There are films that work well largely because of the leading actress, and Summer with Monika (1953) is 1 of them, with Monika played by Harriet Andersson, who was to become 1 of Ingmar Bergman’s leading ladies.
Harriet Andersson’s Monika is so ravishing and beautiful and full of life—there is a youthful innocence about fun-loving Monika, an eagerness for life and adventures, and at the same time, she’s very sensual and has something of a wild animal about her—a seductive charm and recklessness that is destructive to both herself and anyone that falls for her attractiveness, especially someone as sweet and kind as Harry in the film. What would happen to her in the end? I can’t say. Nothing good, I suppose.
This is a fresh and lovely film, and quite different from other films by “the gloomy Swede”.