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Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)

“Smiles of a Summer Night” (1955) on IMDb
Rating: 4/5
“Smiles of a Summer Night” (1955) movie poster

Amusing, often quite funny romantic comedy with an engaging story, witty dialogue, first-rate acting by the ensemble cast (which includes Gunnar Björnstrand, Ulla Jacobsson, Jarl Kulle, Eva Dahlbeck, and Harriet Andersson), and beautiful cinematography. Its subtle observations ensure that the film can be appreciated on more than one level.

A clever contraption involving a bed makes for a hilarious scene. The suspenseful, seemingly life-and-death serious Russian-roulette scene initially stands in stark contrast to the many humorous moments, but it soon becomes evident that the scene in question fits perfectly with the tone of the film.

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Smiles of a Summer Night is perhaps director Ingmar Bergman’s most accessible film and definitely his most light-hearted one. Bergman, who also wrote the screenplay, is clearly in full command of all aspects of the movie, proving himself to be a skilled director of comedy.

(Seen at a special outdoor screening, during which the audience was treated to at least two bright Perseid meteors.)

(Original title: Sommarnattens leende.)