Smiles of a Summer Night
Smiles of a Summer Night a.k.a. Smiles on a Summer Night is a 1955 Swedish
Cinema of Sweden
Swedish cinema is known as producing many critically acclaimed movies, and during the 20th century was the most prominent of Scandinavia. This is largely due to the popularity and prominence of the directors Ingmar Bergman, Victor Sjöström, and more recently Lasse Hallström and Lukas...

 comedy film
Comedy film
Comedy film is a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humour. They are designed to elicit laughter from the audience. Comedies are mostly light-hearted dramas and are made to amuse and entertain the audiences...

 directed by Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was a Swedish director, writer and producer for film, stage and television. Described by Woody Allen as "probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera", he is recognized as one of the most accomplished and...

. It was the first of Bergman's films to bring the director international success, due to its exposure at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival
1956 Cannes Film Festival
-Jury:*Maurice Lehmann *Arletty *Louise de Vilmorin *Jacques-Pierre Frogerais *Henri Jeanson *Domenico Meccoli *Otto Preminger *James Quinn *Roger Regent *María Romero...

. In 2005 it was on TIME magazine's "100 Movies" list of the best movies of all time.

The film's plot—which involves switching partners on a summer night—has been adapted many times, most notably as the theatrical musical, A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. Inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, it involves the romantic lives of several couples. Its title is a literal English translation of the German name for Mozart's Serenade...

by Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Joshua Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist for stage and film. He is the winner of an Academy Award, multiple Tony Awards including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, multiple Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laurence Olivier Award...

, Hugh Wheeler
Hugh Wheeler
Hugh Callingham Wheeler was an English-born playwright, screenwriter, librettist, poet, and translator. He resided in the United States from 1934 until his death and became a naturalized citizen in 1942. He had attended London University.Under the noms de plume Patrick Quentin, Q...

 and Harold Prince, which opened on Broadway in 1973, and as Woody Allen
Woody Allen
Woody Allen is an American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, jazz musician, author, and playwright. Allen's films draw heavily on literature, sexuality, philosophy, psychology, Jewish identity, and the history of cinema...

's film A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy is a 1982 film written, directed by and starring Woody Allen.The plot is loosely based on Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night. This was the first of 13 movies that Allen would make starring Mia Farrow...



Fredrik Egerman is a middle-aged lawyer married to a 19 year old beauty, Anne. Their two-year marriage is still unconsummated, due to Anne's reticence. Fredrik has a son, Henrik, from his marriage to his late first wife. Henrik is in his early 20s and is a student studying to be a minister; he is currently tormented by his love for his step-mother, who secretly loves him in return. Henrik is distracting himself from his semi-Oedipal urges by engaging in an unhappy affair with Fredrik's lusty young servant, Petra. Between his two marriages, Fredrik had an affair with a notable stage actress, the beautiful Desiree Armfeldt, but she broke off the relationship. Desiree currently has a young son named Fredrik, born shortly after her affair with Fredrik Egerman—it is implied but never directly stated that little Fredrik Armfeldt is the son of Fredrik Egerman. Currently, Desiree is having an affair with a brutal army officer, Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm. The Count's wife, Charlotte, is an old friend of Anne Egerman.

Fredrik goes to see Desiree one night to pour out his marital troubles and ask for her help. Due to an accident with a puddle, Fredrik ends up at Desiree's house wearing the Count's nightshirt, and the violently jealous Count turns up unexpectedly and threatens Fredrik with violence unless he leaves. Once Fredrik is gone, the Count treats Desiree violently, leading her to want to break off the affair. The Count tells his wife about the encounter and orders her to tell Anne about Fredrik's supposed infidelity (no infidelity actually occurred, however). Charlotte ends up confessing to Anne that she loves her husband despite everything and would do anything to be loved in return. In order to solve these woes, Desiree has her mother invite all of the cast of characters to her country house for a summer party. Over the course of one night, Henrik and Anne, upon unexpectedly finding themselves alone together in a bed, consummate their relationship and then elope, with the assistance of Henrik's former lover, Petra, and Petra's currently lover, Frid. Fredrik sees the lovers depart but does nothing. Charlotte then joins Fredrik, and upon learning that his wife is with Fredrik, the Count interrupts them and challenges the lawyer to a game of Russian roulette
Russian roulette
Russian roulette is a potentially lethal game of chance in which participants place a single round in a revolver, spin the cylinder, place the muzzle against their head and pull the trigger...

, but in the end it is revealed that the Count secretly loaded the gun with soot and neither were in danger. After the game, the Count reunites with his wife, his feelings for her renewed by his jealousy. Desiree comforts Fredrik, and the four pairs of lovers retire to be happy together.


  • Ulla Jacobsson
    Ulla Jacobsson
    Ulla Jacobsson was a Swedish actress who is perhaps best known for playing one of the very few female roles in the film Zulu....

     – Anne Egerman
  • Eva Dahlbeck
    Eva Dahlbeck
    Eva Dahlbeck was a Swedish actress and author.Eva Dahlbeck was born in Saltsjö-Duvnäs near Stockholm. She attended the prestigious acting school of the Royal Dramatic Theatre from 1941 to 1944, and acted on the Theatre's stage from 1944 to 1964...

     – Desiree Armfeldt
  • Harriet Andersson
    Harriet Andersson
    Harriet Andersson is a Swedish actress, known outside Sweden for being part of one of director Ingmar Bergman's stock company....

     – Petra
  • Margit Carlqvist
    Margit Carlqvist
    Margit Carlqvist is a Swedish actress. She was born in Stockholm.In Sweden she starred in many movies during the 1950s, mostly as some kind of vamp...

     – Countess Charlotte Malcolm
  • Gunnar Björnstrand
    Gunnar Björnstrand
    Gunnar Björnstrand was a Swedish actor known for his frequent work with writer/director Ingmar Bergman. He was born in Stockholm. He appeared in over 180 films....

     – Fredrik Egerman
  • Jarl Kulle – Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm
  • Åke Fridell – Frid
  • Björn Bjelfvenstam
    Björn Bjelfvenstam
    Björn Bjelfvenstam is a Swedish film actor. He was born in Uppsala, Sweden.-Selected filmography:* Secrets of Women * Smiles of a Summer Night * Last Pair Out * Wild Strawberries...

     – Henrik Egerman
  • Naima Wifstrand
    Naima Wifstrand
    Naima Wifstrand was a Swedish film actress, operetta singer, troubadour, director and composer. Internationally, she was most notable for strong supporting parts in her later years in a number of Ingmar Bergman-films.-Biography:...

     – Mrs. Armfeldt
  • Jullan Kindahl
    Jullan Kindahl
    Jullan Kindahl was a Swedish film actress. She appeared in 33 films between 1923 and 1962.-Selected filmography:* Smiles of a Summer Night * Last Pair Out * Mr. Sleeman Is Coming...

     – Beata
  • Gull Natorp
    Gull Natorp
    Gull Natorp was a Swedish film actress. She appeared in 76 films between 1913 and 1956.-Selected filmography:* Iris and the Lieutenant * Smiles of a Summer Night -External links:...

     – Malla
  • Birgitta Valberg
    Birgitta Valberg
    Birgitta Valberg is a Swedish actress who attended the Dramatens elevskola.- Filmography :*1992 - Söndagsbarn*1989 - Peter och Petra*1980 - Flygnivå 450*1977 - Paradistorg...

     – Actress
  • Bibi Andersson
    Bibi Andersson
    Bibi Andersson is a Swedish actress.-Early life:Bibi Andersson was born as Berit Elisabeth Andersson in Kungsholmen, Stockholm, the daughter of Karin , a social worker, and Josef Andersson, a businessman...

    – Actress

External links

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