Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

No reviewer of the 1958 MGM musical Gigi will ever come up with a better lede paragraph than the one Bosley Crowther wrote for his review in The New York Times, in which he affects modest shock at the astonishing list of coincidences between the film and a recent Broadway, before drily ending with the […]

Palm Springs, in one single creative choice, becomes both an extremely fresh and an extremely limited variation on the time loop scenario: it is the first one of these things that I can name that assumes that we all know what “time loop scenario” means (if you don’t, it means “Groundhog Day knock-off”). This means […]

A review requested by Mandy, with thanks to supporting Alternate Ending as a donor through Patreon. Do you have a movie you’d like to see reviewed? This and other perks can be found on our Patreon page! Before watching it, I knew about 2013’s Fateful Findings, the breakthrough for writer/director/producer* Neil Breen, only that it […]

Let us start by making an important distinction: the title of Ingmar Bergman’s first feature from 1955 might be generally given in English as Dreams, but the Swedish title Kvinnodröm more literally translates to “Women’s dreams”. And this is, after a fashion, what the film presents: a pair of women hoping for more than they’re […]

The first half of the 1950s was the most troubled time in Ingmar Bergman’s entire career, business-wise if not artistically, and things bottomed out in 1953. This was when Sawdust and Tinsel released, and became the first unmitigated disaster of his career: resoundingly rejected by audiences and treated coldly by critics (that it was his […]

I will begin by confessing that I don’t entirely know how to suss out the parentage of Eva, a 1948 Swedish drama. The credits declare that the scenario is by director Gustaf Molander, while the script was written by Ingmar Bergman, and unless the word “scenario” means literally the exact opposite in the Swedish film […]

There is, I think, an excellent possibility that there is not a worse film with better cinematography than Cool as Ice, the 1991 film where Janusz Kamiński was given more or less an entire free hand to do literally whatever he wanted. And oh my word, did he ever run with that. View it as […]

The name of the game is “let’s look at all of Ingmar Bergman’s early screenplays”, and the Swedish critics of 1947 were certainly willing to play that game just as much as I am over 70 years later: Woman Without a Face, the fourth film with a Bergman script (beating A Ship to India to […]

Insofar as the 1944 Swedish film Torment is much remembered or discussed at all, it’s because the script was written by a 24-year-old named Ingmar Bergman, who was very eagerly in those days trying to kick-start a career in cinema, or theater, or both. He was successful in these goals. And this film is a […]

1953’s Summer with Monika, Ingmar Bergman’s twelfth feature film as director, was also the film with which he first found major international success, though that success had very little to do with critical recognition of his talent. Rather, it’s because Summer with Monika had what was, at the time, a groundbreaking depiction of nudity, and […]

Summer Interlude was the first film directed by Ingmar Bergman that he was entirely happy to have made. That’s enough to grab my attention, at least, and while there’s no reason we have to agree with him (filmmakers have been getting their own films wrong since the beginning), it’s still worth pondering what about the […]

It is a law as inexorable as gravity that if a European movie has the word “joy” in its title, it will be just about the most grimly tragic, unhappy thing imaginable. And so it is with 1950’s To Joy, the eighth film directed by Ingmar Bergman, the second with an original screenplay that he […]