Crisis (1946)

crisis poster 1946 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Interesting to see some of Bergman's roots

Not Bergman's best or most developed

Movie Info

Movie Name: Crisis

Studio:  Svensk Filmindustri

Genre(s): Drama

Release Date(s):  February 25, 1946 (Sweden)

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

crisis jazz party

First comes the jazz then comes the drugs and prostitutes

A small town girl named Nelly (Inga Landgré) finds her sheltered world turned upside down when her mother Jenny (Marianne Löfgren) returns for her.  When a scandal erupts involving Nelly and Jenny’s friend Jack (Stig Olin), Nelly leaves Ingleborg (Dagny Lind), the woman who raised her, behind and journeys to the city.  As Ingleborg mourns the loss of her “daughter”, Jenny experiences a different life…but not everything is better in the city.

Directed by Ingmar Bergman, Crisis (Kris) is a Swedish drama.  The film was Bergman’s first feature film and he adapted the screenplay from the Danish play Moderhjertet by Leck Fischer.  Criterion Collection remastered the film as part of the box set Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema.

Bergman is a bit of an acquired taste.  I remember thinking when hearing his name, that he was the maker of films that were complete art…aka hoity-toity, pretentious films that have no plot or direction but weird images.  This idea kind of follows Bergman and he does have some of these style of films (Persona comes to mind), but largely, Bergman’s movies seem to be dramatic family or character based “stories” that have you dissecting character actions instead of telling you the meaning of the actions.  Crisis is one of those movies.

crisis ingeborg dagny

She is…in crisis!!!

The characters that the viewers are supposed to identify with are Ingleborg who is a mother to Nelly in action that is having to give up her child to Jenny while knowing she doesn’t really have a say in it, and Nelly who is the girl who dreams of a bigger life…which isn’t necessarily wrong.  Despite this, Jenny and Jack are the more interesting characters.  It is hard to understand each of their motivations.  Jack is a devilish tempter who ends up being “ruined” by Nelly’s goodness while there are a few moments when Jenny isn’t as villainous as she’s played to be.  It is these aspects of character the story which make the film interesting.

Bergman was also known for casting and recasting his favorites so it is also worthwhile to see him with a blank slate of actors.  Inga Landgré does fit the mold for a Bergman leading lady and he did reuse her in a few of his films (including s), but the movie doesn’t have a lot of Bergman’s signature players…but he shows skill in getting good performances out of who he has.

crisis inga landgre marianne lofgren stig olin

You’re hook up with no-goodniks!!!

The movie is rather limited in the visuals.  I like Bergman’s use of space and framework, and Crisis doesn’t demonstrate much of it.  Bergman is great with black-and-white and scenes like the scene on the street show where he later evolves, but the film doesn’t have as many Bergman touches as later works.  It still looks better than many films from the time.

Crisis is a decent film, but it isn’t by any means one of Bergman’s bests.  You can see the seeds of Bergman’s work in his early film and fans of Bergman should seek out the film to see how Bergman started.  Bergman followed Crisis with It Rains on Our Love which was also released in 1946.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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