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Smiles of a Summer Night (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on October 2, 2009

The nice thing about going through all these Bergmans in chronological order is picking up on certain trends.  This is the culmination of the brilliant verbal sparring between Gunnar Bjornstrand and Eva Dahlbeck, first established in Secrets of Women and later expanded upon in A Lesson of Love.  I think I actually prefer their interactions in Secrets, but mainly because it’s just concentrated Bjornstrand-Dahlbeck goodness.  Here, they’re more spread out among the ensemble cast.  But overall, this is a better picture and my choice for Bergman’s best comedy.  One thing that really makes it unique is that it’s a romantic comedy that manages to be sexy without being either too crass or too highbrow.  Compare it to Woody Allen’s lackluster tribute A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, which tends to stray too far in either direction.  Bergman’s is far more charming.  Rating: 9


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