Summer with Monika
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Exploitation film presenter Kroger Babb purchased the American rights to the film in 1956. To increase excitement for the film, he edited it down to sixty-two minutes and emphasized the film's nudity. Renaming the film Monika, the Story of a Bad Girl and connoting it to the bad girl movies tradition, he provided a good deal of suggestive promotional material, including postcards featuring the nude Andersson.
The film sparked controversy abroad for its frank depiction of nudity, and along with the film One Summer of Happiness from the year before, directed by Arne Mattsson, it started the reputation of Sweden as a sexually liberated place. (While Sweden is relatively sexually liberal in many regards, much of the concept of "Swedish sin" is largely exaggerated and was perpetuated by the film industry, not least by the so-called "Schwedenfilme" produced in Germany.)
The film made a star of its lead actress, Harriet Andersson. Bergman had been intimately involved with Andersson at the time and conceived the film as a vehicle for her. The two of them would go on to make several other films together, even after their romantic relationship had ended, most notably Sawdust and Tinsel (1953), Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), and Through a Glass Darkly (1961).
- Harriet Andersson - Monika
- Lars Ekborg - Harry
- Dagmar Ebbesen - Harry's aunt
- Åke Fridell - Monika's father
- Naemi Briese - Monika's mother
- Åke Grönberg - Harry's friend at work
- Sigge Fürst - Porcelain warehouse worker
- John Harryson - Lelle
Kroger Babb re-edit
Kroger Babb's acquisition of the American theatrical rights for Ingmar Bergman's Sommaren med Monika (Summer with Monika) is a good example of film re-editing or film remixing. About one third of the film was cut, and the remaining sixty-two minutes emphasized nudity by retaining a skinny-dipping scene; the result was titled Monika, the Story of a Bad Girl. Suggestive advertising art, including promotional postcards, portrayed the nude rear of Harriet Andersson.