Ingmar Bergman’s first feature. Inga Landgré plays Nelly, an 18-year-old girl raised by a piano-teacher in a small village. Nelly yearns for something more and sees an escape when her estranged mother arrives to claim her. But happiness eludes Nelly in the big city, where a complex triangle forms between her, her mother, and her mother’s gigolo boyfriend.
Bergman’s debut proves modest but engrossing. His formal technique takes a back-seat to his casts’ engaging performances. I appreciated the refreshing lack of Hays-Code morality in the organic plotting. Contemporary Hollywood offerings feel artificial—almost childish—in comparison.
But I confess, the day-for-night shots struck me as lazy until I realized Sweden has 18-hour summer days.