Smiles of a Summer Night - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Smiles of a Summer Night Reviews

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½ September 25, 2016
Similar to Regle de Jeu, this is a so-called comedy about infidelity. I didn't find it very funny or interesting at all. A tough one to get through.
August 1, 2016
5/5 My favourite type of Bergman is romantic and comedic Bergman. So it would make sense that Smiles of a Summer Night, a romantic comedy, would be simply wonderful. Focusing on themes such as vice, virtue, temptation, lust and loyalty, this film isn't afraid to enter the darker sides of love and relationships. The third act became a bit bizarre and hard to follow, but when looking back there's a lot to dissect. I was smiling almost the whole time.
July 10, 2016
I was surprised by how much I loved this Ingmar Bergman film, I found it highly enjoyable. I don't think I'd seen a comedy from him, it was a nice change and he's really adept at it. It's a fun story, that despite being set in the early 1900's and released in 1955, still felt modern to me. I can definitely see myself revisiting this film. Highly recommended!
September 7, 2015
reel good period pic set in 1900
April 5, 2015
Love and relationships.
November 5, 2014
screening this Saturday at C4, Mission Beach at 7pm. Please come and join us.
½ October 14, 2014
I'm not exactly sure why I wasn't overly fond of this. It was kind of boring, and it wasn't very funny at all, maybe aside from a few random lines. I've heard lots of great things about this film, but maybe I'm just not a fan of Bergman comedies.
½ August 6, 2014
Bergman hits one out of the park on his first at-bat. A keeper.
July 15, 2014
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.
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.
January 9, 2014
This might be the greatest battle-of-the-sexes movie ever. Women are beautiful, conniving beasts and we lowly men are forever in their loving clutches.
sanjurosamurai
Super Reviewer
½ December 28, 2013
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.
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.
August 20, 2013
This movie is generally regarded as Ingmar Bergman's lightest and most comedic work, which means it only has one or two moments of piercing existential horror. It's a great story, with lots of romantic intrigue and scheming and general troublemaking. If you already like Bergman, it would be a good break from his darker stuff; if you've never seen a Bergman movie, it would be a good choice to ease you into his exceptional but often-difficult body of work.

The plot, set near the beginning of the 20th century in Sweden, is almost too complicated to recount, but I'll try. We begin with Frederik Egerman (Gunnar Bjornstrand), a widowed lawyer in his early 50s, who recently married a 19-year-old girl named Anne (Ulla Jacobsson) but has yet to consummate the marriage. His gloomy son Henrik (Bjorn Bjelvenstam) might also be in love with the girl, who after all is much closer to his own age. Their perky maid Petra (Harriet Andersson) flirts with both men. Meanwhile, a famous actress named Desiree (Eva Dahlbeck) is in town, and it seems she might have a past with Frederik, a past her current paramour Count Malcolm (Jarl Kulle) is none too happy about. Of course, Malcolm's own wife Charlotte (Margit Carlquist) is herself unhappy about the fact that her husband has a mistress. Someone insanely decides it would be a good idea for all these people to spend some time together at a country estate, and things happen.

As you can see from the plot description, this movie is all about relationships, in contrast with his more well-known movies about death (The Seventh Seal, Cries & Whispers). The movie approaches most of the material in a fairly light, arch manner reminiscent of Oscar Wilde, though the dialogue is only occasionally as funny as Wilde's. The cast of course consists entirely of actors you're only likely to see in other Ingmar Bergman movies, but they're all great. I particularly liked Harriet Andersson as the maid Petra, who's the liveliest character in the bunch.

While it is indeed a fairly light film all around, you still get glimpses of the sort of bleak material Bergman would focus on in later films, such as when Charlotte delivers an utterly sincere monologue straight to camera about how much she loathes all men. While the movie doesn't make quite as strong an impression on the audience as the unforgettable The Seventh Seal, it's still a very well-crafted film, and it's interesting to see that Bergman had a lighter side early on in his career.
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."
June 26, 2013
Probably Bergman's best comedy, but I prefer when he covers the more dramatic. The convoluted plot is handled with the lightest of touches and I can see how this has influenced other films (namely Woody Allen's A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy), but for all of its wit I can't subscribe to it being even one of Ingmar's greatest films, let alone one of the greatest films of all time.
½ 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.
February 2, 2013
A spicy romance film.
½ January 5, 2013
Excellent comedy of mores and manners, set in Sweden about 1890. Terrific script (by Bergman), direction and casting. What a contrast with the mostly dark films he made ever after this! Worth reminding yourself as you watch this that Bergman wasn't just a filmmaker; he was director of Sweden's Royal Theater for many years. This could easily be adapted for the stage.
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