Director: Ingmar Bergman
Year Released: 1946
Very early Bergman brings together two ditzy lovers with sketchy pasts - he's been to jail a couple of times, she's sexually impulsive and carrying the child of some stranger (she doesn't even remember his face!) - and their desperate attempt to 'start over' together. The trouncing his protagonists receive at the hands of society (or each other) is brutal - at every turn, their relationship and aspirations are thwarted by some contrivance, until the omniscient narrator (basically a guardian angel) turns out to be a public defender and manages to get them out of legal trouble with a plea for absolution (it's a flimsy defense, but when you have divine intervention you don't need much else). It's more than evident that the Swedish master had talent in the beginning but required polish - and, incidentally, to start writing his own material and exploring his own demons - but despite this movie's flaws, Bergman obsessives will want to take a look.