While not a masterpiece, this is also far from the mess most critics took it for. An intelligent failure (or modest success)
Bergman looks at Germany in the 20s as laying the groundwork for Hitler and the Nazis.
Liv Ullman is terrific, as always. And if David Carradine is only good, not great, he certainly didn't deserve the critical attacks
he received. The nature of his character is a man so locked in passivity as to be enigmatic. You might not like that kind of
character, but it's certainly not the actor's fault for carrying it out well.
Yes, some of it is slow, and some a bit obvious, but those charges could also be leveled against some Bergman films labeled
As a cautionary tale of where we were once before, and could end up again, I've certainly seen far worse. It has some truly
chilling moments. And I think seeing it again may reveal even more...