Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Ulf Palme,
A fashion director, Susanne (Eva Dahlbeck), and her top model, Doris (Harriet Andersson), journey from Stockholm to Gothenburg for a shoot. While there, Susanne attempts a reconciliation with a married lover. The flighty Doris becomes involved with a wealthy gentleman (Gunnar Björnstrand) who senses that she can be bought: drawn to the innocence of youthful materialism, he becomes lost in a funhouse of desire that leaves him first weakened, then sickened, then, as he began, alone. For her part, the girl has her first real encounter with possession. Susanne is a study in obsession as played by a Kim Novak–like Dahlbeck—too blond, too statuesque, lost in interior pursuit of the past. Her train ride to Gothenburg relates in purely cinematic terms the emotional journey that lies ahead, one very similar to the old man’s. Bergman uses his cinema of reflection—self and other are met and merged in mirrors, windows—to show love as a function of projection: only desire, never its object, is worthy of the effort.