Swedish Wedding Night
1964 Christina Schollin
A rare combination of glowing sentimentality and lusty earthiness is to be found in Swedish Wedding Night the Royal Films International release that opened in 1964. In New York, when Swedish Wedding Night first opened, the New York Times found it "rousingly Rabelaisian," and other newspapers came up with phrases like "wildly Scandinavian and scandalous" and "touches of poetic beauty."
Swedish Wedding Night is all of these, and more.
Set in the rough, forbidding loneliness of a small Swedish town, the new Ake Falck film uses a wedding day - and night - to tell a story of loveless women and lost men, who employ sex as an escape from their way of life.
The bride is a young farm girl, still innocent in a world where innocence has been lost, even though she loves an itinerant farm worker and is carrying his child. The groom is the widowed, well-to-do, woman-chasing town butcher, oafish and eager.
Surrounding these two are others, all of whom have passions or frustrations which explode in the course of
the wedding or the party that follows. The bridegroom's daughter remembers, and still yearns for, her first lover; the farmhand is found hanged; the best man at the wedding is quietly planning his own campaign to get the bride; and the girl herself envisions an empty future. This emptiness is painfully realized when her new husband, sodden with drink, passes out in the kitchen of their new home, and the best man takes over the nuptial bed.
Jarl Kulle is fine as the butcher, as is Christina Schollin as the forlorn bride. Lena llensson also is appealing as the daughter who remembers her own first liaison, and sympathizes with her new, young mother-in-law. Lars Ekborg plays the best man at the wedding, and after, and George Arlin contributes a notable moment of pathos at the wedding party, as an addled friend who once dreamt of an operatic career.
Ake Falck directed Swedish Wedding Night from a screenplay by Lars Widding. A Minerva film production, Swedish Wedding Night was produced by Tore Sjoberg and Lorens Marmstedt.
Scandinavian nations and peoples once were considered cold and forbidding, but the advent of the motion picture changed that misconception. The appearance and performances of actresses like Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman, the recent films of the (unrelated) Ingmar Bergman, have led to a new view of an ancient land. Swedish Wedding Night the Royal Films International release that the New York Times described as "rousingly Rabelaisian!"
Swedish Wedding Night is concerned with a small town wedding, its bride and groom, their relatives, friends and lovers. The wedding, like weddings everywhere, arouses a considerable emotional storm.
The bride, touchingly portrayed oy Christina Schollin, is a young farm girl who loves an itinerant worker, and is carrying his child. The groom, played by Karl Julle, is an oafish, well-to-do butcher, a woman-chaser whose grown-up daughter has problems of her own; she remembers her first lover and still yearns for him.
The wedding party that follows the ceremony turns into a drunken brawl, with the various emotional conflicts building into explosive moments. The bride's lover is found hanged, casting a sobering night of tragedy on the wedding night, and the bridegroom becomes so drunk he passes out on the kitchen floor. The wedding night, for the bride, becomes a bleak encounter with the best man, and a prophetic start on a loveless future.
According to advance report, Swedish Wedding Night possesses moments of poetic beauty along with its vivid earthiness, a tribute to the direction of Ake Falck and to the performances of its players.