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Smiles Of A Summer Night Reviews

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Bob S

Super Reviewer

July 17, 2007
Moliere with a little existential angst. Nice.

Ingmar Bergman, 1918-2007

Trivia: Source for Sondheim's A Little Night Music

Super Reviewer

January 22, 2007
i love bergman, but my one criticism of his work would be that it's too seldom cheerful. this film stands tall on being admirably cheerful for a work of his. this, along with the way the story unfolds throughout the smiles of the night, make for an enjoying movie. i think the film is held back by disjointed story telling and a far less purposeful plot than most of his work, but overall a film i liked.
Apeneck F

Super Reviewer

June 20, 2012
Sweden doesn't see a lot of summer, warm weather, and when it finally arrives ... well, blood races, and so the basis of Bergman's surprising (well, its Bergman!?!) romantic comedy involving 4 couples playful verbal sparring with an eye towards eventual mating. Light, full bodied, exquisitely rendered, and a little saucy.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

December 13, 2009
Charming, light-hearted, delicate, and romantic are not the terms most people think to use when describing Bergman films, and yet "Smiles of a Summer Night" is all of these. This is one of the most sophisticated romantic movies ever filmed, and a pure delight. It is a clever and witty romance based on the classic elements of French farce. Simply wonderful.
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

January 6, 2008
This is a rare bird -- a comedy by Ingmar Bergman. It's a mild sex comedy of manners, with several members of the aristocracy having affairs with some of the others, and backstabbing still more of them. They are all then invited to a country house for the weekend to hash things out. Funny writing and good performances made this enjoyable to watch.
Chris B

Super Reviewer

June 4, 2011
Another outstanding Bergman film, one that is a departure of most his traits but still retains a few jabs at religion and his mastery of the craft. Amazing cinematography and beautifully filmed in striking black and white, the film is a wonderful atmosphere to be immersed in for the 109 minute runtime. Teeming to the brim with sexual energy and tension the film sucks you in and you are so focused on the multiple characters and their various relationships you are constantly following each and every word. Before you know things get very serious from the earlier more lighthearted pieces of the film and makes this work not only as a great comedy but a great classic drama piece at the same time. Highly Highly Recommended! If you are more conservative and most Bergman films turn you off, this is a great one to enjoy given a mature audience.

Super Reviewer

December 14, 2008
What a treat when a world-famous film lives up to its reputation. Similar to the shenanigans of Jean Renoir's 'Rules of the Game,' except where that film relied heavily on improvised frivolity, Bergman here crafted a far superior smart comedy with enough interpersonal complications that each sideways glance reveals the characters' inner thoughts. While there are a few of Bergman's dry, isolating philosophical speeches, most are character-fitted niftily into the script. It takes a steely resolve for me to choose to watch Bergman - this one waited four years on my shelf - so I'm very pleased when the results are this rewarding.

Super Reviewer

August 14, 2008
Bergman does comedy!

Lighter in tone compared to most of his other films, but as always brilliant. Witty script and great performances.
Tom S

Super Reviewer

January 14, 2008
It was okay for a change of pace, but I'm glad Bergman stuck to the serious stuff.
November 22, 2011
The last thing I ever expected from Bergman was a romantic/screwball comedy. I don't think it's that great of one, but it's a solid and unexpected addition to his career. Fun if not very funny comedy.
August 6, 2013
In many ways, "Smiles of a Summer Night" is what one might expect from a film labeled in its opening credits as "a romantic comedy by Ingmar Bergman"--there's a heavy emphasis on character and the close-up, long stretches of sometimes rather somber dialogue between the comic bits, and a pervasive sense of melancholy and nostalgia that runs throughout the film and grounds it (there's even a scene where a young theology student attempts suicide, for crying out loud). What is perhaps unexpected for those who know the Bergman of "Cries and Whispers" is that this melancholy only serves to heighten the film's deep and abiding joy and to act as a contrast to the surprisingly frequent goofiness (the last thing I expected from Bergman was an over-the-top Capitano-type character accompanied by a string of wacky musical stingers). "Smiles of a Summer Night" was made after Bergman had directed a stage production of "The Merry Widow," and that sort of turn-of-the-century comedy-of-manners attitude certainly informs his writing and direction here. Even so, it's the spirit of Shakespeare (specifically "As You Like It") and even Ecclesiastes that seems to ground the film philosophically. Time slips irrevocably by, death (as embodied by a figure on a cuckoo clock) marches irreversibly forward, and all we have is the present, the pang of heartbreak and the thrill of love, the smiles of the summer night. "Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun."
January 2, 2012
This is my third Bergman film I've seen and I'm amazed by how different the three of them were. I've seen this story adapted a few times (most notably the Sondheim musical A Little Night Music) so it was nice to finally see the original. It doesn't connect with me on any sort of deep level, but I enjoyed my time watching it. There are some extremely funny moments (I laughed out loud when Henrik, in his moment of despair, accidentally brings his stepmother's bed through the wall). Overall, it's an extremely *pleasant* movie and I liked it, but that's as far as it goes for me.
June 15, 2010
Has some funny moments, still a lot of presumably profound-ish conversation, philosophizing on life, love and whatever, some of it bored me because I am tired.
April 7, 2008
Not a bad film. Very simular to A Midsummer Night's Dream. Ingmar Bergman does great work but his voice translates much better in other genres .
July 19, 2007
It's a comedy, but it's Bergman, so don't expect to split your side laughing (with the possible exception of the Russian Roulette scene). It still definitely packs a punch, and has an incredibly witty dialogue. Perhaps the most useful suggestions are the following: If you're going to cheat on your young virgin wife, at least have the decency to consecrate the marriage! If you're going to cheat on your wife, you're better off not doing so with the wife of a macho soldier. As your overeducated and underloved son returns from divinity school, it's not a good idea to keep a buxom blonde slut around as a housekeeper. Whenever you sleep outside your home, make sure that your room doesn't have any gizmos and gadgets of which you are unaware. And finally, if you're in Sweden during the summer months, try to maintain a normal sleep schedule despite the 23 hours of daylight.
June 1, 2007
The pacing hurts a lot, but it's actually funny and stuff (Bergman, funny, I know!). Plus, it inspired a Sondheim musical. Gotta love that!
June 19, 2014
Ingmar Bergman knows how to make many viewers laugh just as well as how he knows how to smarten up people who watch his movies.
September 16, 2013
This is a good film, and I can see how it launched Bergman's career. And it is admittedly quite interesting to see and Ingmar Bergman comedy. But that said, I just don't love this film like I do his more serious subject matter.
September 1, 2013
For me, the secret behind Smiles of a Summer Night is the way that the story is being told. Even in these days, a script like that could be deadly for some directors. 1955 was a good year for great films, and Bergman's was not the exception.
June 23, 2013
This a great comedy classic and is it a coincidence that one of Stephen Sondheim's greatest and most beloved musical A Little Night Music is based on this Ingmar Bergman film which also considered now a musical theater classic.
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