Smiles of a Summer Night [Criterion Collection]

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Synopsis

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

Product Details

Release Date
5/25/04 
Studio
Criterion
MPAA Rating
NR -- Not rated
Length
1 hour, 48 minutes
Sound
  • Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles
  • English
Video 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
Number of Discs
1

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