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 Posted:   Apr 14, 2019 - 1:39 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

She made her debut in a soap commercial directed by Ingmar Bergman and went on to portray luminous femininity in many of the master's greatest films.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/14/movies/bibi-andersson-dead.html

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 14, 2019 - 1:43 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Yes, sad news. Such a Nordic treasure. I actually think it's impressive she managed to stay with us for 10 more years after her stroke in 2009; a show of great willpower.

Although I'm Norwegian, I think I might prefer her over Liv Ullmann as the Ingmar Bergman "Muse".

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 1:48 AM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

Anybody remember her as the psychiatrist in "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden" (one of her few American films, next to "Duel At Diablo")? R,I.P. Bibi Anderson.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 1:52 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Anybody remember her as the psychiatrist in "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden" (one of her few American films, next to "Duel At Diablo")? R,I.P. Bibi Anderson.

Yes, I do. Interesting film (also includes Danny Elfman's first connection to a movie, as he plays an African tribesman in one of Kathleen Quinlan's visions).

Andersson also played the lead in STORY OF A WOMAN, of course, and I tried to contact her a few years ago about the availability of the movie (given the John Williams score). But I received no reponse at the time -- this was before her stroke.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 6:37 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

I'll always remember her appearance with Bergman in the famous Dick Cavett interview. This was around the time of The Touch, Bergman's first (and only) English-language movie. During the first hour, Cavett asked Bergman if he had ever tried psychoanalysis. The director acknowledged one consultation but said the therapist told him he did not need help. Andersson joined for the second hour. She said the way she had heard it, the analyst had said Bergman had so many neuroses that he was beyond help!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 1:10 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Bibi Andersson made her film debut in a bit part as a dancing girl in the 1951 film MISS JULIE ("Fröken Julie"). In this romantic drama, the daughter (Anita Björk) of a Count in 19th century Sweden begins to realize her attraction to one of her family's servants (Ulf Palme). Alf Sjöberg directed and wrote the film, based on the play of the same name by August Strindberg. The film was scored by Dag Wirén. MISS JULIE tied with MIRACLE IN MILAN for the Grand Prize at the 1951 Cannes Film Festival. Bibi Andersson would eventually play the lead role of "Fröken Julie" in a 1969 Swedish television production of the play.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 1:46 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Bibi Andersson's first film for director Ingmar Bergman was the 1955 romantic comedy SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT. Set in Sweden at the turn of the 20th century, members of the upper class and their servants find themselves in a romantic tangle that they try to work out amidst jealousy and heartbreak.

This light, frothy piece (comparatively, given Ingmar Bergman's general oeuvre) was made while the director was undergoing financial troubles and stomach pains (he weighed only 125 pounds at the time). Bergman later noted in an interview that he was so depressed that he saw only two alternatives: "write SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT, or kill myself."

In addition, during production, Bergman's own love life mirrored some of the film's mixed-romance bedroom farce. Bergman's relationship with one of the film's stars, Harriet Andersson, was coming to an unhappy end, and he had already secretly begun an affair with Bibi Andersson (no relation to Harriet). Fitting the farcical tone of the film, Bergman had given his new lover, Bibi, a small part in the film (playing an actress) and both Anderssons briefly shared a scene during the Stockholm stage scene.

The film, which was inspired by William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream", has itself been the inspiration for other works, including Stephen Sondheim' s musical "A Little Night Music" and Woody Allen's 1982 film A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S SEX COMEDY.

Eighteen minutes of Erik Nordgren's score was re-recorded by Adriano and the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra for a 1998 Marco Polo CD, "The Bergman Suites".

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 2:21 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Bibi Andersson's second film for Ingmar Bergman was a much more serious affair. In THE SEVENTH SEAL, a knight (Max von Sydow) and his squire (Gunnar Bjornstrand) are returning home from the Crusades. Exhausted, they decide to spend the night on a desolated beach. On the morning after, the knight encounters Death (Bengt Ekerot), who tells him that his time is up.

The knight challenges Death to a game of chess. If he wins, Death will have to let him live. If he loses, Death can have his soul. Death quickly agrees and the two begin playing. As they continue their journey back home, the knight and his squire encounter a group of actors. They also befriend "Jof/Joseph" (Nils Poppe) and "Mia/Mary" (Bibi Andersson), a young couple with a beautiful child, who choose to join them.

Bergman began writing the screenplay for THE SEVENTH SEAL while he was in Stockholm's Karolinska Hospital, recovering from a stomach complaint. The script was initially rejected. Bergman would end up rewriting it five times. It was only after the success of SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT at Cannes that it started to be considered more seriously. Erik Nordgren scored the 1957 film.

Bibi Andersson and Nils Poppe in THE SEVENTH SEAL


 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 3:16 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Bibi Andersson co-starred with silent cinema actor/director Victor Sjöström in Ingmar Bergman's 1957 romantic drama WILD STRAWBERRIES. In the film, "Professor Isak Borg" (Sjöström) is a 78-year-old widower. He embarks on a car journey from Stockholm to Lund, where he is to receive a honorary degree from his old university.

The egotistical scientist is accompanied by his daughter-in-law "Marianne" (Ingrid Thulin). Although pregnant, she is planning to separate from her husband. En-route she and Isak meet a squabbling married couple and a trio of hitch-hikers. One of them, "Sara" (Bibi Andersson), reminds the old man of his long-lost childhood love.

Ingmar Bergman came up with the idea for the film while driving from Stockholm to Dalarna, stopping in Uppsala where he had been born and raised, and driving by outside his grandmother's old house, when he suddenly began to think about how it would be if he could open the door and inside it would be just as it had been during his childhood. "So it struck me - what if you could make a film about this; that you just walk up in a realistic way and open a door, and then you walk into your childhood, and then you open another door and come back to reality, and then you make a turn around a street corner and arrive in some other period of your existence, and everything goes on, lives. That was actually the idea behind WILD STRAWBERRIES."

Bergman wrote the movie with Victor Sjöström in mind. He and the production company agreed that there would be no movie without Sjöström. Bergman didn't dare to call his idol Sjöström himself about the movie though, so the head of the production company made the call. Sjöström was initially reluctant, due to his advanced age, but agreed to meet with Bergman to discuss the film. So Bergman went to his apartment and talked about it, and Sjöström said he'll think it over. The next morning Sjöström called and agreed to the part on one condition: that he would be able to come home and have his whiskey grog at 5 pm every day.

Cinematographer Gunnar Fischer said that several scenes had to be shot indoors due to Sjöström's poor health. "We had to make some very bad back-projection in the car because we never knew if Victor would come back alive the next day." Nevertheless, as long as Victor was home by 5:15 P.M. each day, "and had his whiskey punctually, all went well." WILD STRAWBERRIES was the final screen appearance of Victor Sjöström.

Eight minutes of Erik Nordgren's score was re-recorded by Adriano and the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra for a 1998 Marco Polo CD, "The Bergman Suites."

Cinematographer Gunnar Fischer, Bibi Andersson, Victor Sjöström, and director Ingmar Bergman on the set of WILD STRAWBERRIES


 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 3:52 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In Ingmar Bergman's BRINK OF LIFE, three women (Eva Dahlbeck, Ingrid Thulin, and Bibi Andersson) reveal their lives and intimate thoughts to each other while in a maternity ward together, where they face the choice of keeping their babies or offering them for adoption. All three actresses, along with Barbro Hiort af Ornäs, who played the hospital nurse, shared the Best Actress Award at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival, where Bergman won the Best Director prize, and the film won the Palme d'Or.

Years later, Bergman said: "BRINK OF LIFE is a modest and somewhat effeminate ragout, which probably was considered good in its time. Today, it is quite impossible and completely outdated. After all, the compact femininity that I lived with for seven weeks, I decided never again to have women do, whether in art or life."

The film has no musical score, just a few bars from a radio at 10.55 pm in the film. The tune played is Sweden's national anthem indicating the end of the broadcast that day.

Bibi Andersson in BRINK OF LIFE


 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 4:18 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The imposing charlatan "Albert Emanuel Vogler" (Max von Sydow) is the subject of Ingmar Bergman's 1958 film THE MAGICIAN. Vogler moves his small troupe from town to town, selling potions and demonstrating "animal magnetism" theories. Vogler's assistant "Mr. Amari" is really his wife "Manda" (Ingrid Thulin), dressed as a man in an effort to thwart the police. Entering a new town, the troupe is detained by "Police Chief Starbeck" (Toivo Pawlo) and "Dr. Vergerus," the medical examiner (Gunnar Björnstrand) at the house of "Consul Egerman" (Erland Josephson), a fan of spiritualism. While at the Egerman household, both the cook and the maid "Sara" (Bibi Andersson) become romantically interested in the visitors.

Reportedly, Bergman based the character of Vogler on himself. Avid Bergman fan Woody Allen says this film is his recommended starting point for watching Bergman. Nine minutes of Erik Nordgren's score was re-recorded by Adriano and the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra for a 1998 Marco Polo CD, "The Bergman Suites."



 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 4:40 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In the comedy-drama THE DEVIL'S EYE, "Don Juan" (Jarl Kulle) is sent from Hell to Earth with a highly important mission - to seduce a 20-years virgin (Bibi Andersson) for spoiling her pure wedding. The mission becomes fraught when Don Juan falls in love for the first time in his centuries-old lover's career.

Ingmar Bergman directed and co-wrote this 1960 film. Erik Nordgren provided the uncredited score.

Jarl Kulle and Bibi Andersson in THE DEVIL'S EYE


 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 10:41 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

ALL THESE WOMEN, the first Ingmar Bergman film to be in color, is a minor satire lambasting critics who derided his recent morbid films. It's a costume comedy set in the 1920s, and tells of a humiliating buffoonish critic caught in a series of sexual misadventures with a famous narcissistic cello virtuoso's string of women.

A smug and opinionated music critic, "Cornelius" (Jarl Kulle), is writing a biography on the womanizing cellist Felix, and to research his subject the critic stays in his house for a few days even though he's not welcomed there. The befuddled sneaky Cornelius can't visit with Felix to get into something personal, as there are a string of women who demand all the cellist's attention, and each wants the maestro all to herself.

The cellist's entourage of women, one for each day of the week, include the playful wise maid "Isolde" (Harriet Andersson), the flirty "Humlan" ("Bumblebee") (Bibi Andersson), his long-time crone-like wealthy music sponsor "Madame Tussaud" (Karin Kavli), the pathetic frustrated gun-shooting "Traviata" (Gertrud Fridh), the desirous pretty young relative "Cecilia" (Mona Malm), the seductive harem girl "Beatrice" (Barbro Hjort of Ornas), and his stately blonde forgiving wife "Adelaide" ( Eva Dahlbeck).

The 1964 film was intended to be a parody of Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini, who Bergman admired. Erik Nordgren provided the uncredited score.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 15, 2019 - 11:15 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

For the 1966 western DUEL AT DIABLO, star James Garner recommended actress Shirley MacLaine for the female lead. Although Anne Bancroft was being considered because of her contractual obligation to United Artists, the producers chose Swedish actress Bibi Andersson, marking her U.S. film debut. The western is set in Apache territory. As an Army supply column heads for the next fort, an ex-scout (James Garner) searches for the killer of his Indian wife, and a housewife (Andersson) abandons her husband (Dennis Weaver) in order to rejoin her Apache lover's tribe.

The film was James Garner's first western since leaving the television series "Maverick", and was Sidney Poitier's first theatrical western. Director Ralph Nelson determined that head wrangler Bill Jones was the most important member of the company. In addition to his command of the 100 horses used in the film, Jones was reportedly better acquainted with the screenplay than some members of the cast, and had the ability to match each actor with the ideal horse. He also assigned each of the principal horses a similar-looking understudy. Nelson discovered that the horses were responsive to the word “action,” and tended to wander into scenes uninvited.

Nelson recalled several incidents involving the Native American background actors, comprised of forty-nine Navajos and one Sioux, “none of whom regarded cinema as an art form.” He called two unrelated Navajo infants, who appeared on screen as Bibi Andersson’s children, as “Dennis” and “Clarence.” Although he had no complaints with the boys, he was exasperated by their parents’ demands of equal screen time for their sons.

Because James Garner’s character was supposed to speak Apache, a conference was called among the Navajos to determine the appropriate command for stopping a horse. The group decided on “whoa.” Native Americans were paid $10 per day, and an additional $2.50 for horse riding. Nelson offered a bonus for the first Navajo to quickly mount his horse and ride away. He claimed that four “vaulted completely over their horses,” and another mounted backward. Although three played the scene correctly, none had remembered to remove his wristwatch. Noting that some of the Navajos doubled as U.S. soldiers, Nelson mentioned the mysterious disappearance of one cavalry uniform and two Apache costumes. Shortly after the theft, citizens of nearby Canyon City, UT, reported seeing a nineteenth-century cavalryman being pursued through town by a pair of Apaches. Nelson made a cameo appearance in the film as a cavalry officer.

Neal Hefti's fan-favorite score was re-recorded for a United Artists LP, and saw its only legitimate CD re-issue as part of Film Score Monthly's 2008 MGM Soundtrack Treasury box set. DUEL AT DIABLO grossed $3.8 million at the domestic box office.

Bibi Andersson in DUEL AT DIABLO


 
 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2019 - 12:08 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The central story of Ingmar Bergman's PERSONA revolves around a young nurse named "Alma" (Bibi Andersson) and her patient, a well-known actress named "Elisabet Vogler" (Liv Ullmann). Elisabet has stopped speaking, and the attending psychiatrist treats the actress by sending her to an isolated seaside cottage under Alma's care. There the nurse, who must do all the talking for both women, becomes a little enamored of the actress.

In the spring of 1965, Bergman was admitted to the Sophia Hospital, Stockholm, for double pneumonia and acute penicillin poisoning. While hospitalized, he created the basic script of PERSONA. He was inspired by August Strindberg's one-act play "The Stronger", a piece which consisted of dead people, brick walls and some dreary park trees, and was conceived as a sonata for two instruments.

PERSONA is considered a pictorially radical film. Both Bergman and his cinematographer Sven Nykvist felt that mid-shots were boring; therefore the film consists of a few wide shots, occasional mid-shots and many, long and intense close-ups. According to Bergman, he fell in love with Liv Ullmann during the making of the movie.

PERSONA was ranked #6 in the critics' poll of the best non-English-speaking films, conducted by the BBC in 2018. Writer-filmmaker Susan Sontag considered PERSONA the greatest film ever made. Bibi Andersson won the Best Actress Award as voted by the National Society of Film Critics. The 1966 film's score, by Lars Johan Werle, has not had a release.

Bibi Andersson in PERSONA


 
 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2019 - 12:46 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In THE PASSION OF ANNA, "Andreas Winkelman" (Max von Sydow) is a book-reading ex-con, imprisoned as a check forger, who lives as a peaceful loner on a barren island, after his wife left him. One day his crippled widowed neighbor "Anna Fromm" (Liv Ullmann) asks him if she can use his phone. The chance encounter leads to a live-in relationship for a year and brings him into contact with her best friends, a compromised middle-class married couple--the insecure but attractive "Eva Vergerus" (Bibi Andersson) and the cocky "Elis Vergerus" (Erland Josephson).

This picture was filmed in the aftermath of Ingmar Bergman's break-up with Liv Ullmann on the island where they had lived together. Bergman uses an interesting method during the film of showing short interviews with each of the four actors discussing their characters. The 1969 film has no credited music score.

Bibi Andersson in THE PASSION OF ANNA


 
 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2019 - 1:18 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

An American intelligence officer signs an agreement with the Soviet Union stating that both countries will attack China, and the U.S. government hastily assembles a group of espionage agents to recover the unauthorized treaty, called THE KREMLIN LETTER. The team, under the leadership of "The Highwayman" (Dean Jagger) consists of "Rone" (Patrick O'Neal), a retired U.S. Navy officer;" B.A." (Barbara Parkins), a safe-cracker's daughter who replaces her ailing father on the mission; "Janis" (Nigel Green), a small-time pimp from a Mexican brothel; "The Warlock" (George Sanders) a transvestite found in a San Francisco gay bar; and "Ward" (Richard Boone), the Highwayman's top assistant. In New York, the Americans have a lesbian seduce the daughter of U.S.-based Russian spy "Potkin" (Ronald Radd) in order to blackmail him into turning over his Moscow apartment as a base for their operations. In Moscow, they bug the residence of Secret Police Chief "Kosnov" (Max von Sydow), who is married to "Erika" (Bibi Andersson), the widow of an enemy spy.

Producer Carter De Haven, III re-teamed with director John Huston on THE KREMLIN LETTER, after their recent collaboration on A WALK WITH LOVE AND DEATH (1969). De Haven was quoted as saying that the $6-$7 million project would not be filmed in Romania as initially planned because Romanian officials feared “Soviet displeasure” about the film’s content. Instead, Huston and De Haven planned to visit the U.S.S.R. for research only. It was later rumored that they had smuggled footage of the Bolshoi Ballet out of the country, to be used in the film.

Principal photography began on 17 February 1969 in Helsinki, Finland, which doubled as Moscow. The reproduction of Moscow Square, including a full-size Vladimir Lenin statue, angered the U.S.S.R., which responded by putting diplomatic pressure on the Finns and denying visas to people associated with the film. The following month, production moved to Rome, where some shooting took place at Dino De Laurentiis Studios. From Rome, cast and crew moved to New York City. Additional shooting was completed in Mexico City.

The film utilizes an innovative technique: scenes spoken in Russian begin in Russian and after a couple of interchanges segue into being spoken in English by the same actors, avoiding either usual extreme of subtitling or dubbing into English.

Although De Haven referred to THE KREMLIN LETTER as a “borderline X” film due to its nudity, drugs, and perversion, it ultimately received an [M] rating (for mature audiences) from the Motion Picture Association of America. Theatrical release took place in New York City on 1 February 1970. The picture went on to become a critical and commercial failure. It was referred to as a “bomb” in the 5 April 1970 Los Angels Times, and the 13 January 1971 Variety called it a “wrecker” for Fox, whose negative expenditure was said to have approached $6 million, while the movie’s domestic box-office gross was still shy of $1 million.

In his autobiography, John Huston said of the film: "I thought THE KREMLIN LETTER had all the makings of a success... The book by Noel Behn had been a best-seller. It had, moreover, all those qualities that were just coming into fashion in 1970 - violence, lurid sex, drugs. The cast was exceptionally strong... and the performances couldn't have been bettered. It was extremely well photographed [by Edward Scaife] - there was a virtuosity, a shine to it. Gladys Hill and I wrote the script, which I considered quite good, though in retrospect it was perhaps overcomplicated."

Robert Drasnin's score was released by Intrada in 2011.

Bibi Andersson in THE KREMLIN LETTER




 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2019 - 7:31 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Ingmar Bergman was a genius, but his work was made all the better--and perhaps easier to produce-- by having the likes of Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, and my personal favorite, the magnificent Ingrid Thulin, among his leading performers.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2019 - 10:44 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In the romantic drama STORY OF A WOMAN, Bibi Andersson plays "Karin," who studies music in Rome and falls in love with "Bruno" (James Farentino). She learns that he is married and therefore returns to Sweden, where she meets "David" (Robert Stack). They marry and have a daughter. But when David is sent to Rome, Karin meets Bruno again.

Leonardo Bercovici wrote, produced, and directed this film, which was completed in 1968 but sat on the shelf until Universal gave it a release in early 1970, usually playing it on the bottom half of double bills. The film took in $1.3 million at the domestic box office. STORY OF A WOMAN has not appeared on any video format, and John Williams' score has not had a release.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2019 - 11:06 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

THE TOUCH is rare and unique among the films of famed Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. Rare in that it is one of his least-seen films. Unique in that it was Bergman’s first film in English and starred one of the hottest actors of his time—Elliott Gould. Indeed, Gould was the first non-Scandinavian actor to play a starring role in a Bergman film. After his breakout role in 1969’s BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE, Gould starred in four films in 1970, including Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H. After completing filming on Jules Feiffer's LITTLE MURDERS, he started his work on Bergman’s film.

Gould’s co-stars were two long-time Bergman collaborators: Bibi Andersson and Max Von Sydow. As usual, Bergman also produced and wrote the film, and his onscreen credit merely says "A film by Ingmar Bergman." Frequent Bergman cinematographer Sven Nykvist photographed the film. Jan Johansson provided the unreleased score.

THE TOUCH concerns a seemingly happy Swedish housewife and mother (Andersson) who begins an adulterous affair with a foreign archaeologist (Gould) who is working near her home. Production on the film began on 15 September 1970 and continued through mid-December 1970. Location scenes were shot on the Swedish island of Gotland, in Stockholm, and in London. Interiors were filmed at Film-Teknik, in the Stockholm suburb of Solna. The movie was shot in two versions - one where English was spoken by those who were English-speaking and Swedish by those who were Swedes, and one where only English was spoken. The full English version was the one released in the U.S. Gould was dubbed into Swedish for the film's release outside of the U.S. The two-language version has been infrequently seen.

The picture was a co-production of ABC Pictures (New York) and Cinematograph A.B. (Stockholm). The Swedish title of the film was “Beroringen.” It premiered at the Berlin Film Festival on 26 June 1971. THE TOUCH was released in the U.S. by Cinerama Releasing Corp., opening in New York on 14 July 1971. The film’s Swedish premiere was on 30 August 1971.

Elliott Gould, Bibi Andersson, and Max von Sydow in THE TOUCH



Reviewing the film from the Berlin Film Festival, Variety’s “Hawk” praised THE TOUCH as “both a romantic film of great poignancy and strength and an example of masterful cinema honed down to deceptively simple near-perfection.” But upon the film’s U.S. release, the majority of the critics found it to be a disappointment. Typical was the New York Daily News’ Wanda Hale . “THE TOUCH cannot be included among Bergman’s greatest,” she wrote. “The Swedish director lapses into mediocrity” with a “Gothic soap opera.” Time’s Jay Cocks found the film “disappointing” because it was “reminiscent of those sober and slightly dreary ‘women’s dramas’ that Bergman made back in the mid-‘50s, films like A LESSON IN LOVE and BRINK OF LIFE.” The New Republic’s Stanley Kauffmann charged that “one reason for [the film’s] failure is unique for Bergman: it has very small ambitions . . . Everything in this film is laid out, nothing is created; because I think, there wasn’t much to create.” Yet for all these complaints concerning theme and tone, the most frequent and vociferous complaints centered around the performance of Elliott Gould. Kauffmann said that “Gould apparently doesn’t know what he’s doing or why.” New York’s Judith Crist found him to be “simply incredible” – “He completely shatter the realities his co-stars create.” And the San Francisco Chronicle’s Anitra Earle felt that “Gould appears a stranger in his own language.”

Still, the film had its defenders. Saturday Review’s Roland Gelatt thought the picture “an ordinary story made extraordinary by Bergman’s subtle illuminations.” (“Is there any other moviemaker working today who can express so much with such economy of means?”) The New Yorker’s Penelope Gilliatt hailed the film as “the best about love he has ever made” and praised Gould’s “great technique and responsiveness.” Molly Haskell, writing in the Village Voice, admitted that “I found THE TOUCH almost unbearably moving.” Gould “or what he represents, is what raises the film from the relative banality of a housewife’s extramarital affair to the doomed and unfathomable passion the film actually chronicles.” Finally, it was Charles Champlin of the Los Angeles Times who spoke for the divided critics by saying that “The perspective to be maintained is that THE TOUCH is a disappointing film by Ingmar Bergman. But in its visual beauty, the sureness of its telling method, the reality of time and space it creates, and the subtleties of relationships and confrontations it captures, THE TOUCH is a work no more than a handful of directors in the world are capable of. And it may well be that a man’s least work is the truest measure of his greatness.”

 
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