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Miss Julie (The Criterion Collection)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Anita Björk, Ulf Palme, Märta Dorff, Lissi Alandh, Anders Henrikson
  • Directors: Alf Sjöberg
  • Writers: Alf Sjöberg, August Strindberg
  • Producers: Rune Waldekranz
  • Format: Black & White, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC, Restored, Subtitled
  • Language: Swedish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Jan. 22 2008
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B000XPSC0W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,118 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Swedish filmmaker Alf Sjoberg's visually innovative, Cannes Grand Prix-winning adaptation of August Strindberg's renowned 1888 play brings to scalding life the excoriating words of the stage's preeminent surveyor of all things rotten in the state of male-female relations. Miss Julie vividly depicts the battle of the sexes and classes that ensues when a wealthy businessman's daughter (Anita Bjork, in a fiercely emotional performance) falls for her father's bitter servant. Celebrated for its unique cinematic style (and censored upon its first release in the United States for its adult content), Sjoberg's film was an important turning point in Scandinavian cinema.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dave Godin on Feb. 21 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Some films are so utterly faultless and brilliantly made that one is almost at a loss to find enough superlatives with which to praise them, and yet, at the same time keep it credible. MISS JULIE is one such film, and it seems entirely fitting that one of the greatest Swedish films ever made should be based on the work of one of Sweden's greatest writers. Every single aspect of this film is perfect; the black and white photography, the wonderful musical score by Dag Wiren, the acting from all the cast, but in particular from Anita Bjork who sets a standard in playing Miss Julie that could hardly be bettered. The play which provides the screenplay is of course devastating with the inexorable interplay between class and rank, and human desire and lust overlapping and intertwining, and too, the now almost forgotten concept of "duty" and "honour". If you like movies that make you think, eat away at your heart and memory long after you have seen them, then I cannot recommend MISS JULIE more highly. In the fifty years since it was made, its brilliance has not diminished one jot. A masterpiece and a film to truly treasure. My one regret with the VHS print is that although the sequence is intact, the lettering from the original credit titles has disappeared.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
An immaculate and definitive screen adaptation Feb. 21 2002
By Dave Godin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
Some films are so utterly faultless and brilliantly made that one is almost at a loss to find enough superlatives with which to praise them, and yet, at the same time keep it credible. MISS JULIE is one such film, and it seems entirely fitting that one of the greatest Swedish films ever made should be based on the work of one of Sweden's greatest writers. Every single aspect of this film is perfect; the black and white photography, the wonderful musical score by Dag Wiren, the acting from all the cast, but in particular from Anita Bjork who sets a standard in playing Miss Julie that could hardly be bettered. The play which provides the screenplay is of course devastating with the inexorable interplay between class and rank, and human desire and lust overlapping and intertwining, and too, the now almost forgotten concept of "duty" and "honour". If you like movies that make you think, eat away at your heart and memory long after you have seen them, then I cannot recommend MISS JULIE more highly. In the fifty years since it was made, its brilliance has not diminished one jot. A masterpiece and a film to truly treasure. My one regret with the VHS print is that although the sequence is intact, the lettering from the original credit titles has disappeared.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Before the age of glamour Feb. 9 2010
By vs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Even though by using the expression "Age of Glamour" people usually refer to the period between two great European wars, in the cinema world the age of glamour, I think, came around mid 1960's. Surely during the first half of XX century scores of cheap B&W melodrama movies were produced, but after the "new wave cinema" and "kitchen sink realism" have petered out it became more and more difficult to produce anything serious even in the indie niche market, and since late 80's the whole movie industry essentially became more and more children-oriented.

Films like "Fröken Julie" bring us back to the years when the movies were still created "in earnest" and watched not "for fun" or "for kicks" or to get thrilled or because of the "special effects" - but to feel empathy and to understand other human beings. Film is based on August Strindberg's play, which was written, like many of his works, to express his frustration and spite he felt towards women. While this attitude won't find too many open supporters today, it's difficult to deny Strindberg's work its seriousness and expressive power.

The film "Fröken Julie" is definitely a match to the play in every sense. It's very realistic, showing life in Sweden with love and knowledge of detail, but also - with uncompromising frankness. Strindberg play's burning misogyny is fully transferred to the screen. Countess Berta, miss Julie's mother (Lissi Alandh) is shown as a live monstrosity, destroying the life of her husband and making her daughter insecure, manipulative and cruel towards everybody and anybody.

Alf Sjöberg, the director, did not produce a commentary to the play, his approach was - to be true to the Strindberg's letter and spirit. The film was produced in 1951, and its influence on Bergman's "Wild Strawberries" (1957) is beyond doubt.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Things we can do for mending a broken heart! Nov. 6 2005
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
Strindberg seemed to anticipate the ontological loneliness, the boredom, the immature frivolity and the no sense of living around a impetuous young who having been rejected by her fiancée decides to flirt and eventually seduce her servant.

If you watch this film with the glasses of the actual society, you will find it something dated, but if you observe from another perspective, you will find interesting clues that may lead you to link the essence of the Existentialism (Think in Albert Camus The foreigner) and three outstanding films released after: Joseph Losey ` s The Servant, Bergman 's The silence and Bertolucci `s Last Tango based on Alberto Moravia.

It's a crime to arouse a passion only to satisfy a caprice.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Strinbergian sexual politics July 21 2010
By technoguy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The best ever version by a man who both directed plays and films.The plays central location in the kitchen is opened up into the surrounding landscape.The two chief characters are brilliant,both vulnerable and vying for the upper position.In a survival of the fittest only one can win.The brilliant use of flashback,dream sequences,people from different times in the same scene.The subtle use of lighting to heighten the psycho-drama,the beautiful fluidity of the cinematography,great movement and framing.There are scenes here that Orson Welles must have raided for his 2 best films,Citizen Cane and The Magnificent Andersons.The film depicts the gender politics and class consciousness of this forerunner of DHLawrence.What is especially interesting is the way images dissolve into other images bringing to the fore(more than in the play) memories of the past of the two lead characters.There is a good dream sequence where she(Bjork) is on a high rock,can't move,fears falling,then falls;his(Palme's) dream is of a man always climbing to the top most branch and can never reach the fruit.He longs to be loved by her,longs for the unattainnable.She knows that sex is the great fall.Bergman followed on and overtook Sjoberg as the magus of Swedish cinema but this film has the structure of a well made play with a mercurial swiftness of image and the conveyance of emotion that could have taught the younger man,his protege, a few things.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A classic play brought to the screen March 8 2008
By Ted - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film

Miss Julie is based on a well known 1888 play August Strindberg with the original Swedish title of Fröken Julie. The play has been adapted in to a movie over a dozen times.

The film won the grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It is about a aristocratic young woman living with her father who has broken up with her fiance and begins to be attracted to a servant in their mansion. They fall in love but societal norms prevent a marriage between common people and the upper class.

The special features are excellent as well. There is a television documentary about the play that inspired the film. It includes material about the 1999 US/British film adaptation. There is also a theatrical trailer, an archival interview with Alf Sjöberg, and a video essay by Peter Cowie.

This is a great film and makes me want to see the other versions. This one no doubt is the most well known.


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