Bergmarathon: Dollar

Ingrid Bergman is my favourite 'Classic Hollywood' actress, but it occurred to me there are a bunch of films from her pre-Hollywood days that I haven't seen. I've decided to rectify this by making my way through her career (as much as I can) and offering up my usual half-baked thoughts.

Dollar (1938) Gustaf Molander

A fast-talking drama/comedy of manners, Dollar concerns the relationships of a trio of wealthy Swedish couples. The hook is that everyone in this setup seems to lust after someone other than their own spouse, and quite openly. While nothing untoward actually appears to have happened there's still a great deal of flirting and jealousy creating tensions within the group. Everything comes to a head when they find themselves under the harsh gaze of an American millionairess while on a skiing trip.

I really enjoyed this film a lot. It's brisk at 74 minutes, and the snappy dialogue and general vitality of the performers keeps things rattling along. Although everyone on show gets a decent amount of screen time Bergman is clearly the center of attention, playing a somewhat bitchy role with obvious relish. Elsa Burnett gets the bulk of the comedy, playing the overbearing and meddlesome American (referred to as Ms. Dollar for her wealth). Ultimately it's a story about being open and honest with your feelings and there is a genuine romantic heart to the film, with everything being resolved happily in the end.

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