Sunday, 24 February 2013


Just a year before Ingrid Bergman broke into Hollywood with their remake of Intermezzo, she was still busy exploring portrayals of various characters within the context of the Swedish film industry.  Dollar was made in 1938 and focuses on the exploits of a group of people, their relationships with spouses (both their own and those attached to the other members of the group...), and ultimately a trip they all take to a ski resort where they argue, cavort, a debate who has paid off the gambling debts of one of their posse.  It's not easy to identify exactly what this film is about as it appears to be heading off in all sorts of directions at times so any enjoyment is really derived from the entanglement of relationships and the bitchy remarks that often emanate from this kerfuffle.  Ingrid plays a cheeky, energetic, teasing coquette with wonderful panache, her behavioural nuances an absolute joy to behold.  The dialogue is mostly Swedish but there is some English usage at various points throughout, and it's quite a treat to see Bergman using some of the latter in her pre-Hollywood days.

As with Walpurgis Night this film featured in a season of Bergman's early Swedish films broadcast on BBC in 1996, many of which I taped.  Dollar looks good in fullscreen B&W, with its original language track intact.  Director Gustaf Molander made a number of films with Ingrid Bergman, including this one, and began a long directorial career in 1920 with Bodakungen (AKA Tyranny of Hate).

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