There are some incredible scenes here that deserve to stay in film history: the Russian roulette, Eva Dahlbeck and her two lovers in the bedroom, the last dinner and the retractable bed of course. I love the moment when comedy/drama meets the fantasy genre during the wine tasting scene. Strongly recommended.
Not only a comedy, but a comedy with all the classical hallmarks of comedy, SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT nonetheless becomes, due to its overall seriousness, a film of disarmingly profound nobility. It is so outrageously great that it is practically harmful. Though its wisdom is a kind of encompassing, paternalistic wisdom, much of the considerable humour of this lively chiaroscuro masterpiece is based in emasculation.
Hilarious romance, with slightly serious undertones that touch on Bergman favorites such as faith, desire, restraint, and pretention. The base, lusty maid and stableman that close the film seem to embrace an earthy, honest humanism that the bourgeoisie only brush through their formal trappings. Music and effects overdone & some makeup is questionable. Dinner scene & landscapes gorgeous. Wonderful acting, esp Dahlbeck
★★★ / DCP/ Bergman’s amusing sex farce has a brooding underbelly populated with unhappy devious characters. For me the first half lulls, while the second, as the characters arrive at the estate brims with inventive charm, such as the sexual frenzy of the priest in training, the foiled suicide, Harriet Anderson’s lusty Petra. A rare, successful venture into comedy for Bergman.
A flawless comedy, perfectly written, staged and performed. At the same time light and bitter, every character is lovable despite (and because of) his or her own flaws; at the end of the game, it feels like everything piece's gone in its right place. Fun, smart, sweet. A delight.
If The Virgin Spring is Bergman’s darkest, Smiles is his most cynically comical and overall most entertaining. The blunt upper class humor and excellent set of characters made it Bergman’s first big international success. So much sexual tension from everyone to everyone throughout the entire thing.
One of those films that insert a thin layer of existential agony into a wonderful comedy-of-manners depiction of gender relations. The critique of the patriarchal separate spheres model (unfifferentiated females vs differentiated males) is effected gently, humorously and in full control of the charming flaws of human (clowns) in pursuit of passions, settling for a giggling pragmatism over haughy dreams. Brilliant!