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This early film by Ingmar Bergman, made before his international hits Smiles of a Summer Night and The Seventh Seal, was vilified by critics when it first came out (one referring to it as "a piece of vomit"), but with time has earned a reputation as one of the master filmmaker's first important works. Sawdust and Tinsel touches on many of Bergman's standard themes--vanishing love, godless existences, the redemptive power of theater--in its telling of a disillusioned circus owner (Åke Grönberg) and his young mistress (Harriet Andersson of Bergman's Through a Glass Darkly) as they set up for yet another performance in a small town. Both contemplate leaving the circus and each other, as Grönberg pays a visit to his now-independent wife (an exceptional Annika Tretow), and Andersson allows herself to be seduced by a local actor (Hasse Ekman), only to find herself used and humiliated. One can see traces of the melancholy Smiles of a Summer Night in the romantic roundelays that start out bright and end up bitter--the constructs may be farcical at times, but the emotions are raw and heartfelt. And stylistically, from the first frame the film evokes strong similarities to The Seventh Seal; in fact, this film marks the first collaboration of Bergman and his legendary cinematographer Sven Nykvist. Despite some awkward dialogue and a static pace, Sawdust and Tinsel shows a young, assured Bergman finding his way to the themes and techniques that would define his later films. A must-see for Bergman aficionados. --Mark Englehart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Less beloved by many critics than much of Bergman's best known work and
I can understand why. The overly melodramatic main story of love and
betrayal in a small-time... Read more
Sawdust and Tinsel is not an exceptional work by Ingmar Bergman. But still it is highly praised by many fans who love his specific cinematic expression. Read morePublished on April 29 2000