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.