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Don't just take our word for it. 'A bona fide fiasco,' was Bergman's own assessment of his directorial debut. Adapted from a Danish play Moderdyret (The Maternal Instinct) by Leck Fischer, it's a wholly contrived melodrama following the turmoil when errant mother Löfgren arrives in a tranquil village to collect the now teenage daughter (Landgré) left in the foster care of piano teacher Lind. The girl's soon working in her mum's Stockholm beauty parlour, but a potentially destructive relationship with handsome gigolo Olin sees her reassessing her priorities. Bergman's inexperience shows in the stodgy camerawork, stiff performances and sledgehammer use of music, while the eventual triumph of decent but dull country folk over iniquitous townies proves dismayingly parochial. Only Olin's existentially challenged artist/wastrel has the genuine Bergman tang, leading the rumpus as jazz-loving teens disrupt an establishment ball in a rare scene suggesting a film-maker of any promise.

Release details

Duration: 93 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Screenwriter: Ingmar Bergman
Cast: Dagny Lind
Inga Landgré
Marianne Löfgren
Stig Olin
Allan Bohlin
Ernst Eklund
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