A Lesson in Love (1954)

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Director: Ingmar Bergman
Cast: Gunnar Björnstrand, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson, Åke Grönberg


A gynaecologist breaks off with his mistress and jumps on a train to Denmark in order to intercept with his estranged wife, who is en route to rejoin her former lover, a boorish sculptor.

The Review

A Bergman comedy is an acquired taste, like a Woody Allen drama, but when it works, as in Smiles of a Summer Night, it is a winner. In the present case there are scenes which feel like rehearsals for that movie, but many others which just seem like excuses for the cast to have fun and overact. Still, there is enough wit, as in the railway carriage scenes, for the film not to be without interest, and again Bergman structures his narrative around flashbacks, a technique he seems to have set aside by the time of his golden period. A Lesson in Love attracted an 'X' certificate on release in this country, presumably because of its references to a gynaecologist's work and relaxed attitude to marital fidelity.