Review: ‘The Touch’

Shot in English with occasional Swedish dialog and splendidly acted and lensed, The Touch is both a romantic film of great poignancy and strength and an example of masterful cinema honed down to deceptively simple near-perfection.

Shot in English with occasional Swedish dialog and splendidly acted and lensed, The Touch is both a romantic film of great poignancy and strength and an example of masterful cinema honed down to deceptively simple near-perfection.

In telling what is basically a straight triangle tale (bored wife, busy husband, ‘interesting’ and available friend) Bergman seems to be appealing to and aiming primarily at the emotions rather than the intellect.

Not unexpectedly, Bergman’s cast is superb. Bibi Andersson walks away with pic thanks to one of those immense, bigger-than-life performances. Rarely has the moving anguish of a trysting woman been so stirringly caught. Elliott Gould is a perfect choice as the somewhat neurotic foreign archeologist who, despite oafish manners, selfishness and instability, fascinates and attracts her. Max von Sydow does expected wonders with the normally unplayable role of the silently strong husband.

The Touch

Sweden - US

Production

ABC/Persona. Director Ingmar Bergman; Producer Ingmar Bergman; Screenplay Ingmar Bergman; Camera Sven Nykvist; Editor Siv Kanaly-Lundgren; Music Jan Johannson

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1971. Running time: 113 MIN.

With

Bibi Andersson Elliott Gould Max von Sydow Sheila Reid Steffan Hallerstram Maria Nolgard
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