“Sawdust and Tinsel” And Scoundrels

Sawdust and Tinsel

Sawdust and Tinsel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is a great shame that during the Fifties the married Ingmar Bergman had an affair with actress Harriet Andersson.  He cast her in 1953’s Sawdust and Tinsel, and a bleak tale of sexual love it is!  As a matter of fact, Andersson plays the mistress of a married circus owner (Ake Gronberg)!  (How revealing is all this?)  Herself a circus performer, she is gradually drawn to a good-looking theatre actor who has gotten very fresh with her.

Labored and specious, the film is a failure.  Bergman is honest enough, even so, to convey the idea that sex turns men into scoundrels.  Also, love can be humiliating.  But any meaning in Sawdust and Tinsel does not hide the fact that Mr. B.’s lumpy script is second-rate.


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