Ulla Jacobsson

Ulla Jacobsson

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Zulu Review


Good
Faced with 4,000 Zulu soldiers, 139 British troops managed to fend off the natives, holed up in a small thatched-roof hut with a little fence. It helps that they were armed to the teeth while most of the Zulu just had spears and shields -- and that the Zulus didn't even do much with those spears, preferring instead to run up to the fence, wave their weapons, yell, then retreat. Whether you find this racist and jingoistic or a dead-on accurate portrayal of a real battle that occurred in 1879 (in many ways, the British version of the Alamo) probably depends on your heritage and your opinion of British imperialism. As for the movie, though, there's an awful lot of lounging around in the hut and a lot of buildup to the battle itself, which doesn't get underway for more than half the film.

Smiles Of A Summer Night Review


Good
It's hard to believe this film was made in 1955. But then again only American films of that time seem to have the handcuffs of absolute purity slapped on them, keeping everything on the straight and narrow. Or if not, then it was intended to hit the audience over the head with a morality mallet of where the scary vice of sexual freedom might lead to.

Smiles of a Summer Night follows an ensemble cast through the motions of loving and betraying each other. Fredrik (Gunnar Björnstrand) is married to young Anne (Ulla Jacobsson), who is about his son's age. There were married shortly after his wife died, and have not yet consummated their marriage. This is partly due to him still dreaming of Desiree (Eva Dahlbeck), an actress with whom he had an affair for years (which his wife witnessed), and also due to his current wife not being quite ready for the experience of sex. His son is comically tormented between becoming a part of the clergy and giving into his sinful thoughts, the latter of which their maid continually attempts to influence. Being peers, the maid and wife are also friends despite their differences in life experience. She looks to the maid -- who is treated as part of the family -- for advice; it's understood that she's been around the block a few times.

Continue reading: Smiles Of A Summer Night Review

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