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Walpurgis Night

(Swedish 1935 b 79')

En: 5 Ed: 5

A secretary falls in love with her boss; but his wife has an abortion and kills the man blackmailing them, while the secretary's father misunderstands.

Newspaper editor Gustave Palm discusses how to increase Sweden's birthrate and is told housing is too limited; but Frederick Bergstrom (Victor Sjostrom) says the problem is lack of love. Clary Borg (Karin Kavli) tells her husband Johan Borg (Lars Hanson) she does not want a child. Lena Bergstrom (Ingrid Bergman) reviews her diary and her feelings toward her boss. She tells Johan Borg she is leaving to spend more time with her father. Clary asks her doctor for an abortion; but he advises against it. Johan wants to spend Walpurgis Night (April 30) with his wife Clary, but she says she is busy. Frederick tells Lena he has to work. Lena says good-bye to Johan, who is sad she is leaving and invites her to dinner, implying his wife left him. Clary has her pregnancy terminated by Dr. Smith. Lena dances with Johan and is seen by Svensson (Sture Lagerwall). Johan says he loves her, and she runs out; but in the car they kiss.

Frederick won't cut the spring articles and is shown a photo of Lena with Johan; he buys it so it won't be printed. Gustave says abortion doctor Smith was caught. Frederick asks Lena about Johan, and she admits she loves him. Editor Gustave wants Dr. Smith investigated. Frederick is worried about Lena. Johan promises Clary he'll pay the 5,000 and keep it secret but insists on separation despite her change of heart. Roger demands 2,000 more from Johan and pulls a gun. They fight, and Clary shoots Roger dead in defense of Johan, who drops his pen. Svensson sees Johan's name on it and tells Frederick. Svensson learns that Johan's secretary is Frederick's daughter and gives Frederick an hour before he goes to the police, and he burns Clary's card. Frederick calls on Johan, calls him a murderer, and demands he leave Lena alone; Johan agrees to do so. Svensson ditches the pen and tells Frederick, who just called the police. Lena gets messages to come home from her father and to forget Johan. Frederick castigates Lena for going to Dr. Smith but believes her when she denies it.

Johan has disappeared, and Clary asks a man to go away with her. Lena tells her father she can't forget Johan. The man tells Clary he isn't going with her because of his son. Frederick learns that Clary left a suicide note saying she killed Roger. Frederick is unable to find Johan, who has joined the foreign legion but wants to go home. On Walpurgis Night Johan goes to police and then finds Lena. In the final scene he and Lena have a child.

This drama affirms family values as the woman having the abortion ends up destroying herself while others are proud of their children.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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