A Lesson in Love

lessoninloveGynecologist David Erneman (Gunnar Björnstrand) and his wife (Eva Dahlbeck) have both cheated on each other, but he intends to woo her back on a visit to Copenhagen. The first in a series of three films from director Ingmar Bergman; this one, Smiles of a Summer Night and Dreams were all lighthearted comedies about the little games lovers engage in. The script lets the characters talk about their flaws in a very openhearted way, which seemed to bother critics at the time who expected no earnestness whatsoever from this film… but the wittiness of the dialogue makes up for that. Björnstrand and Dahlbeck make a hilarious couple; their marriage comes across as being humorous, with a touch of causticness… and that’s how the movie itself should be described. 

1954-Sweden. 96 min. B/W. Produced by Allan Ekelund. Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Cast: Gunnar Björnstrand (David Erneman), Eva Dahlbeck (Marianne Erneman), Åke Grönberg (Carl-Adam), Harriet Andersson, Olof Winnerstrand, Renée Björling… Yvonne Lombard, John Elfström, Dagmar Ebbesen, Sigge Fürst, Gösta Prüzelius, Keve Hjelm.

Trivia: Original title: En lektion i kärlek.

Last word: “There was something fateful about the meeting between the three of us: me, Eva, and Gunnar. Both of them were talented and creative actors. They felt inmediately that although I had perhaps not yet written a spectacular text, the collaboration offered them great opportunities. On my part I was panic-stricken as I attempted for the first time to make a comedy. With overt confidence in me and great tact, they taught me how I should go about it.” (Bergman, IngmarBergman.com)

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