Bergman's first major success, inspiration for both Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music and Woody Allen's A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, this enchanting comedy of manners assembles a team of couples, ex-couples and would-be couples, and puts them through their paces in a game of love at a country house party during one heady midsummer weekend in 1900. Ruthless towards its characters' amorous pretensions, but extending a kind of ironic tenderness when they get hoist with their own petards, it is a wonderfully funny, genuinely erotic, and quite superbly acted rondo of love. Dig too deeply and it disintegrates, but its facade - decked out in elegant turn-of-the-century settings and costumes - has a magical, shimmering beauty.
Cast and crew
Eva Dahlbeck Ulla Jacobsson Harriet Andersson Margit Carlqvist Gunnar Björnstrand Jarl Kulle Ake Fridell Björn Bjelvenstam Naima Wifstrand Bibi Andersson