Port of Call (1948)



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Movie Info

Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman seldom had much to say concerning his early feature Port of Call (Hamnstad), perhaps because of the film's unsatisfying shift of tone from grim to upbeat towards the climax (one gets the feeling that this was dictated by Bergman's financiers). Still, this stark tale of the waterfront contains several elements that would come to full fruition in Bergman's later works, notably the troublesome necessity to break away from tradition. The story involves a romance between dockhand Ivine-Christine Jonsson and ex-prostitute Bengt Eklund, and the problems faced by Jonsson in coming to grips with his own puritanical attitudes concerning his beloved's past. While the ending is technically "happy," it is clear that the problems are not completely resolved, and we are invited to speculate on the couple's future. Port of Call would not be released in the US until 1960, after Bergman's reputation had been affirmed by such classics as The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries.


Mimi Nelson
as Gertrud
Berta Hall
as Berit's mother
Erik Hell
as Berit's Father
Birgitta Valberg
as Welfare Worker
Stig Olin
as Thomas
Sif Ruud
as Mrs. Krona
Hans Straat
as Engineer Vilander
Nils Dahlgren
as Gertrud's father
Sture Ericsson
as Her Father
Harry Ahlin
as Skaningen
Yngve Nordwall
as Factory Foreman
Hans Sundberg
as His Friend
Hans Str__t
as Engineer Vilander
Hanny Schedin
as Gunnar's mother
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Critic Reviews for Port of Call

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

It's no less schematic than it sounds, but solid performances and straightforward handling make Bergman's fourth feature the most fully achieved, though hardly most characteristic, of his fledgling film career to that point.

Jul 23, 2013 | Full Review…

A film full of stylish grimaces and embryonic Bergmanisms, for stout-hearted students in search, of something besides entertainment.

Jul 19, 2018 | Full Review…

It's a bleak world of hard-faced dock workers and stringy authority figures, where adults are no longer interested in romance or books and even a night out at the movies is just a prelude to a street brawl.

Jul 23, 2013 | Full Review…

Gritty dockside melodrama.

Aug 14, 2007 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Rewarding, if sombre, slice of Swedish street life that demonstrates Bergman's trademark visual ingenuity and expert characterisation.

Jul 30, 2007 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

An early, minor work by Ingmar Bergman, interesting mainly in the general context of the great director's career.

Aug 29, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Port of Call


Full Review Coming Soon!

Chris Browning
Chris Browning

Super Reviewer

this was really 3/4 of a great film. i was interested in the characters and the visuals were great as this was the first collaboration between bergman and gunnar, but the end lost focus a bit. overall a realist human drama worthy of viewing.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer


An early film from Ingmar Bergman, it is just as interesting on a visual scope as his films usually are, with the docklands filmed well and good use of panning and dolly work throughout. In terms of story and acting though, this is rather ordinary stuff, despite some interesting ideas and philosophies about freedom. It seems the easy way to out to just classify this film as interesting but not up to the standard that Bergman would later set, however I cannot think of much else to say here. It certainly is not as thought-provoking and intense as some of his later films, and for those not interested in Bergman or clever camera movement, I could easily imagine this piece coming across as boring.

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

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