DJÄVULENS ÖGA is an elegant comedy that appears to have been born of a single humorous idea. At the beginning it is explained that the title comes from an Irish saying (in reality made up by Bergman): “A young woman’s chastity is a sty in the Devil’s eye.” The Prince of Darkness (Stig Järrel) does in fact have a swollen eye, because it bugs him that the pretty vicar’s daughter Britt-Marie (Bibi Andersson) is planning to enter marriage still a virgin. A true scandal, confirm his diabolic assistants Count Armand de Rouchefoucauld and Marquis Giuseppe de Maria Macopanza. Who could remedy the situation? Only Don Juan (Jarl Kulle), of course, says Satan. He decides to send the world’s greatest seducer up to Earth to put an end to Britt-Marie’s chastity. On his way to the vicar’s home Don Juan is accompanied by his servant Pablo and a Demon in monk’s habit as a watchdog.
Bergman plays with the clichés of Hell, demons and female chastity, adds a touching seduction scene between Pablo and the vicar’s wife, and even lets Don Juan recount the scene with the Commendatore’s statue from Mozart’s opera. DJÄVULENS ÖGA was Bergman’s last feature film shot by his long-time director of photography Gunnar Fischer. From then on Sven Nykvist almost always stood behind the camera.
by Ingmar Bergman
with Jarl Kulle, Bibi Andersson, Nils Poppe