In this small town, we are informed by the narrator, there is nothing to mar the reflective idyll. But then suddenly something very shocking arrives in the hometown of Ingeborg (Dagny Lind) and her foster daughter Nelly (Inga Landgré): Jenny (Marianne Löfgren), Nelly’s biological mother, who entrusted her to the care of Ingeborg some 18 years ago. Jenny has come into money in the big city and now wants to take Nelly back there with her. Nelly loves her dear “Mommy” Ingeborg, but has just quarrelled with her boyfriend Ulf and wants to break out and experience new things. Jenny’s young lover, the slick-tongued actor Jack (Stig Olin), bewitches her with his fantastic stories, and Nelly decides to move to the big city. There she will learn a few lessons ...
In his very first film as director Ingmar Bergman is already developing characteristics that will constantly reappear in his major works: the figure of the artist, the omniscient narrator, the truth in the mirror image, the ironic twist. The story goes that Bergman had desperately wanted to make a film and later said he would have filmed the telephone directory if someone had offered it to him. Be that as it may, particularly in the scene at the hair dresser’s when Jenny silently observes how Jack seduces her daughter one can feel the hand of the master he turned out to be.
by Ingmar Bergman
with Inga Landgré, Marianne Löfgren, Dagny Lind