Criterion Collection: Sawdust and Tinsel

Criterion Collection: Sawdust and Tinsel

Director: Ingmar Bergman Cast: Harriet Andersson, Åke Grönberg, Anders Ek

Blu-ray (Special Edition / Restored / Subtitled / Full Frame)

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Overview

This rich, powerful Ingmar Bergman film charts the frustrations and humiliations of several circus performers. The circus's portly owner, Albert (Ake Gronberg), recalls a humiliating incident involving the company's clown, Frost (Anders Ek), who discovered his wife, Alma (Gudrun Brost), swimming nude before a band of cheering soldiers. Having concluded his recollection, Albert visits his estranged wife, Agda (Annika Tretow), who realizes that he has made little money with his circus endeavor. While Albert endures the humiliating encounter with his wife, his jealous mistress, Anne (Harriet Andersson), retaliates by yielding to a seductive local actor, Frans (Hasse Ekman), then realizes that she has been exploited and debased. Later, the drunken Frost informs Albert of Anne's sexual indiscretion, whereupon Albert determines to thrash Anne's cynical lover. In the ensuing altercation, however, Frans manages to thwart Albert's bullish attacks and deliver a series of punishing blows. Beaten and degraded, Albert ponders suicide, then decides to avenge himself on unfaithful women by killing the company's bear, beloved by the provocative Alma, whose betrayal of Frost has so haunted Albert. Following the bear's demise, the company departs to another town. Gycklarnas Afton is full of powerful performances and staggering sequences, including the legendary flashback in which Frost finds his wife cavorting nude before the soldiers. In this scene, played with almost hysterical intensity, Frost, dressed as a clown, tearfully carries his nude wife from the water, past the soldiers, and back to the circus tent. The soundtrack's jarring contrast between sheer silence and a blaring brass band, coupled with the black-and-white cinematography's emphasis on glaring sunlight, generate a mood of considerable tension and unease. This extraordinary scene ranks among Ingmar Bergman's greatest feats and readily establishes Gycklarnas Afton as an unflinching examination of the human condition.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/18/2018
UPC: 0715515224215
Original Release: 1953
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Region Code: A
Presentation: [Full Frame]
Time: 1:32:00
Sales rank: 18,212

Special Features

New 2k digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack; Audio Commentary from 2007 by Ingmar Bergman scholar Peter Cowie; Introduction by Bergman from 2003; Plus: An essay by critic John Simon

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Harriet Andersson Anne
Åke Grönberg Albert Johansson
Anders Ek Teodor Frost
Gudrun Brost Alma Frost
Hakke Ekman Frans
Annika Tretow Agda, Albert's wife
Kiki The Dwarf
Vanjek Hedberg Ekberg's Son
Curt Löwgren Blom
Lissi Alandh Actress
Naemi Briese Mrs. Meijer
Hasse Ekman Frans
Åke Fridell Officer
Agda Helin Actress
Goran Lundstrom Agda's son #1
Erik Strandmark Jens
Majken Torkeli Ekbergskan
Gunnar Björnstrand Mr. Sjuberg
Olaf Riego Actor
Hanny Schedin Asta

Technical Credits
Ingmar Bergman Director,Screenwriter
Hilding Bladh Cinematographer
Karl-Birger Blomdahl Score Composer
Bibi Lindstrom Art Director
Sven Nykvist Cinematographer
Carl-Olov Skeppstedt Editor
Goran Strindberg Cinematographer
Rune Waldekranz Producer

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