Stephen Sondheim's adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night is an elaborate musical homage-cum-variation. It still centres on a yearn-of-the-century country house party, at which virginities are lost, adulteries are floated, and True Love wins through. Sondheim muffles the Freud but constructs some wonderful contrapuntal duets and trios, with characters in different places singing on top of each other. Harold Prince's film version is devoid of filmic ideas, but does give Elizabeth Taylor her least ridiculous part in a decade, and generally has decent performances. However, it also cuts the original score in a way that reduces the emotional credibility, and crassly highlights the weakest (because most conventional) song, 'Send in the Clowns'. Not offensive, just silly.
A Little Night Music
Cast and crew