Understandably impressed by their Tracy/Hepburn-style bantering in Waiting Women, Bergman wrote Björnstrand and Dahlbeck a vehicle of their own. Structurally, it plays a trick on the audience, for we don't immediately twig that the two are playing a married couple. He's a top gynaecologist drifting into an affair with patient Lombard. Her response is to dash off to Copenhagen to the arms of rough-hewn sculptor Grönberg, her one-time fiancé. Proceedings span the broadly farcical (a nightclub brawl helps clear the air between the combatants) and the subtly insightful (Björnstrand's lunch with rebellious teenage daughter Andersson helps him realise how much he's become disengaged from his own family). Eventually self-knowledge and acceptance help the sexes bridge their differences. A minor but mostly agreeable picture, which finds Bergman gearing up for his altogether more resonant exercise in wise comedy, Smiles of a Summer Night.
A Lesson in Love
Cast and crew