Port of Call

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Year Released: 1948
Rating: 2.5

A sailor saves a woman from an attempted suicide (by drowning!) and then inherits all of her baggage - the difficult mother, the scars left by an abusive father, years at reform school and a formidable list of sexual conquests (whoever said love was easy?). If he made this years later the Nine-Christine Jönsson role would have been played by Liv Ullmann - the role of the tormented woman is a Bergman constant - although he probably wouldn't have kept the same ending, which suggests hope where minutes prior it looked like Jönsson's world was going to fall apart (he pulled the same stunt with Crisis in 1946). Still, the issue of a man trying to 'make peace' with his lover's past is a universal problem, and as with other pictures in his oeuvre, Bergman's views on feminism are worth debating.