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alix1929

Walpurgis Night

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Did anyone besides me tape/watch WALPURGIS NIGHT when it aired? It starred Ingrid Bergman, Lars Hanson & Victor Seastrom, and was made in Sweden. Gosh, Bergman looked beautiful! If you saw this movie, what did you think?

 

My real question is this: What is "Walpurgis Night?" From what I saw it appeared to be a festival celebrated on April 30 that welcomed spring. Anyone know for sure what the celebration is all about, and if it is just a Swedish celebration?

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I watched the movie loved it! Ingrid was so young and beautiful but gosh darn couldn't give you any details

about the festival sorry. I also think the print TCM

showed us was excellent.

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I loved it too! I'm not usually into foreign films (of course, there are a few exceptions) but this one was really good. Perhaps a little preachy. Makes you wonder if Swedish women of the mid-1930's were getting a little too modern for their menfolk.

 

Still looking for info on Walpurgis Night...

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I only caught a few minutes of this interesting film. I also thought that Ingrid Bergman's early beauty was a highlight of this movie. Here's some information about Walpurgis Night from the Swedish Institute:

 

Walpurgis Night

 

On the evening of April 30, bonfires are lit all over Sweden to mark the end of winter and the beginning of spring. People gather by the light and heat of the fire to listen to choirs performing a number of traditional spring songs - quite ironic if, in the meantime, sleet and snow are doing their best to put the fire out.

 

Celebrating Walpurgis Night on the eve of the feast of St Walburga was originally a German custom. Walburga, who was an abbess in Germany in the 8th century, has become Sweden's Valborg. Lighting bonfires, especially in the eastern parts of Sweden, is an ancient custom: it was done to scare off predators before the cattle and sheep were let out to graze but also to protect people against the witches believed to be gathering on this very night to worship the devil.

 

Especially in university towns like Uppsala and Lund, the traditions surrounding Walpurgis Night are strong and include choral singing, speeches and wearing white-topped graduation caps. The bonfires also offer a suitable occasion to get rid of all of the winter debris. The festival is also associated with fertility associated with the coming Spring warmth.

 

 

 

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I liked it very much also, although my wife hated it.

 

I agree that Walpurgis Night is preachy - as in "Reefer Madness" the moral of the story drives the reason behind making the movie, ergo the characters in the story run into the moral at every turn - this worse so in Walpurgis Night than in many other, similar pictures. The message is: Procreation is essential to success of Swedish society, and is the way to happiness for married couples. "Walpurgis Night" is a socially conscious soap opera, but a high class one.

 

I found it similar in tone to Lois Weber's "Where Are My Children" (1916) also shown some time ago on TCM. Bergman radiates in her supporting role, and is the main reason to watch the film. But I also appreciated seeing Lars Hanson in something less melodramatic than "The Scarlet Letter" (1926), but he still appeared to some degree a little overly made-up, kind of stiff and stentorian. Sjostrom brought dignity, but not depth, to his role as Bergman's father.

 

The camerawork was outstanding - from the first shot to the last, framed for maximum effect. The set dressing was nearly as good. There is a weird defect to the film's soundtrack, as though for many stretches one take of the music cue seems to be riding on top of an another. It is clear in some dissolves the music dissolves along with the picture, and a couple of these soundtrack joins work. but it seems like the cutter used to soundtrack strips of A & B choices of cues, and achieved the good music dissolves by moving from A to B along with the picture. But the sound cutter neglected to replace all of the "B" cues with blank sountrack.

 

Such a defect may go back to the original prints. I have no idea how you would solve the problem if you didn't have the original sound elements. Perhaps Svensk Industri DOES have these elements and should be notified.

 

Uncle Dave Lewis

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Thanks everyone, for your thoughts on this movie. I'm especially grateful for the info on what exactly "Walpurgis Night" is. I kind of thought it was a welcome spring festival of some sort! And to read it has something to do with fertility...well, that certainly makes sense when you see the movie!

 

Uncle Dave, you are right...it did remind me of WHERE ARE MY CHILDREN. Only this one has a happier ending, since the man gets a child in the last reel. The poor guy in the silent is still childless.

 

I also thought Seastrom added "dignity," but his character didn't have much depth, or at least what you might expect from him. I don't think an actor can be blamed for a less-than-meaty role. I liked the scene where he confronted Bergman about whether Card #33 contained her name. You can see/feel the poor guy's pain. And later in that same conversation, when Bergman says she wishes she HAD gotten pregnant by Borg, you can see the utter disbelief at what he hears come out of his dear daughter's mouth.

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