(out of 5)
Ingmar Bergman directs this mildly satisfying melodrama about the turgid marriage between two musicians who meet while performing in the same orchestra. We initially discover that the wife has died in a kitchen accident (unusually depressing even for the master of sorrow) and then we flash back seven years to when the couple met, fell in love, got pregnant, married and began years of torturing each other with their frustrations. She falls into depression while he takes a lover, but none of the drama ever gets under the skin despite terrific performances, and none of the relationships depicted engender much interest. The best parts of the film are the performances of classical music, including lovely renditions of Mozart and Beethoven, with the wonderfully lively Victor Sjöström (who would later create movie history with Bergman in Wild Strawberries) as the tempestuous conductor with exacting standards. This is Ingmar Bergman showing some impressive skill, but it’s not the Bergman who would conquer the international cinema circuit a few years later.
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Screenplay by Ingmar Bergman
Cinematography by Gunnar Fischer
Produced by Allan Ekelund
Production Design by Nils Svenwall
Film Editing by Oscar Rosander