Blu-ray, DVD Release: Summer With Monika

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 29, 2012
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion

Summer with Monika movie scene

Harriet Andersson and Lars Ekborg are young and in love in Bergman's 1953 Summer with Monika.

Inspired by the earthy eroticism of his muse Harriet Andersson (Smiles of a Summer Night), in the first of her many film roles for him, Ingmar Bergman (Face to Face) had a major international breakthrough with his 1953 drama-romance Summer With Monika.

Set in Stockholm, the sensual tale of young love tells of a girl (Andersson) and boy (Lars Ekborg, The Magician) from working-class families who run away from home to spend a secluded, romantic summer at the beach, far from parents and responsibilities. Inevitably, it’s not long before the pair is forced to return to reality.

The version of the classic film originally released in the U.S. was re-edited by its distributor into a notably more salacious kind of film, but the original Summer With Monika is presented in this Criterion edition.

The Blu-ray and DVD both offer new high-definition digital restorations, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition, along with the following bonus features:

  • introduction by director Ingmar Bergman
  • new interview with actress Harriet Andersson, conducted by film critic Peter Cowie
  • new interview with film scholar Eric Schaefer about Kroger Babb and Babb’s distribution of Monika: Story of a Bad Girl as an exploitation film
  • Images From the Playground, a half-hour documentary by Stig Björkman with behind-the-scenes footage shot by Bergman, archival audio interviews with Bergman, and new interviews with actresses Bibi Andersson and Harriet Andersson
  • trailer
  • new English subtitle translation
  • booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Laura Hubner, a 1958 review by filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, and a publicity piece from 1953 in which Bergman interviews himself
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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.