This Can't Happen Here

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Year Released: 1950
Rating: 1.0

Bergman was apparently embarrassed by this one, and though I wouldn't say it's an atrocity - at least compared to the lesser films of his peers - it has little going for it. It seems to want to be some kind of espionage thriller, but can't pull it off: a 'spy' from a fictitious land, "Liquidatzia," meets up with his wife, but they clearly don't love each other anymore and she plunges a syringe into his spine - later, it's revealed she's a part of an underground movement to free people from Liquidatzia, and that the police are looking into the smugglings. It's horribly muddled and borderline pointless - it can't even pull off paranoia correctly - and the Bergman Intuition that paid off in so many other films is nonexistent: for example, allowing audio from a Donald Duck cartoon to play over a pivotal scene is, in general, something to avoid doing. This does belong in the director's "Low Tier" (if we were to 'rank' his formidable oeuvre) - also in there would be The Serpent's Egg and Crisis and Thirst - though I'd still rather watch it again than suffer through Scenes from a Marriage once more.