A tender yet unsentimental account of a love affair that turns sour. Harriet Andersson gives a precociously assured performance as a wild, feckless girl from Stockholm's poorer quarter who falls in love with a 19-year-old youth. During an idyllic motor-boat holiday among the islands of the Stockholm archipelago, the girl becomes pregnant and the couple, forced to marry, set up home in a tiny, cramped flat. Very soon, love gives way to distrust and hostility, and they agree to part. Bergman's sympathetic eye and Gunnar Fischer's atmospheric photography invest the locations with a poetic significance, the light and open spaces of the holiday islands contrasted tellingly with the dark claustrophobia of the city, where the flame of the couple's love is slowly extinguished by the lack of air.