Marie, a ballet student, falls in love with Henrik. Spending the summer together, Henrik is killed in an accident. Later, she re-lives the experience and begins to construct her future. Bergman remembered it as the first film “in which I felt I was functioning independently”. Pauline Kael wrote “Many of the themes … that Bergman later expanded are here: the artists who have lost their identities, the faces that have become masks, the mirrors that reflect death at work. But this movie, with its rapturous yet ruined love affair, also has a lighter side: an elegiac grace and sweetness.” (96 mins)
Dir: Ingmar Bergman, Sweden 1951


“Films like this are the reason I come out in the rain and face the uncomfortable seats! Almost too sweetly innocent but beautifully made and a great place to get lost (in) for 96 minutes.”

“A classic – still very good.”

“Delightful, innocent times, beautifully shot.”

“A few smiles at last! Beautiful film, language, music, dance and acting.”

“Very poignant – Bergman certainly gets inside peoples’ minds and emotions. Great photography.”

“An interesting piece of work; thoughtful and lovely.”

“Enigmatic, atmospheric, sad, happy – the (whole) human story!”

“Lovely, romantic film with some nice Expressionist touches. A bit overlong but Nilsson [Marie] great at portraying the two stages of a woman’s life.”

“Beautiful photography but rather novelettish – Mills and Boon with Nordic gloom. Did she have nothing but Wild Strawberries for breakfast?”

“A touching romance (but) the ending didn’t fully convince me. Some excellent photography for 1951.”

“Very surprising for Bergman – a lot of laughter! (In) the non-affaire, Marie rather trying (and) Henrik rather boring for much of the time. The tagged-on conversation and Coppelia (sequences) quite puzzling and seemed without any real point. A bit of a disappointment, sorry to say.”

“I’m with Halliwell – neither one thing or another. Perhaps you have to be Swedish?”

“Good scenery and music but not much else.”

“Can I really believe a star would trust a hack with their diary ??”

“The board on which the moustachioed lady and the clergyman played chess was incorrectly set up: otherwise the film correctly followed Aristotle’s rule of drama, that violence should remain outside.”

“Sorry, just not my cup of tea! Tedious, banal dialogue – it might have been bearable in colour!”

“Alone in this God-given vale of tears!”

“The dog deserved an Oscar.”


A:14, B:17, C:9, D:4, E:0 to give 73%