Review of Hjärter knekt (1950)

Moving picture, 84 minutes

Seen in 2017.

A doomed dandy flames out.

The foundation is low, but solid: Hasse Ekman as the witty, charming, secretly romantic and self-destructive 1940s playboy, undone by age, money and his own flaws.

The dialogue is pretty polished, playing with the formality of the Swedish language prior to du-reformen. Sandrew’s studio craft is mature (even Brända tomten looks good, briefly dressed up to stand in for Paris) and the supporting cast is OK although their characters are mostly underdeveloped. Most importantly, Ekman inserts the bite and measured melancholy that have made his name survive. It’s enough to keep me entertained, but the 35-year-old Ekman is not entirely convincing, especially not with 19-year-old Barbro Larsson in the very first scene. I’m glad those romanticized rape fantasies eventually went out of style.

moving picture fiction