Grim drama deals with an old man (Victor Sjostrom) who is on his way to get an honorary doctorate degree after 50 years as a doctor. He is accompanied by his daughter-in-law (Ingrid Thulin). The trip becomes a reliving of the old man's life as he realizes he led an empty life due to his stuffiness, egotism and inability to really love and feel. Nightmares, dreams and reminiscences are expertly blended as space and time are broken to work on the various levels of the man's thoughts.

Grim drama deals with an old man (Victor Sjostrom) who is on his way to get an honorary doctorate degree after 50 years as a doctor. He is accompanied by his daughter-in-law (Ingrid Thulin). The trip becomes a reliving of the old man’s life as he realizes he led an empty life due to his stuffiness, egotism and inability to really love and feel. Nightmares, dreams and reminiscences are expertly blended as space and time are broken to work on the various levels of the man’s thoughts.

Pic sometimes talks too much in philosophical asides, but it remains a searching pictorial analysis of a man’s life. Expert directorial touches and notations of director Ingmar Bergman, and the dignified miming of oldtime director Sjostrom, plus other fine thespic additions, make this an offbeater. It’s a personal and profound work.

Smultronstallet

Sweden

Production

Svensk Filmindustri. Director Ingmar Bergman; Screenplay Ingmar Bergman; Camera Gunnar Fischer; Editor Oscar Rosander; Music Erik Nordgren; Art Director Gittan Gustafsson

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1957. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Victor Sjostrom Bibi Andersson Ingrid Thulin Gunnar Bjornstrand Folke Sundquist Naima Wifstrand
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