Elvira Madigan


1h 30m 1967

Brief Synopsis

Based on a scandal of the late 1800s, an army officer elopes to the country with a beautiful tightrope walker.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1967
Premiere Information
New York opening: 31 Oct 1967
Production Company
Europa Film; Janco Films
Distribution Company
Cinema V Distributing, Inc.
Country
Sweden
Screenplay Information
Based on the ballad "Visan om den sköna konstberiderskan Elvira Madigans kärlek och grymma död" by Johan Lindström Saxon (1889).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color

Synopsis

In the late 19th century, Sixten Sparre, a Swedish Army officer with a wife and two children, deserts his regiment and runs off with Elvira Madigan, a circus tightrope performer. Ignoring the social conventions and moral restrictions of the day, they abandon their former ways of life in the hope of finding happiness together. While picnicking in a field, Sixten shaves off his beard, and Elvira removes the gold military buttons from his jacket and replaces them with black ones from a scarecrow. They check into a small inn as husband and wife, and for a brief time, their days are filled with the simple pleasure of being in love. Eventually, however, their identity is discovered, and they are forced to flee to Denmark. There they are found by a fellow officer who tries to make Sixten return by telling him that his wife has tried to kill herself. Elvira overhears the conversation, and, believing the officer's report, she runs away. Sixten goes after her and convinces her that the suicide story is untrue; and they try to resume their idyllic life. When their money runs out, Elvira takes a job dancing at a village tavern, but Sixten becomes incensed when she shows her legs in public. A quarrel follows in which their identities are once more exposed. Now completely without funds, they must forage for food in the woods, eating berries and mushrooms. They eventually realize that life is tearing them apart. After stealing some food for a picnic lunch, they walk to a sunlit hillside to spend their last hours together. As Elvira chases a butterfly, Sixten takes his revolver and ends both their lives.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1967
Premiere Information
New York opening: 31 Oct 1967
Production Company
Europa Film; Janco Films
Distribution Company
Cinema V Distributing, Inc.
Country
Sweden
Screenplay Information
Based on the ballad "Visan om den sköna konstberiderskan Elvira Madigans kärlek och grymma död" by Johan Lindström Saxon (1889).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Based on a true incident. Location scenes filmed in Sweden. Released in Sweden in April 1967. An earlier version of Elvira Madigan, directed by Åke Ohberb, was released in Sweden in 1943.

Miscellaneous Notes

Voted Best Foreign Language Film of the Year by the 1967 National Board of Review.

Voted one of the Year's Ten Best Films by the 1967 New York Times Film Critics Association.

Winner of the Best Actress Prize (Degermark) at the 1967 Cannes Film Festival.

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1967

Released in United States on Video October 13, 1993

Released in United States September 29, 1967

Released in United States November 1967

Shown at New York Film Festival September 29, 1967.

Shown at London Film Festival November 1967.

Re-released in London August 16, 1991.

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1967

Released in United States on Video October 13, 1993

Released in United States September 29, 1967 (Shown at New York Film Festival September 29, 1967.)

Released in United States November 1967 (Shown at London Film Festival November 1967.)

The Country of Sweden