A Little Night Music (1977)



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Movie Info

Beginning its several incarnations as an Ingmar Bergman film named Smiles of a Summer Night, the story was adapted by composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim into a successful Broadway musical directed by Harold Prince. This film, also directed by Prince, is adapted from the stage musical. In the movie, in the early 1900s, a group of friends bound together by complicated romantic entanglements, have come together for an elegant dinner at a country estate. The men present are the current, previous, or prospective lovers of the beautiful actress, Desiree (Elizabeth Taylor), and the other women are all united by their jealousy of her. Sadly, Desiree herself wants to simplify things and settle down -- she envies the wives. The adapted score later won an Oscar. The musical's well-known songs include Every Day a Little Death, A Weekend in the Country, and You Must Meet My Wife. The most famous song from the musical, Send in the Clowns, is sung here by Elizabeth Taylor.


Elizabeth Taylor
as Desiree Armfeldt
Diana Rigg
as Charlotte Mittelheim
Len Cariou
as Frederick Egerman
Lesley-Anne Down
as Anne Egerman
Hermione Gingold
as Mme. Armfeldt
Laurence Guittard
as Carl-Magnus Mittelheim
Lawrence Guittard
as Carl-Magnus Mittelheim
Christopher Guard
as Erich Egerman
Chloe Franks
as Fredericka Armfeldt
Jonathan Tunick
as Conductor
Rudolf Schrympf
as Band Conductor
Jean Sincere
as Box Office Lady
Dagmar Koller
as 1st Lady
Ruth Brinkman
as 2nd Lady
Anna Veigl
as Concierge
Stephan Paryla
as Uniformed Sergeant
Kurt Martynow
as Major Domo
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Critic Reviews for A Little Night Music

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4)

The cast does little to help matters.

Mar 23, 2011 | Full Review…
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Uneven and sometimes slow, pic has good looks.

Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Not offensive, just silly.

Sep 23, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

It's something more than a shock, then, that the film adaptation of the Broadway show not only fails to raise the spirits; it also tramples on them.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 1.5/5

n uninspired screen version of Steven Sondheim's stage play.

Mar 23, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

An abomination of a stage-to-screen adaptation, with disjointed performances that avoids some of the musical's best tunes in an effort to make it more audience friendly.

Jun 22, 2010 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Little Night Music

It has minor charms (Diana Rigg and Len Cariou come to mind), but mostly the film serves as a reminder as to how difficult a task it is to bring most Sondheim musicals to the big screen, if it should even be done at all. The cuts to the score are vexing and Hal Prince seems to have phoned in his direction . . . all in all, it's a disappointing mess.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer


With this much talent on the table this should have been so much better. Liz was a great star but not a singer just the wrong actress for the role she should never have been cast, she does not seem comfortable and is not looking her best. Diana Rigg, Hermoine Gingold and Len Cariou do what they can with their parts and the settings are lovely but the direction is flat, in this sort of whimsy that is deadly. It has moments of pleasure but overall a miss.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

A Little Night Music Quotes

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