Dysfunctional marriages of several unhappy rich doctors who work at a private clinic and their neglected wives who deal with their own unhappiness in various ways enter crisis mode when one of them murders his cheating wife.
In the middle of the 19th century, Kristina and Karl-Oskar live in a small rural village in Smaaland (southern Sweden). They get married and try to make a living on a small spot of land. ... See full summary »
Zandy Allan purchases a mail-order bride, Hannah Lund. He treats her as a possession, without respect or humanity, until their shared ordeal as they struggle to survive develops in him a growing love.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I hope you find a friend.
Friend? A friend is one who keeps their part of the bargain. You want a friend in me? Give me the sums I asked for.
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Some sources list the running time as 116 minutes, though available prints run 97 minutes. The latter is actually the official runtime; a preview cut of the film ran nearly 20 minutes longer than the film that was eventually released, but the running time for the longer version has been erroneously listed instead. See more »
Miscast outdoor saga with feminist leanings and routine character development
Rugged, impolite frontiersman in Old West Northern California is immediately displeased with his mail-order bride when he sees that she has lied about her age; she's overwhelmed with the remoteness of his shack ("a pigsty") and by her new husband's unwashed, ungainly manner. Swedish director Jan Troell attempts to build momentum in this tumultuous relationship, but he does so like a bricklayer. One can practically check off the scenes from a list: the marriage rape, the visit from the old girlfriend, the husband's injury, the wife brushing out her lustrous hair in front of the fire. Troell is not a formulaic filmmaker, yet this nearly plays like a parody of his earlier "The Emigrants" (with a cartoonish Appalachian-flavored score and by-the-numbers male-female relations). Liv Ullmann's English has greatly improved, though she's still not convincing as a woman "from American stock" and her performance is disappointing; Gene Hackman, cast yet again as a snarling sonuvabitch, is somewhat more suited to the surroundings, but his character has no positive attributes (and watching his 'growth' isn't enlightening or surprising). The cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth and Frank M. Holgate is very good, and there are dramatic scene compositions which are intricate and well-realized, but this script is pretty dusty. *1/2 from ****
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