrik. We never find out if it is Egerman's son, but the age would be right. Meanwhile - Desiree tires of the Count and wants to win back Fredrik. It seems the Count went after her with a fire poker.
Count Carl Malcolm takes a sip of the imposing wine mixture (it has the drop of a mother's breast milk for instance)
To pull off her scheme to win back Lawyer Egerman, she asks her enemy Countess Charlotte for help. Why would Charlotte want to help her husband's mistress? To get back her husband of course. So the game is on. And Desiree's mom throws a big dinner party to bring everyone together at the same time.
the troubled and sexually repressed Henrik Egerman - who is considering a career in the priesthood. Well not long - he runs off with his father's second wife.
Wow - I missed this development. It seems Fredrik's son Henrik has a thing for Fredrik's young wife Anne. How this part of the story develops is just too funny, especially the hilarious ending.
The old farm hand waxes poetic and explains the 3 smiles, which appear to times during one's life when you are in love. As a young lover, someone who is middle aged, and someone who is older. No - it is not heavy or all preachy, the scene is actually quite endearing. And the twists and turns in the climax will keep you glued and wanting more. Smiles of a Summer Night is a great movie.
Petra the maid, played by Harriet Andersson is one saucy little girl.
Watching Henrik's prayer get answered in the final part is too funny. it shouln't be, but it is quite funny.