Eclipse 1935: Munkbrogreven

Oooh. Oldee tymey Swedish movie. I haven’t really seen that much pre-50s Swedish stuff, I think?

This is a pretty unusual Criterion Eclipse box set. Virtually all of them are selections from a specific director, and there’s a couple sets that collects different directors working in the same idiom, but … this may be the only box set where the theme is the actor?

So this is a collection of (some of) Ingrid Bergman’s Swedish movies.

Hm, the technical … er… qualities are slightly lacking. I mean, basics like lighting and stuff.

And… framing… I mean, this looks like it’s been cropped, but apparently it was filmed this way?

Oh my god! Ingrid! She’s so young! And she speaks Swedish!

imdb claims that this was filmed in 1.37:1 (and the image on the imdb is pretty much that — 1.35:1), but it just seems so weird. It’s like the top and bottom of the frames are chopped off in basically every scene. It really looks like a narrower film that has been cut down to make it wider. But it’d be weird to cut a movie down to 1.35:1, so perhaps the camera operator was just kinda… not… good?

Or… perhaps the top/bottom of the film was of bad quality, and they decided to remove it during restoration? Because this has been nicely restored.

It’s fresh!!

I understand Swedish, but I’m glad this has English subtitles. There’s so much (I assume) 30s Swedish slang that it’d be pretty difficult to parse some of the repartee here. But the English translations are modern and slang free, and combined, the repartee is understandable and amusing.

Oooh, he’s evil!

This is a most amiable movie, even though (or perhaps because) the plot is pretty vague. It’s just a bunch of different characters that have several plot-lines going… it’s like a pre-proto soap opera thing?

He’s so evil that he’s out of focus!

I really liked this movie. It’s all kinds of wonky, put it manages to pull through on pure charm.

The Count of the Old Town. Edvin Adolphson, Sigurd Wallén. 1935.

This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.

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