Smiles of a Summer Night
A professor in the Department of Scandinavian at UC Berkeley, Linda H. Rugg has written extensively on Ingmar Bergman.
Eva Dahlbeck, Gunnar Björnstrand, Ulla Jacobsson, Harriet Andersson,
One of the cinema’s great erotic comedies. The plot is an Ophulsian ronde of love affairs and intrigues revolving around a middle-aged lawyer (Gunnar Björnstrand); his young wife who remains a virgin; his former mistress, a sophisticated stage actress (Eva Dahlbeck); her lover, and his wife. They gather for a weekend at the country estate of the actress’s elderly mother, who works a kind of magic on this ménage of infinite possibilities. A true parody of the ridiculous male, this is a comic working-out of an idea suggested so tragically in Bergman’s Sawdust and Tinsel—that men are a species of beast who turn to women to save them from being totally humiliated. Not always a smart move.