Monogamous at heart, Allen has ended his brief affair with Fellini (Stardust Memories out of 8∏) and gone back to his first love Bergman. Allen's version of Smiles of a Summer Night keeps the period country house setting but reduces the characters to six: two medical swingers, an elderly academic and his much younger fiancée, and a long-married couple whose sex-life has ground to a halt. Allen, of course, plays the frustrated husband (he redirects his energies towards inventing flying bicycles, astral lamps and the like), and gives himself nearly all the funny lines. He spends the rest of the movie satirising the men and adoring the changing moods of the women. His best invention remains his own screen persona, and the Bergman borrowings here provide it with a warm, romantic and old-fashioned setting.
Cast and crew