Inspired by the earthy eroticism of Harriet Andersson, in the first of her many roles for him, Ingmar Bergman had a major international breakthrough with this sensual and ultimately ravaging tale of young love. A girl (Andersson) and boy (Lars Ekborg) from working-class families in Stockholm run away from home to spend a secluded, romantic summer at the beach, far from parents and responsibilities. Inevitably, it is not long before the pair are forced to return to reality. The version initially released in the United States was reedited by its distributor into something more salacious, but the original Summer with Monika, presented here, is a work of stunning maturity and one of Bergman’s most important films.
“More than 50 years after its first screening in America, Monika arrives . . . to light up the screen, this time without a trace of impropriety.” —The New York Times
“Bergman fans will discover that it's not a typical film of his, and is rather more realistic than his later films, and some would call it ‘minor.’ But by any standards, it’s an excellent film, gorgeously made and emotionally powerful.” —Combustible Celluloid
“Bergman would be no more adept a pornographer than he would be at filming hip-hop, but his camera did stare at the human surface with an intentness unmatched since von Sternberg rhapsodized over Marlene Dietrich.” —New Yorker