Wednesday, February 4, 2015

June Night (1940)


“Will I never be free? Will I never be forgiven?”

            In a kitchen a family can hear their upstairs tenant moving around and making loud noises. The woman who owns the house is upset she let a room to an unemployed man. The man is Nils Asklund. He looks at his girlfriend Kerstin (Ingrid Bergman) with a wild look in his eyes and asks if she has been seeing another man. She gives him a smirk and a small laugh. Before she can turn and leave Nils shoots her.
            Kerstin’s heart was grazed. The doctors are amazed that she survived the shooting. When she is recovering, Kerstin asks her doctor when she can leave she wants to leave the small town and go to Stockholm where no one will know her. The doctor reminds her she still has to heal and there is the trial she has to go through.
            At the trial Nils explains that he thought Kerstin had been seeing another man and he got jealous. He had his gun out because he was going to kill himself but as Kerstin was walking out she laughed and he saw red and shot her. Kerstin comes to the stand. The judge reminds everyone that Kerstin never told the police the whole story of what happened that night. She explains that what happened was her fault not Nils’s. She had been looking for adventure when she met him. Kerstin asks the court to be lenient with his sentence. As she finishes, Kerstin faints from standing and the pressure. A newspaper photographer gets a photo of her fainting.
            Newspaper reporter Willy Wilson was at the trial. He is thrilled by the photograph the camera captured. He has his story run on the front page with the photograph of Kerstin fainting. The editor and the owner of the newspaper comes in fuming over the story because he sees it as gossip and scandal. He goes on and on until Willy hands him another photograph of Kerstin walking out into the courtroom. She has a face of an angel and the owner calms down over the story.
            The doctor gets Kerstin a job in Stockholm at a pharmacy. The only thing she has to do is change her name because the owner of the pharmacy does not want people to come looking for her. Kerstin chooses the name Sara Nordana. The doctor also tells Kerstin that her wound is still not healed and must be looked at. He gives her the name of a doctor in the city.
            As soon as she arrives in the city Kerstin goes to see her new doctor. He is very straightforward and sees through her lies when he asks how she came by her injury. The nurse, Asa, asks for Kerstin’s address. She does not have one yet she is living at a hotel for the moment. Asa tells Kerstin she can come live at the boarding house room she shares with two other girls. The one girl, Nichlan, is a switchboard operator at the newspaper that ran Kerstin’s story. Nichlan recognizes Kerstin but cannot place her for a few moments.
            Asa’s boyfriend, Stefan, is the other doctor in the office she works at. She tells Stefan she knows who Kerstin really is. Stefan asks if he can meet Kerstin. Asa never wants him to meet her roommate. The following day Kerstin comes into the office. Before Stefan can talk to her Asa comes between them and tells Kerstin she can leave the office the doctor does not need to see her. Kerstin comes back look for Stefan but leaves when she does not see him. Asa goes to see Kerstin at the pharmacy where she works. She explains to her friend that she was jealous because Stefan was asking about her and just wanted to talk to her about that.
            Nils comes into town one night. Kerstin is working at the pharmacy late one night. Nils rings the bell for her to come to the door. When she sees him she is not happy but lets him into the store to talk. He immediately grabs her and begs her to be with him again. The shock of seeing Nils and the way he grabbed her is too much for her weak heart to take. She goes to the phone. Nils thinks she is going to call the police or her boyfriend he thinks she has. Kerstin calls Asa to come and help her. Asa in turn calls Stefan.
            Stefan takes Kerstin home while Asa stays at the pharmacy to speak to Nils. Willy is at the room back at the boarding house. Nichlan is kicking him out because he got too drunk. The moment Willy comes out of the room Stefan and Kerstin come out of the elevator. Nichlan and the other roommate start making a fuss about Stefan being Asa’s boyfriend. Willy immediately runs off to go write a new story for the paper about Kerstin and how she has apparently found a new man. Stefan takes Kerstin into her room and locks the door. He tells her he loves her even though he barely knows her. He invites Kerstin to come with him around the country for the next month. She seems hesitant for a bit but then agrees to come with him. Asa comes back with news that Nils is no longer in town.
            Willy writes his story and tries to get it printed without the owner knowledge. Nichlan hurries with the print of the story to the owner. Kerstin had once been there for Nichlan when she was sad about Willy being a creep and she wants to return the favor. The owner comments how this new story about Kerstin is an attack on her person. He calls in Willy and tells him what he thinks about his stories. Nichlan is happy she was able to help Kerstin and keep her name out of the paper.
            The next day Stefan tells Asa that he is in love with Kerstin and they are going away together.
            June Night was alright. I liked how the stories of all the characters came together and involved Kerstin. Besides that the story was boring. I will not say it was typical there were many aspects of this film that are interesting to see and compare it to an American film from the same time period. This was Ingrid Bergman’s last films she made in Sweden before she left for Hollywood. Bergman was so damn ridiculously talented. I love how she had the ability to make a not so great story and character better than what they should have been. This is the second film I have seen of Bergman’s that she made in Sweden. It is fun to hear her speak her native language even if having to read the subtitles takes away from me staring at her gorgeous face and watching her act. As a huge Ingrid Bergman fan I will of course say June Night is worth seeing. If I was a casual fan of her I would say to drag your heels it is not imperative to find. June Night is available in a pack entitled Ingrid Bergman in Sweden along with Intermezzo and A Woman’s Face