Bad girls and illicit interludes: Ingmar Bergman outside the box.
Perhaps the two best-known Bergman films to have been marketed in the United States largely as exploitation features, both in urban grindhouses and suburban and rural drive-ins, are motion pictures that on the surface have a lot in common: Sommarlek (Summer Interlude, 1951) and Sommaren med Monika (Summer with Monika, 1953). They share themes (youthful disillusionment and the gaining of wisdom), settings (Stockholm and the archipelago), and basic plot points (romance between young lovers during an all-too-brief Swedish summer/a journey from the city to the wilds and back again). Each are, however, stylistically quite different, with Summer Interlude evoking German Expressionist imagery and the themes of Hollywood melodrama and Summer with Monika reflecting both French poetic realist melancholy and Italian Neorealist documentary grit while also anticipating French New Wave casualness. The former uses flashbacks to explore the subjectivity of a young woman coming to terms with the death of a former lover so that she can finally commit to a new relationship. The latter tells a chronological tale of failed heterosexual romance between teenagers of the working class in a more objective way, if, on balance, privileging the male lover's perspective. Ultimately, however, the two films' similarities are so acute that viewers have been known to confuse one with the other.
As with the aforementioned Bergman productions from this period, it was not simply advertising materials that were crafted to accentuate these films' sexual themes for the U.S. market. Summer Interlude was initially released in the U.S. as Illicit Interlude (Fig. 1) and Summer with Monika was most famously presented in a sixty-two minute, dubbed iteration as, simply, Monika--with the salacious tag line "The Story of a Bad Girl" (Fig. 2)--after briefly being released in a subtitled eighty-six minute version by a different distributor but with similarly sensational marketing (Fig. 3). Ultimately, both films' reedited versions, while hardly unrecognizable to viewers of the originals, are substantially different from the Swedish versions, offering spectators notably distinct experiences. Much has been forgotten about these films' first U.S. appearances over the years, and the first American cuts have not been publically screened for decades. As a result, various inaccuracies--regarding the soundtrack and one of the first American release titles of Monika and the material added (or not added) to both Monika and Interlude--have entered the historical record. A goal of this essay is to correct those errors while also doing something unique in Bergman scholarship: offering open-minded readings of the exploitation market versions of each film. I contend that, while problematic in some ways, the "alternative" versions of these motion pictures, whether seen in drive-in theaters, grindhouses, or art-houses, are themselves not simply bowdlerized exploitation market cuts of "respectable" art films. They themselves function very well as art films, perhaps in some small but interesting ways better as art films--with their own unique qualities--than do Bergman's original versions.
TOWARD AN ILLICIT UNDERSTANDING OF THE ART CINEMA
Accepting this thesis requires a fair consideration of the art film according to recently revised definitions that have finally blurred the boundaries between that cinematic mode and the generally less-respected exploitation film category. Twenty-five years ago, the late exploitation film distributor David F. Friedman offered this puckish comparison, between art-cinema aficionados and the exploitation film loving drive-in audiences to whom he more often catered, as a way to implicitly begin to define the two modes of filmmaking:
[T]here were two distinct marketplaces where more-candid-than-mainstream movies could be profitably proffered, one for the select, sophisticated white-wine-and-canapes crowd, the other, and much larger one, for the less discriminating, cold-beer-and-greaseburger gang. As diverse as the two audiences were, both were intent, oddly enough, on viewing pictures in which human female epidermis was exposed.... Weary of morally safe, but intellectually immature, motion-picture entertainment, snob and slob alike sought the naked truth in their filmfare [sic]. (Youth in Babylon 100)
As more research was completed, scholars realized that it was rather too simple to consider these different marketplaces, the art house on the one hand and the drive-in movie / downtown "grindhouse" on the other, as utterly discrete. For example, Kevin Heffernan notes "respected art distributor Janus Films' huge push to establish crossover popularity for its Ingmar Bergman catalog include[ing] an aggressive courting of the drive-in market for the Academy Award-winning Virgin Spring ... and the retitled Secrets of Women and The Devil's Eye" (119). Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, it came to be seen that these two initial types of cinema were not always distinguishable one from the other and that, as a result, the kind of spectatorship positioning they effect have often been interestingly similar as well. Put another way, the presumably sexually curious spectator of legendary sex-hygiene film Mom and Dad (William Beaudine, 1945) may not, finally, have been so different from the presumably philosophically curious spectator of Alain Resnais' L'annee derniere a Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad, 1961).
For quite some time, of course, authoritative studies have focused on the ways in which the art film and the exploitation film have shared audiences, theaters, and distribution apparatuses in the U.S. On the first page of her excellent study connecting the art cinema to the horror genre, Joan Hawkins states that this undeniable fact "challenge[s] many of our continuing assumptions about the binary opposition of prestige cinema ... and popular culture. Certainly [this] highlights] an aspect of art cinema generally overlooked or repressed in cultural analysis; namely the degree to which high culture trades on the same images, tropes, and themes that characterize low culture" (3). More recently, Rosalind Galt and Karl Schoonover have posited the existence of what they call "[a]rt cinema's impurity," including, among other things, its "impure institutional space" and its "peculiarly impure spectator, both at the level of textual address and in the history of its audiences" (6-8). Even more recently, David Andrews began to fully dismantle the low-brow/high-art distinction that has bedeviled those who have attempted to account for the shared audiences, theaters, aesthetics, and thematic concerns of high-modernist European auteur cinema and inexpensive, often American-made exploitation films. As he puts it, "the art house was never a monolithic repository of 'art-house taste.' Rather, it was a pluralist bazaar, interchanging sexploitation, horror and mondo movies with an ad hoc muddle of traditionally highbrow 'foreign films'" ("Toward an Inclusive, Exclusive Approach to Art Cinema" 63). All told, one can say that the art cinema and the exploitation film have constituted spectators whose lusts on the one hand and critical faculties on the other have always been simultaneously, or nearly simultaneously, addressed.
With this contextual approach to art cinema (focusing on the contexts in which the films appear: constructing a definition of the art-film mode primarily by looking at their audiences, venues, and distributors), it is easy to brush aside earlier formalist work that is of value in an assessment of the art film/exploitation film intersection. David Bordwell's study of art-cinema narration has certainly suffered some disapprobation of late, (4) and while it is certainly valid to identify his many omissions and oversimplifications regarding what the art cinema is in practice, his study remains a helpful catalogue of the narrative and stylistic attributes undeniably characteristic of what most observers understood mid-century art cinema to be at the time it was appearing across the globe. While Andrews is correct to refer to what counts as the catalogue of "high brow 'foreign films'" as a "muddle"--after all, a lot separates L'homme de Rio (That Man from Rio, Philippe de Broca, 1964) from Gertrude (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1964)--there was a body of work in the post-war era that was so singular, idiosyncratic, and recognizable that it could be widely parodied in SCTV skits, on The Simpsons, and in a particularly (in)famous "why are foreign films so foreign" Bud Dry commercial televised in 1991. For my purposes here, Bordwell offers illuminating examples of formal attributes that this body of work shares with exploitation films such as the bowdlerized Bergman films. For instance, Bordwell argues that art-cinema narration, "taking its cue from literary modernism," questions nineteenth century fiction's understandings of reality: "the world's laws may not be knowable, personal psychology may be indeterminate." For him, "new aesthetic conventions claim to seize other 'realities'" and new techniques such as "abrupt cutting, long takes" and "a loosening of cause and effect" and "episodic construction" serve to alienate the spectator from the previous century's concept of what Polish modernist author Witold Gombrowicz, reflecting on the trauma of modernism, famously called the now-extinct "world of given reality" (Bordwell 206, Gombrowicz 106). With all this understood, it may seem less-than-outrageous to posit, finally, that the oft-criticized violence done to Summer Interlude and Summer with Monika in the preparation and marketing of the American exploitation-market versions, in which "abrupt cutting" led to a "loosening of cause and effect" structures and "episodic construction," actually took two of Bergman's more traditionally, classically crafted films and, ironically enough in the final analysis, gave them more of what would later be considered a mid-century art-film sensibility according to Bordwell's definition. It also almost goes without saying that this conclusion also suggests the formal proximity of art-cinema to exploitation film. Ultimately, then, it must be acknowledged that there are actually some aesthetic pleasures to be found only in the "compromised" cuts of each of these films.
Of the two, Monika has, we repeatedly have been told, suffered the most disapprobation in the U.S. Much of the discussion about the "mishandling" of Monika builds upon the fact that exploitation film distributor Kroger Babb's sixty-two minute dubbed-and-rescored version of the (ninety-six minute) film, booked primarily in suburban and rural drive-in theaters by Babb and his associate David Friedman (along with other small regional distributors), was seized by law enforcement officials on obscenity charges upon its premiere in the Los Angeles area in February 1956. (5) A viewing of this version, a copy of which has only recently been discovered in the Janus Films' archives, proves that many of the assertions routinely repeated about it are incorrect. Firstly, the title of the Kroger Babb version, distributed under the imprimatur of Babb's company, Hallmark Films, was not Monika, the Story of a Bad Girl, as repeatedly claimed. (6) Viewing it, one can confirm that the title as it appears on screen is simply Monika (see Fig. 23 below). (7) Secondly, while Babb replaced Erik Nordgren's fine, sparsely deployed score with often-cloying music by popular American composer Les Baxter, it is not a "jazz," or even a particularly "jazzy," score, as commonly reported, even, embarrassingly enough, by myself in an earlier publication. (8) Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, now that the sixty-two minute version of Monika (hereafter referred to as the Hallmark cut) has been found, I can confirm that it contains no added salacious content as many film historians have suggested. (9) Upon watching the Hallmark cut, one notes that, in fact, a lengthy instance of nudity found in Bergman's cut has actually been excised. This particular footage of Monika, seen from behind walking into the sea, appears twice in Bergman's cut, once midway through the film and then again later, as a flashback in the film's concluding moments. Viewers of the Hallmark version see only the latter instance. In effect, this forces viewers to sit through the film to the very end to see the much-ballyhooed imagery of Harriet Andersson's naked body. Finally, there were, again, two different early release versions of Summer with Monika in the U.S., handled, it seems, by different distributors. According to Jack Stevenson, film importer Gaston Hakim sold rights he claimed he had to Monika to "the legendary exploitation duo of Kroger Babb and David F. Friedman ... in 1955" (16). Just prior to this, however, Hakim, in collaboration with Arthur and Helene Davis seems to have premiered the eighty-six minute version in Washington, DC on September 1, 1955, (10) weeks before the sixty-two minute Hallmark version began being promoted in smaller American markets. (11) The less-drastically-changed Hakim/Davis version stands as a missing link between the now universally known Bergman cut and the oft-derided drive-in movie version, since it seems Babb took it as his starting point when preparing the Hallmark cut. (12) This directs us back to Summer Interlude in its Illicit Interlude guise, which was introduced to United States filmgoers, a year before Monika's appearance, by the Hakim/ Davis team. While little has been written about the Hakim/Davis Interlude, it was, in some ways, more drastically compromised than was their Monika. It, like Monika, had scenes excised, ultimately shortening it from ninety-six minutes to exactly an hour and a half. More remarkably, the Hakim/Davis version of Summer Interlude--unlike their (or Hallmark's) Monika--did, in fact, have two scenes of nudity and sexuality added to it. Ultimately, however, in cutting Monika to the bone while actually adding newly filmed erotic material to Summer Interlude, a particular effect was achieved in both, one increasing each film's modernist sensibility. The remainder of this essay will chart this metamorphosis.
SUMMER INTERLUDE'S ILLICIT DOUBLE
If an examination of American publicity material for A Ship Bound for India and Sawdust and Tinsel suggests that the success of Torment inspired their importation over other early Bergman titles, the relatively quick U.S. importation of Summer Interlude (and probably Summer with Monika) was likely a result of the world-wide success of a non-Bergman tragic summer romance film from Sweden, Arne Mattsson's Hon dansade en sornmar (One Summer of Happiness, 1951). (13) Although it premiered in Sweden ten weeks after Summer Interlude, One Summer of Happiness was the first to attract the attention of the outside world, due to two brief long shots of male and female frontal nudity during an outdoor "skinny dipping" scene, a subsequent longer medium close-up showing actress Ulla Jacobsson's bare breasts during a lovemaking scene, and, to some extent perhaps, the film's boldly anti-religious theme. By winning awards at both the Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals in 1952, and managing to pass through the British censorship board with a rating that allowed minors to see it when accompanied by a parent, this film was the subject of much press in 1952 and 1953 ("Daring Nude Movie Approved in Britain"). It would be early 1955 before One Summer appeared in New York City (almost six months after the appearance of Summer Interlude), but it played in Midwest and Texas theaters throughout the summer of 1953, reportedly resulting in "long runs in Austin, Houston and Dallas" and "big crowds" in San Antonio, Texas ("Police Halt Showing of Foreign Film"). With such success de scandale, it is hardly surprising that One Summer would point U.S. distributors toward to Summer Interlude, which tells a similarly tragic tale of young love and untimely death against the background of a brief Nordic summer.
An early promotional booklet prepared for exhibitors of the Hakim/Davis version of Summer Interlude includes almost as much imagery from the two brief added erotic scenes as it does from the greater part of Bergman's film (Figs. 4 and 5). Remarks from critics quoted in it range from those that highlight the film's original high-brow pedigree--"'The Stockholm Royal Opera Ballet scenes have a black and white crispness that is superb!'--Bosley Crowther, N.Y. Times"--to others that focus directly on the surreptitiously added footage--"Walter Winchell of New York: 'Orchids to an adult film ... Out Hedy Lamarr's [sic] nude swimming in Ecstasy'" (Fig. 6) (Illicit Interlude, cover). (14) Examined carefully, the publicity material promises a nearly schizophrenic experience for the viewer--the advertised film seems to be one part The Red Shoes (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressberger, 1948), one part nudism documentary--that is not, finally, representative of the more subtly strange experience one has of this curious alternative version.
In its original version, Summer Interlude was certainly more "adult" in nature than contemporaneous U.S. studio films that were beholden to the American Production Code, which was still in full effect in the early 1950s. With its complex structure, ballet-world setting, and lack of nudity, however, it may have seemed a problematic, if enticing, follow-up to the simpler and more straightforwardly erotic One Summer of Happiness. Furthermore, while the Supreme Court's decision in Burstyn v. Wilson had recently declared that motion pictures were afforded protection under the first amendment in a case specifically regarding sacrilege, a scene in Summer Interlude in which its protagonist, Marie (Maj Britt), denounces God while grieving the sudden death of her young lover, Henrik (Birger Malmsten), was surely of concern to potential U.S. showmen. In it, following a shocking reference she makes to Henrik's "starting-to-rot" body, Marie states with cold, steely determination, "I don't believe God exists. And if he does, I hate him ... If he were standing in front of me, I'd spit in his face." While critical of culturally conservative organized religion, One Summer of Happiness, by contrast, manages to seem edgy and "modern" without directly occasioning this kind of potential audience discomfort. It is hardly surprising that this scene of profanation, newly constitutionally protected but still likely to have been exceedingly confrontational to Cold-War audiences, was removed for Interlude's original U.S. engagements. It is also not particularly surprising that two added scenes of nudity, one showing Marie running down a hill, through the woods, and into the fjord to bathe and another of her and Henrik swimming and making love, were filmed with stand-ins and edited, more skilfully than one might expect, into the film. As early film historians Arthur Knight and Hollis Alpert suggest, this was likely not the only film to which this was done (248). Doing so made a film that resembled One Summer of Happiness in terms of location, genre, and a tragic plot development--the sudden death of the protagonist's beloved--now resemble it in a more straightforwardly pleasurable way involving erotic nude bathing. These additions, ironically enough, have not been mentioned nearly as often by film historians as the fictional claim that Hallmark added nudity to their cut of Monika. Film historian Tino Balio does quote the 1966 article by Arthur Knight and Hollis Alpert that names both the director of Summer Interlude's added footage (Larry Moyer) and the state in which it was supposedly shot (New Jersey) (Balio 131). (15) Knight and Alpert wryly noted how "successfully ... the [new] footage [was] integrated" into the original, claiming that "contemporary critics commented on the 'typical Continental delicacy in the treatment of sex'" (Knight and Alpert 248). (16)
AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR UNCONSCIOUS
Ironically, there is something that one might finally associate with a European sensibility in the way that the American footage was added. The first of the two scenes comes about twenty-three minutes into the film when Marie wakes up in her small summer cottage and opens the blinds to bathe in the sun's warming rays. About halfway into a medium shot, the American editors segue into the new footage, aided by an eyeline-match cut to a point-of-view shot of the sun shining through a row of tall trees (Fig. 7). Working almost perfectly, this segue is followed by a tilt down and a quick cut to a lateral tracking shot of Marie, or, rather of the legs of the American actress taking over from Maj Britt for the sequence, running through the trees. Because of the similarity of the foliage seen in the first and second shot of this added sequence, the speed of the movement of the camera, and because the jump cut between the first two added shots actually serves to suggest a single shot that is just missing a few frames, a remarkable effect is created: it seems as if Marie is stepping into her own POV shot. Jalal Toufic has pointed to a similar effect created in Carl Dryer's Vampyr (1932), one that serves to both merge spectator and protagonist while simultaneously creating for the protagonist (and the spectator) his or her own double (40). It is a profound, hair-raising effect in an early horror film made progressively uncanny by a technique of Dryer's that is also replicated by a number of effects in the Hakim/Davis and Hallmark cuts of Bergman's films. In other words, in the recut versions of Summer Interlude (and the shorter versions of Summer with Monika as well) one is haunted, as one is by Vampyr, by the palpable traces of missing or mismatched footage. In the case of Summer Interlude's added material, one is also ever-so-slightly disturbed by scenes that first seem a continuation of previous footage, but then, as they play out, seem less and less (but also somehow more and more) apposite.
As the new Summer Interlude footage continues, we presently see a third lengthy shot of Marie's full body from behind. She is stripping as she runs down a long hill toward the water (Fig. 8). Those cognizant of the added footage as such might be impressed that this stand-in has been given a haircut perfectly replicating Maj Britt's; furthermore the stand-in has a body that does seem to effectively double her Swedish referent. In the next shot, however, one finally sees a shadowed but nonetheless clear shot of the stand-in's face in profile and it is noticeably different from Britt's, if not overwhelmingly so (Fig. 9). However, with no disrespect to the Swedish star intended, this double's facial features are such as to have potentially seemed, to the spectator, more generically pretty than Britt's according to norms of attractiveness in both America and Europe at the time, at least in this one brief glimpse. All this is to say that the slight but noticeable discrepancy in the actors' physiognomies accrues a resonant meaning: the Marie who strips in this addendum (and then makes love to her boyfriend's American doppelganger in the second added scene) can be thought of as the original Marie's idealized image. In other words, what might have seemed like an ill-fitting addition makes sense as a subjective, imagined passage, in somewhat the same way that a later scene showing a pencil sketch by Henrik coming to life through crude animation (Figs. 10 and 11) does. And although Bergman's brief moment of animation understandably has been criticized for pulling the spectator out of the film in a cloying and sentimental fashion, these prurient/idealized nude/love scenes have the virtue of generating altogether more enticing modernist effects. Eventually, the idealized Marie approaches the water and jumps in, splashing joyfully in one of several new shots that strongly resembles imagery from One Summer of Happiness. The transition from this first added scene back to the Bergman footage is particularly interesting in that it is effected through a graphic match cut from a shot of the new Marie's arm, paddling through the water as she swims, to one of the original Marie's oar in the water similarly padding (Fig. 12). Like the two shots that initially took the spectator into this alternative erotic universe, the segue back to Bergman's cut is effected in an uncanny way that makes the entire nude bathing sequence seem like the protagonist's dream or fantasy.
For its part, the second of the two added scenes, introduced toward the end of the film, and seeming to represent the climax of the young lovers' relationship not long before Henrik's fatal diving accident, introduces us to Birger Malmsten's double, played by a stand-in whose shoulders seem broader and legs and arms thicker than those of the muscular but lithe Swedish actor. Here too, then, the spectator segues into a sequence in which the footage does not quite match the original film, but which offers us imagery that both (once again) reminds one of One Summer of Happiness and, from the perspective of a certain kind of spectator, seems to improve upon the body of her lover in a way that could seem to represent the reality of Marie's dreams. (17) However, the spectator elicited by the Hakim/Davis cut is clearly beholden to a different set of values than the one posited in Bergman's original. While the few scenes cut from Summer Interlude are not integral to the plot, and while the transitions to the erotic passages are also fairly well handled, the new sequences, as they play out, do demonstrate some mismatched shots, choppiness, and errors in continuity. This, in addition to the discrepancies in the actors bodies and faces, also can be seen as furthering an oneiric and/or Brechtian modernism not too dissimilar from that which Bergman himself would create in his own dream sequences a decade later in Persona (1966) and Vargtimmen (Hour of the Wolf 1968).
Missing from the American cut of Summer Interlude, in addition to Marie's denunciation of God after Henrik's death, are some of the most picturesque and oft-reproduced images in the film of the young couple enjoying the rocky wilds of the Swedish countryside (Figs. 13 and 14), as well as a close up of the couple passionately kissing--clothed, but lying on the floor of Marie's cottage--and another shot showing Henrik casually reaching under Marie's blouse to caress her breast as they sit on the porch talking. Also missing is unpleasant imagery of Henrik's bloody face after his deadly dive. All this suggests that while female nudity was welcomed by Hakim and Davis' presumed (male) spectator, touristic images of beauty, more casual displays of sexuality, and realistic violence were not necessarily valued. Put another way, one can conclude that an infantile/primitive art/exploitation spectator was constructed at the expense of the bourgeois spectator of Bergman's original. Something quite similar will happen soon thereafter with Summer with Monika.
INGMAR BERGMAN OUTSIDE THE BOX: MONIKA HEADS TO THE DRIVE-IN
If Summer Interlude and Summer with Monika are a true "pair" of films in many ways, they are also very different. With its artist protagonist and elaborate flashback structure, not to mention its chiaroscuro cinematography and gothic symbolism, Summer Interlude has clear, strong affinities with any number of canonical later Bergman films, if also, looking backwards, to a number of 1940s Hollywood "women's melodramas" such as The Enchanted Cottage (John Cromwell, 1945). On the other hand, Summer with Monika seems a singular film in its director's oeuvre, offering a sociologically precise account of proletarian disaffection among two young adults: seventeen-years-old greengrocer's assistant Monika (Harriet Andersson) and nineteen-years-old glassworks delivery boy Harry (Lars Ekborg). Looking back from the twenty-first century, Erik Hedling persuasively argues that "[o]f the early Bergman films ... [Monika] is probably the one that most obviously connects to the Swedish welfare project" (226). As we shall see, it is this aspect of the film that was most ruthlessly diminished in the removal of thirty-four minutes of film, this despite the late David Freidman's claim that only relatively "slow" or "dimly lit" (and therefore hard to see on a drive-in theater screen) scenes were cut by Kroger Babb and himself for their sixty-two minute version (Personal interview).
While popular memory of the Cold War tends to focus, sixty years later, on the issues made famous by Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee, specifically the supposed presence of Communists in the federal government and Hollywood, the assault on organized labor at that time was also particularly intense. As a result, anyone in the world or in the cinema who might argue for the workers and against their unfair working conditions was also likely to be deeply suspect. At roughly the same time Summer with Monika was being cut for domestic distribution in the U.S., Le salaire de la peur (The Wages of Fear, Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953) underwent a firestorm of controversy for its critique of American oil companies' exploitation of South American workers. (18) This touchiness might explain the excisions of one of Summer with Monika's three trenchantly critical workplace scenes from the Hakim/Davis version and all three of them from the Hallmark version. The two scenes set at Harry's place of employment, a china and glass wholesaler, serve to highlight routine superior/subordinate humiliation while the one set at Monika's workplace adds to that concern issues of sexual harassment, even physical sexual abuse: Monika is shown being repeatedly groped and violently manhandled in the space of less than two minutes. While one might be able to explain the cutting of this material according to the formula David Friedman explained--removing dark interior scenes while picking up the pace of the film--it is particularly telling that the English dubbing in the Hallmark version also replaces many specific, sometimes critical comments about work with less critical and more general ones. For instance, in the original, upon meeting him, Monika asks Harry: "You work at Forsberg's, don't you? No good, eh? Seen the greengrocer's where I work?" Harry, seeming to know of the refrigerated environment in which she works, replies: "Cold, isn't it?," to which Monika offers a vulgar, working-class retort: "last winter I nearly froze my arse off!" (19) The Babb cut, for its part, has Monika vaguely asking Harry, "do you work around here?" before suggesting first that he "can always quit" if he doesn't like his job, and then that, on second thought, "even if that's not true, it's nice to think about."
There is something potentially radical about a woman suggesting to a man she just met that he could "always quit" his unsatisfying job (and run off with her), and yet, in the context of the scene as Babb presents it, Monika's advice comes across as little more than the outrageous statement of a juvenile delinquent just itching to cast off all responsibility. In Bergman's cut, by contrast, we have two people, without vitriol, commiserating about quotidian workplace woes. Later, another passage of dialogue is changed, removing any confirmation that Monika herself has to hold down a job to help support her family: a quick exchange between Harry and Monika, after they have started dating, revises a comment about Monika wanting to get out of her clearly uncomfortable "work clothes" to one simply referencing her desire to change out of "these clothes." As the original version plays out, it is only after being pushed to the brink of hysteria at work that Monika and Harry do, quite understandably, quit their jobs. (Their running off in Bergman's original actually seems like a moderate response under the circumstances. In another film, the characters might have tried to murder their utterly abusive co-workers.) Arguably, these changes affect the film profoundly. In the first study on Bergman published in English, Jorn Donner posits as much: "To understand [Summer with Monika] is first of all to understand the motives that caused the decision to run away" (87). As if offering a direct answer to Donner, Philip Mosely writes: "Both [Monika and Harry] are victims of their workplaces" (52). Without an accounting of the intolerable working conditions from which Harry and Monika escape, the film's social critique shifts from one regarding the exploitation and mistreatment of two representatives of the working poor to one chronicling two young people's irresponsibility. To be more accurate, it shifts to a critique of the irresponsibility of one young person: Monika.
Although Laura Hubner recently has offered a non-judgmental reading of the character, Monika is generally regarded by critics and audiences as an anti-hero. She is someone who by the film's end has seduced and abandoned a naive young man and, in a twist on the well-warn cliche, has left him in the end to raise the child born of their affair alone. Admiration for this key Bergman character has often resembled the problematic feelings critics have had for th e femmes fatale in American films noir. She is seen as an amoral temptress who destroys men to get what she wants, but is still, as they say, "quite a dame!" In this regard, the critic Peter John Dyer's remarks of 1959 are typical: "Monika ... is a fascinating study of a slut in the making--animal, sensual, uninhibited, lazy, promiscuous, highly-strung, chain-smoking, all lips and puppy-fat and dank, straggling hair." Hubner allows that while Monika has likely "been sexually involved with a few" of her co-workers at the greengrocers, she "shows herself to be strong enough to deal with this harassment" (32-33). More complexly, Hubner considers Monika not simply an autonomous human being, but a complex and positively presented signifier within Bergman's thematic grid: "While she is rather conventionally associated with nature she also symbolizes the political potential of dreaming" (43).
If the (mostly male) critics weighing in on Monika's character prior to Hubner's intervention have been quick to judge her, those seeing the Hallmark cut might well have had an even more negative response. A number of the supposedly inconsequential scenes removed from the original did have the effect of creating sympathy for a character who is, all told, never particularly easy to like as a person. In all three versions we see a harrowing scene in which Monika's drunken father hits her, but only in Bergman's original cut do we witness the more heart rending immediate aftermath: a weeping young woman, retired to her room, quietly packing a suitcase so as to leave her family. More unfortunately still, in the Hallmark version, we might doubt Monika's honesty when she asks Harry to take her in. In Babb's cut, she tells Harry that her father "beats" her, implying not a single act but an ongoing condition. In Bergman's cut, on the other hand, Monika's claim reflects exactly what we have seen. She says simply and in undeniable honesty, "he hit me." (In the previous scene, Monika's father acted shocked enough at his own behavior after he hit her to suggest it indeed may have been the first instance of physical abuse on his part.) Even the vocal performance of the un-credited actress who dubs Harriet Andersson's voice has the effect of reducing one's sympathy for the character. The English-speaking actress' voice, which sounds so familiar that one can only guess at how many dubbed films she contributed to over the years, lacks Andersson's energetic cadences and tonal richness. Instead it offers a sustained monotonous sense of lethargy and self-pity. (20) Various requests made in Andersson's voice of Harry throughout the film sound good-natured and charmingly flirtatious; in the English-language performance they come across as harshly expressed orders.
A BRECHTIAN MONIKA?
If the excisions of virtually all references to Harry and Monika's jobs neatly erase any critique of labor in the film, and if the dubbing makes the character of Monika seem less sympathetic than any other character and more blameworthy than any specific social factor, a number of other changes seem to radically alienate (in the positive and negative sense of the term) Harry and Monika from both the social and natural milieus seen in the film. Crucially, Babb's editors have removed an establishing shot bridging two scenes taking place during Harry and Monika's first date. The shot, joining a scene of Harry and Monika passing store windows after leaving the cinema to one that focused on their conversation on a lone bench atop a hill, shows a smokestack in the background sticking out like a proverbial sore thumb in relation to the unfolding romance between the couple (Fig. 15). This excised shot--suggestive of the Kitchen Sink films from the United Kingdom a few years hence and their casual but resonant critique of oppressive industrialism--is one of the most remarkable images in a film that juxtaposes young, optimistic love against a dreary urban landscape. On the other hand, as a result of the shot's removal, the park-bench conversation, filmed largely in close-ups against a dark background, seems set in a thematically compelling, disorienting no-man's-land. Only at the end of the scene in Babb's version does the audience finally see a shot situating the couple in the hilltop park. It still lacks, however, any trace of that thematically resonant smokestack
In terms of the lure of the wild, although Hallmark's Monika retains a number of arresting images of the archipelago and the skerries, many of the more painterly images of beauty have been excised (Fig. 16), allowing more pedestrian, less-studied shots to predominate (Fig. 17). As with the Hakim/Davis Summer Interlude, these excisions, in some ways, make the Hallmark cut of Monika seem less like a travelogue of a beautiful Nordic summer and more bluntly provocative. Surprisingly perhaps, in a version made to appeal to the youth market through an exploitation film distribution circuit, we see Harry and Monika escape to a natural setting that, for the most part, offers only barren rocks and brooding skies. As such, the Hallmark cut arguably demythologizes Harry and Monika's summer of sexual delights, raising their romance as a question, rather than the natural outcome of two teenagers faced with the lure of traditional outdoor beauty. But while the Swedish original asks and then answers the applicable materialist ideological questions--Why do they rebel? Their bosses make their lives intolerable, and the wilds are beautiful! Why do they finally go home? Winter's coming; it's getting cold!--the Hallmark cut does not. As a result of a kind of (likely unconscious) corporate censorship, the Hallmark version productively and provocatively shows anti-social behavior without contextualizing it in sentimental terms. What functions to create liberal justification for audiences of Bergman's cut is gone. What remains gives the characters' actions a sense of existential revolt.
Perhaps the most surprising omissions found in Hallmark's Monika are four memorable sequences from the middle third of the film when Monika and Harry are camping in the archipelago. One in particular is understandable, and seems like an excision Bergman himself might have made had he realized how improbable the scene actually seems. As Peter Cowie puts it, "[i]t strikes one as implausible ... that a nasty youth [Lelle, renamed Leo in the Hallmark cut] who has already beaten up Harry in Monika's courtyard should suddenly and quite without premeditation happen to be camping on the same remote island as Harry and Monika" (104). It seems unlikely that Babb and his associates would have removed the sequence of Lelle's reappearance simply in the pursuit of greater verisimilitude. More likely, they cut it to spare their exploitation-film audience the still-shocking violence in an extended scene in which Monika and Harry practically kill the "nasty youth" for ransacking their camp. As with the excision of Birger Malmsten's bloody face in Summer Interlude, it seems that at this period in time, exploitation distributors assumed viewers of Swedish erotic romance films wanted to revel in sex, but not potentially upsetting images of violence or blood. Puzzlingly, beautiful footage of Harry and Monika at a country dance on a floating pier has been chopped, perhaps due to the relative darkness of the imagery.
More noticeably, two segments from the scene in which Monika convinces Harry to go with her to a large summer home and steal food have been removed. Firstly, the sequence in which the owners of the island house capture Monika in their root cellar and drag her into their home to wait for the police has been excised. For me, this removes what is arguably the film's single instance of queer frisson, in which the couple's prim adolescent daughter regards the near-savage Monika with an odd ambivalence that seems to be something approaching lesbian desire. The editors have also removed another sequence from this part of the film, similar to the excised attack of Lelle, in which audiences bear witness to just how animalistic Monika has become while living in the wilds of the archipelago. Andersson plays her scene of detention in the island home as though she were half spoiled girl/ half captured wild dog. She refuses to speak, although she makes a petulant face when spoken to, and yet, as she lunges toward the bourgeois family members, one almost expects her to spring forward and bite one of them. One is hardly surprised that Monika manages her escape long before the police can arrive, managing even to grab the roast that she had initially come to steal and take it with her. In the Hallmark version, while Monika is momentarily detained in the root cellar at the beginning of the sequence, in a bit of fairly canny editing, she escapes her captors before they can take her into their house.
Also excised is most of the footage of Monika making her way back to Harry and the motorboat with the stolen roast, travelling through wild--and wildlife-filled--grass lands lit only by moonlight (Fig. 18). In this footage, Andersson, who has just convinced us of her animalistic instincts, suddenly seems an all too human child lost among the tall weeds and dark woodlands (Fig. 19), listening to the chilling hoot of an owl, and seemingly sensing the presence of potentially poisonous spiders (see Figs. 20 and 21). This is truly a turning point in Bergman's film, and together with the previous scene, with the family at the skerry estate, it positions Monika as both "human" and "animal" and she is torn, in Bergman's formulation, between the two forms of being. But now, unlike in sequences at the beginning of the couple's summer sojourn, in which their animalistic subjectivities almost promise a Whitmanesque natural transcendence, Monika is faced with the limits of her natural courage. From this point forward in Bergman's cut it is clear that Monika and Harry will have to return to civilization: she knows she is pregnant, and Harry manages to convince her that it is time, if only for the baby's sake, to return to the city. The imagery at this point becomes informed with details signifying the suddenly dropping temperatures, thus signaling a brisk Swedish autumn is on the way. The Hallmark cut simply gives us this: After Monika gets hungry, she convinces Harry to help her steal food from an island estate. After almost getting caught, they decide to return to Stockholm.
SUMMER FILMS, AMERICAN DREAMS
The two early American cuts of the film do retain just enough of the resonant imagery from the middle third of Bergman's film to place Monika firmly within the Swedish genre of the "summer film," a genre described by Birgitta Steene as characterized by "placid lakes, glittering waterways, birch trees with filtering sunlight, islets in the archipelago or hills and meadows reflected against a sky of obligatory cumulus clouds." Continuing, Steene tells us that, "[t]his scenery was as established in the Swedish cinema as was the pioneer settlement against an open horizon in American westerns." Her comparison of the Swedish summer film to what is, indeed, its American corollary at the time, the Western, is a provocative one. As she puts it, "just as in the American western, the Swedish summer film embedded a national myth in the country's recent history" ("Bergman's Landscapes" 12).
Of course, just as the 1950s marked the high point of the Swedish summer film, so too did they mark that of the Hollywood western, particularly those epitomized by the anxious and ambivalent productions of John Ford and Anthony Mann. Those westerns, hardly the good-natured "oaters" many inaccurately remember, were redolent of both nostalgia and finally a kind of psychosis speaking to the particular psychic dynamics born of American Cold-War ideology. It is with this in mind that Monika, in any of its three versions, can be seen to offer American Cold-War audiences a mirror of their own thwarted desires to escape the yoke of the so-called company man, one forced to trade a sense of wartime heroism gained in the Pacific or European theaters for the soulless office buildings and gray flannel suits of the new, post-war economy. Berman's film initially offers a tempting but finally untenable representation of what that audience wanted to embrace. Vernon Young notes the fallacy of such a fantasy, when uncritically presented: "Long since corrupted by the Rousseau-Whitman heritage, [filmgoers have] want[ed] to believe that undressing in the sun in itself confers character on those who have none, that sex in the great outdoors transfigures the subjects of it beyond the hour of their Eden-plucked-from-the-burning. Bergman knew better" (129).
Viewers of the Hallmark version, however, were not able to enjoy the full benefit of Bergman's vision. In what, in the Hallmark cut, plays as virtually an uninterrupted camping trip, the two have sex, swim naked, and tan themselves under a warm summer sun. In the autumn, they go home, get married, have a child, and in the end go their own ways. Harry has learned something. Monika ... not so much. In this version, the couple does not clearly seem to be escaping from especially unjust social conditions. One can conclude they are just being irresponsible. On the other hand, their summer in the wild does, with all nuance and narrative complication missing, seem timeless and therefore endlessly sustainable, the coming cold weather notwithstanding. In the Hallmark drive-in movie version, Monika and Harry go home not because they must, but simply because they've grown bored with the great outdoors. American filmgoers of the time, partaking of nostalgic fantasies of the great outdoors, might well have seen the two young lovers as "sellouts" for going back home, two so-called juvenile delinquents (or J.D.s), to use a term regularly deployed at the time, who tried but then failed to escape "the system" and are therefore deserving of what they find when they return. Ultimately, one might simply come to the conclusion that Kroger Babb turned a Swedish summer romance film into nothing more (or, to be fair, less) than an American J.D. film. Except for this: Monika, Harry, and the audience's Whitmanesque vision, problematized in Bergman's version through those scenes excised by Babb, is differently disturbed in the shortest American cut. Many of the excisions are responsible for a final product that, all told, seems more than a little surreal. In the Hallmark Monika, much like the Hakim/Davis Illicit Interlude, cuts are often made in the middle of lap-dissolves, giving us only the briefest glimpses of scenes the spectator is then denied, ones just barely visible, like a palimpsest, jumped away from just as they are coming into being. Throughout its first third, the film leapfrogs forward so fast that it takes on the uncanny inevitability of a dream. Harry abandons his old life in the wholesale china shop and takes off to the watery wilds with Monika so quickly he might well wonder, with astonishment, exactly how he got there. Just as quickly, at the end of the film, we see him pay the price for his decisions. It is as if a rug is suddenly pulled out from under him.
Both like and unlike the Hakim/Davis Interlude, then, the refashioned Monika sometimes seems to trade coherence for a kind of dreamlike inevitability that oddly seems to reflect the characters' psyches better than the version borne of Bergman's more mature bourgeois perspective. Ultimately, the dream logic of both the exploitation/art-film hybrids of Summer with Monika and Summer Interlude somehow also seems estranging in a surprisingly Brechtian sense; (21) it makes us think about what we are only just barely allowed, almost against the films' new designs, to feel. Summer Interlude, with its additions, also makes us aware of our desires as such with scenes that both expose and make strange its erotic subtexts.
In the final analysis one finishes both these films slightly disoriented, slightly alienated from Bergman's original visions, asking a lot of provocative questions. All this suggests that exploitation-film spectatorship and art-cinema spectatorship connect in some rather interesting ways, closer, to be sure, to the politically radical end of the art-film spectrum where Godard and Pasolini's intellectually stimulating, fragmentary work deliberately deconstructs desire. Ruthlessly excising thirty-five percent of a film's footage in order to both make it better fit on a drive-in's double bill and to avoid controversial material may not seem like an act one could expect to occasion any form of ideological critique. Likewise, adding nudity to a film in order to sell more tickets in a Cold-War marketplace hardly seems destined to facilitate a radicalized perspective. However, the American debuts of Bergman's two early summer films offer evidence to the contrary.
I must thank a number of people for their gracious assistance in the researching, writing, and revising of this essay: Eric Schaefer for spending time on the phone with me to answer a long series of questions about Kroger Babb and Hallmark Films based upon his expertise and deep reservoir of knowledge, Kim Hendrickson at Criterion Co. for giving me access to the long-out-of-circulation Hallmark version of Sommaren med Monika from the Janus Films archives, and Elizabeth Coffey at the Harvard Film Archive for her assistance in screening their prints of the Hakim /Davis versions of both Sommarlek and Sommaren med Monika and for providing me with frame grabs from each. I must also thank Anne Morey, Carmela Garritano, and Marian Eide for their insights on my project as it was coming together in 2014 and 2015, particularly Dr. Morey whose very close reading and numerous suggestions helped me to clarify my argument. Shorter versions of this paper were presented in early 2015 at both the Society for Cinema Studies annual conference in Montreal and at the University of North Texas's Postwar Faculty Colloquium in Denton. Attendees at both events offered helpful questions and comments that proved fruitful as I prepared this paper's final iteration. I would also like to thank Arne Lunde for sharing with me a draft of his now-published essay on Summer with Monika's first U.S. release, one that I was unable to read in time to fully engage with in the present essay, but which, while covering some of the same ground, also beautifully complements my own work. It offers a more detailed history of the marketing and reception of One Summer of Happiness, Summer Interlude, and Summer with Monika in the U.S. than I do here.
(1) Throughout this essay, after first mentioning the original-language title of a film, I will refer to it by its best-known English title (or a shortened version of it), mentioning alternative titles where appropriate. The first date listed next to a film's title is that of the film's world premiere, which is not necessarily that of its United States debut.
(2) Although the picket lines were reportedly formed for a double feature of Torment and a French film, Passionnelle (Edmond T. Greville, 1947), leaving open the possibility that the Bergman-penned film was not the moralists' primary target, Torment, in its original version, was condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency in 1948. A cut version subsequently received the less-strict "B-Morally Objectionable" rating (Motion Pictures Classified by the National Legion of Decency 247).
(3) For a discussion of these films' first appearances in the U.S., see Humphrey (Queer Bergman 59-104).
(4) See, for instance, Thanouli, as well as Andrews (Theorizing Art Cinemas 172-174).
(5) Birgitta Steene reports that "[t]he distributor ... was acquitted [of] the charge one year later" (Ingmar Bergman: A Reference Guide 203).
(6) See, for example, Steene (Ingmar Bergman: A Reference Guide 203), Balio (131), Williams (89), and Stevenson (16). The earlier [Hakim/Davis] release version of the film has "Monika" in quotation marks on the title page with the phrase "the story of a bad girl" outside of those quotation marks underneath it in a smaller font size (Fig. 22), thus putting into question the latter phrase's status as an official subtitle. The Hallmark release of the film the next year drops the subtitle completely from the onscreen credits (Fig. 23).
(7) Every mention of the Hallmark release I have come across in contemporaneous periodicals--numbering no fewer than nineteen--refers to the film as simply Monika. Interestingly, just as the Hallmark cut of the film was replaced in the U.S. market by the Svensk Filmindustri version distributed by Janus Films in the early 1960s, the erroneous title started to appear in print, referencing that earlier version. For instance, R.H. Gardner wrote: "Summer with Monika ... appeared here in 1957 under the title of Monika, the Story of a Bad Girl."
(8) See Stevenson (16), Humphrey (Queer Bergman 102), and "Monika, the Story of a Bad Girl!" The music placed over the opening credits of the Hallmark version, and that reappears for about a minute toward the end of the film, could be characterized as jazz, but not the score as a whole.
(9) See Steene (Ingmar Bergman: A Reference Guide 203), Macnab (81), and Vermilye (79). Both early U.S. exploitation market cuts of Monika do contain a few seconds of footage at the end of a shot showing Harry and Monika lying on the rocky shoreline to make love, footage that is not found in what is now considered the definitive cut released by Svensk Filmindustri for distribution around the world. In the now official cut, as the lovemaking begins, a quick fade to black removes the spectator from the scene. In the Hakim/Davis and Hallmark versions on the other hand, the shot continues and shows Harry pulling down Monika's blouse and exposing her nipples before roughly grabbing her breasts (Fig. 24). Since the imagery is clearly that of the original actors, and undeniably an extension of a shot found in Bergman's version, it would be inaccurate to call it added footage. In fact, it can only have been part of a pre-censored cut of Bergman's film that somehow became the source for the early U.S. versions. Described thusly by censorship records available on the website of the Swedish Film Institute: "brostsmekningen efter spritorgien" [breast caressing after heavy drinking scene], these seven meters of footage may well be the only explicit material Ingmar Bergman intended for one of his films that was censored in the director's homeland but remained, at least for a time, in commercial releases of the film abroad (Swedish Film Database, "Sommaren med Monika" 3). Although this footage has not been restored to any subsequent releases of the film, it can be seen in the short documentary "Monika Exploited!"
A second measure of footage can be found in the Hallmark cut that is not in the official cut as we have it today, or, curiously, the Hakim/Davis cut. After Henry and Monika's child is born, Henry goes to the hospital's nursery to see his infant daughter for the first time. In the Hallmark cut, one finds a charming point-of-view shot of the baby held in a nurse's arms. In Bergman's version, we do not cut away to Henry's point of view and the scene ends with the young man's look of concern and anxiety as a new father. David Kehr praises the thinking behind Bergman's choice, one effectively darkening the film's tone: "Bergman doesn't give us the reverse angle--the heartwarming close-up of a smiling infant, from Harry's point of view--that would provide some emotional balance and compensation; there is only a fade to black." Since its existence in the Hallmark cut is likely the result of a pre-release version being sold to Babb, one can only surmise that the point-of-view shot of the baby was excised late in Bergman's editing process.
(10) say, "seems to," since I cannot confirm with complete certainty that Hakim and the Davises booked the film into its Washington engagement. Newspaper advertisements for that engagement do not list it as a Kroger Babb presentation, however (as did virtually every other advertisement for the Hallmark version one can find from mid-tolate-1950s newspapers), and it premiered in the same DC theater, The Colony, in which Hakim and the Davises released two other Bergman films they had acquired rights to in that era: Torst (Thirst/Three Strange Loves, 1949) and Summer Interlude.
(11) In what was likely a word-for-word reproduction of part of a press release, a newspaper in Lincoln, Nebraska, in September 1955, stated: "Known for many years as Hollywood's fearless producer of off-beat motion pictures, Hallmark's Kroger Babb now offers the story of a truly bad girl, Monika" ("'Monika' Off-Beat, for Adults"). This is the earliest record I have been able to find listing Babb as a distributor of the film.
(12) In addition to the excisions I describe elsewhere, the Hakim/Davis version shortens from Bergman's original a radically lengthy shot of Monika on the bow of Harry's father's boat while Harry steers the craft out into the sea and beyond the vision of the land-bound camera. The mesmerizingly lengthy one-minute shot, which anticipates Bela Tarr's work, is cut by just over twenty seconds.
(13) Elsewhere, I point out that two worthy early Bergman films with relatively sunny temperaments, Det regnar pa var karlek (It Rains on Our Love, 1946) and Till gladje (To Joy, 1950), were never accorded theatrical distribution in the U.S. I argue that this may have been a result of dominant, negative U.S. attitudes about Scandinavia during the early Cold-War period, attitudes which seemed to be validated by darker, more oppressive Bergman films such as A Ship Bound for India and Sawdust and Tinsel (Humphrey, "'Blame the Swedish Guy'" 22-44). Other early Bergman films that appeared in the U.S. only after the director's international fame was secured in the late 1950s include: Musik i morker (Music in Darkness/Night is My Future, 1948, U.S. 1963), Hamnstad (Port of Call, 1948, U.S. 1959), Fangelse (Prison/The Devil's Wanton, 1949, U.S. 1962), and Kvinnors vdntan (Waiting Women/Secrets of Women, 1952, U.S. 1961)."
(14) The reference is to Ekstase, a 1933 Czech film directed by Gustav Machaty that, even more than One Summer of Happiness, epitomized art cinema with erotic nudity to at least two generations of international filmgoers.
(15) Birgitta Steene (2005) cites "rumor[s] ... not ... verified" of "silhouetted nude bathing scenes filmed on Long Island Sound" (Ingmar Bergman: A Reference Guide 195), but my examination of the Hakim/Davis cut reveals more than silhouettes against a landscape, as well as a landscape more likely to have been the "private lake in New Jersey" described by Knight and Alpert.
(16) Arne Lund also discusses the added footage in his new study.
(17) Interestingly the added footage introducing the male half of this couple is so close a match of the celebrated nude swimming scene in One Summer of Happiness that it can only be a conscious imitation--except in one respect. In One Summer, the man is as naked as the woman. In Summer Interlude's added footage, on the other hand, the male stand-in is wearing swimming trunks in sharp, sexist contrast to the fully exposed female.
(18) A Time review published in early 1955 bluntly denounces this complex, existential film as "surely one of the most evil ever made," one concerned with ideas over people: "At the social level [the] idea is simple: hate America" ("The New Pictures" 84).
(19) I quote here the English language subtitles from the Tartan Video edition of the film. They represent an accurate translation of the original Swedish dialogue.
(20) By contrast, the voice work of the anonymous English-speaker performing Harry's role is a fairly accurate substitution for Lars Ekborg's work in the original. As a result, Harry retains the spectator's sympathy in the Babb/Friedman-Hallmark version.
(21) Perhaps the most drastic revision in the film's first U.S. versions removes its only overtly Brechtian moment, the in which Andersson, in character, looks directly at the camera, and thus at the spectator, for thirty seconds. One can only speculate that the shot, in its original diegetic context, seemed too disturbing or, perhaps, simply too "arty" for the editors of the Hakim/Davis and the Babb/Friedman-Hallmark versions. The shot is still used, however, even repeated by the exploitation film editors. It is used as the background image for both the film's opening and closing credits. The editors of the Hakim/Davis Bergman releases seem to have made a habit of using a diegetic scene from within the films as the background imagery for their new English language credit sequences. They also took a ballet scene from Summer Interlude and used it over the opening credits of their version of that film.
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Hamnstad [Port of Call]. Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Svensk Filmindustri, 1948.
Hets [Torment], Screenplay by Ingmar Bergman. Dir. Alf Sjoberg. Svensk Filmindustri, 1944.
L'homme de Rio [That Man from Rio]. Dir. Philippe de Broca. United Artists, 1964.
Hon dansade en sommar [One Summer of Happiness], Dir. Arne Mattsson. Nordisk Tonefilm, 1951.
Jungfrukallan [The Virgin Spring], Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Svensk Filmindustri, 1960.
Kvinnors vdntan [Waiting Women / Secrets of Women], Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Svensk Filmindustri, 1952.
Mom and Dad. Dir. William Beaudine. Hallmark Productions, 1945.
Musik i marker [Music in Darkness / Night is My Future], Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Terrafilm, 1948.
Passionnelle. Dir. Edmond T. Greville. Les Films Corona, 1947.
Persona. Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Svensk Filmindustri, 1966.
The Red Shoes. Dir. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressbrger. General Film Distributors, 1948.
Le salaire de la peur [The Wages of Fear], Dir. Henri-Georges Clouzot. Cinedis, 1953.
Skepp till India land [A Ship Bound for India/Frustration], Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Nordisk Tonefilm, 1947.
Sommaren med Monika [Monika: The Story of a Bad Girl / Monika / Summer with Monika]. Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Svensk Filmindustri, 1953.
Sommarlek [Illicit Interlude / Summer Interlude], Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Svensk Filmindustri, 1951.
Sommarnattens leende [Smiles of a Summer Night]. Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Svensk Filmindustri, 1955.
Stagecoach. Dir. John Ford. Walter Wagner Productions, 1939.
Till glddje [To Joy]. Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Svensk Filmindustri, 1950.
Torst [Thirst / Three Strange Loves]. Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Svensk Filmindustri, 1949.
Vampyr. Dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer. Tobis Filmkunst, 1932.
Vargtimmen [Hour of the Wolf], Dir. Ingmar Bergman. Svensk Filmindustri, 1968.
Caption: (L-R) Figure 1: Original advertising material for Summer Interlude under its first American title, Illicit Interlude, as presented by the distributor to theaters. Figure 2: Original newspaper advertisement for the Hallmark release of Summer with Monika under the title Monika. Los Angeles Times (Feb 1, 1956, pg. 17.); Figure 3: Original newspaper advertisement for the debut engagement of Summer with Monika in Washington, DC, under the title Monika: The Story of a Bad Girl. Washington Post and Times Herald (Sept 1, 1955, pg. 29).
Caption: Figure 4 (left): Image of a scene from Summer Interlude showcasing the film's artistic pedigree, displayed in the U.S. distributor's promotional material. Figure 5 (above): Image of erotic footage added to the initial U.S. release of Summer Interlude, prominently displayed in the distributor's promotional material.
Caption: Figure 6: The cover of the U.S. distributor's promotional pamphlet for Summer Interlude under its new American title balances the film's dual identities as art cinema and exploitation fare.
Caption: Figure 7: The first transition between Bergman's original footage for Summer Interlude and footage shot for the film's initial American release. Courtesy Harvard Film Archive.
Caption: Figure 8 (above): Marie, in the form of an American body double, strips as she runs downhill toward the lake in footage added to Summer Interlude. Figure 9 (right): As the sequence added to Summer Interlude continues, we can eventually see the face of the American stand in actress.
Caption: Figure 10 (left): Henrik draws a sketch on a record sleeve in Summer Interlude. Figure 11 (right): Henrik's sketch comes to life in the form of crude animation in Summer Interlude.
Caption: Figure 12: The transition from the added footage back to Bergman's original in Summer Interlude. Courtesy Harvard Film Archive.
Caption: Figure 13 (left): Picturesque footage from the original version of Summer Interlude, cut from the first American release. Figure 14 (above): Another now well-known image from Bergman's original cut of Summer Interlude that was excised for the first U.S. release.
Caption: Figure 15: An image of industrial Stockholm missing from the Hallmark version of Summer with Monika.
Caption: Figure 16 (left): An image of the beautiful Swedish archipelago missing, like other similar shots, from the Hallmark version of Summer with Monika. Figure 17 (below): A bleaker image of the archipelago that survives in the Hallmark's version of Summer with Monika.
Caption: Figure 18: A resonant image of a woman's relationship with nature cut from the Hallmark version of Summer with Monika.
Caption: Figure 19: A shot of Monika's vulnerability in a suddenly intimidating natural world that was cut from the Hallmark version of Summer with Monika.
Caption: Figure 20 (right): An image of the natural world excised from the Hallmark cut of Summer with Monika. Figure 21 (below): Another image of the beautiful but frightening natural world that Hallmark's editors chose to cut from their version of Summer with Monika.
Caption: Figure 22. Title card for the Hakim/Davis cut of Summer with Monika. Courtesy Harvard Film Archive.
Caption: Figure 23. Title card for the Hallmark cut of Summer with Monika.
Caption: Figure 24. Footage censored from the now standard cut of Summer with Monika present in both the Hakim/Davis and Hallmark versions.
Please note: Illustration(s) are not available due to copyright restrictions.
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|Article Type:||Critical essay|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2015|
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