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Seduction Cinema presents
Inga (Jag-en oskuld) (1967)

"It's natural for a girl to want sex."
- Greta Johansson (Monica Strömmerstedt)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: February 28, 2002

Stars: Marie Liljedahl, Monica Strommerstedt
Other Stars: Curt Ericson, Else Marie Brandt, Sissi Kaiser, Thomas Ungewitter
Director: Joseph Sarno

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nudity, sexuality)
Run Time: 01h:20m:36s
Release Date: February 26, 2002
UPC: 612385220494
Genre: foreign


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ C+B+B+ B-

DVD Review

American born Joseph Sarno started making erotic cinema in 1962, three years after Russ Meyer's debut, The Immoral Mr. Teas, had become the first soft-core film to turn a profit, earning a million dollars at the box office. Sarno would be prolific over the next five years, turning out twenty-seven films before relocating to Sweden in 1967, where much of the European erotica was being produced. Jag—en oskuld (literally I—A Virgin, but marketed elsewhere as Inga) became a huge success, particularly in America, Germany and Italy, though was panned by critics in its native Sweden, which Sarno suggests was due more to the press not appreciating Swedish talent being used for an American's film. It did stir a fair degree of controversy in its time; it was banned in at least one US state. The film was the first for Marie Liljedahl, who would become a star as a result, and appears in the sequel, Någon att älska (The Seduction of Inga) shot in 1969, but not released until 1971.Thirty-six-year-old Greta (Monica Strömmerstedt, who is now a judge) is a widow, keeping a young man in his early twenties as her boyfriend. Karl (Casten Lassen) is an expensive investment—a fledgling, unpublished writer, he relies on her wealth to supply him with toys, like his nice sports car—and Greta's finances are in need of bolstering if she is to remain his sugar mama. Her deceased husband's best friend, Einar (Thomas Ungewitter), is interested in young women, Greta in particular, and is looking for a companion now that his wife has been committed to a sanitarium. Einar's sister, Sigrid (Sissi Kaiser), looks out for his brother's interests, and knows he will find himself in trouble with his tastes, so she offers Greta compensation to take the role of Einar's lover. While Greta has no qualms about sleeping with him, she won't give up Karl, who is now looking at having her buy him a boat. Greta's seventeen-year-old niece has recently been orphaned and comes to stay with her, and Greta hopes the girl may provide the perfect solution, if Inga would become Einar's new partner. Inga, a quiet and studious young woman, is also a virgin, and not sure how to handle her burgeoning sexuality. Upon her arrival she turns the heads of everyone around her, including Karl, who she also takes a liking to. Greta hooks Inga up with Einar, and her plans seem to be going well, but when she offers a bit of advice to the girl, it isn't taken the way she had intended. The film is infused with a very liberal 1960s attitude, and features some "stylish" (term used loosely) musical numbers and "hip" dance steps in a couple of scenes. Sarno comments that he likes to feature strong female characters, who take control of their situations and are not manipulated by men—unlike many other soft-core features—and Inga certainly falls within his formula. Both principle women know what they want and set about getting it, though with different personalities and experiences to draw from. The story has some interesting twists to it, and a real plot—this isn't just sex scenes strung together with filler—any erotic content here serves the story, not the other way around.While pretty tame by today's standards, it isn't hard to see how Inga would cause a stir when it was first released, especially in North America; not so much for being explicit—which it isn't—but for what is implied. Central to the film (and certainly the advertising) is a sequence in which Inga discovers her sexuality, but rather than simply exploiting the situation, Sarno focuses on her facial expressions. The cinematography is tasteful, and while there is a fair amount of nudity, more often than not, any encounters are skillfully cut away before anything graphic is seen, except when necessary to the plot. Aside from the girl's age (which I assume is consent in Sweden), there really isn't anything here that hasn't been seen a thousand times since. As a notable release in the history of erotic cinema, this is worthy of a look for those who aren't offended by the subject matter.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyesyes
Anamorphicnoyes


Image Transfer Review: Two separate transfers are provided here, one for the Swedish language version, which has burned in subtitles (which are often hard to read), and a second without subtitles for the English dub. Both are quite good in general, with a wide tonal range. They do exhibit some degree of edge enhancement, with the Swedish version looking slightly sharper, though in an unnatural way. This version also contains more compression artifacts, which are infrequent; however, at least one scene features some blockiness on the actress' face, which is pretty noticeable. The English version looks slightly darker overall, with a higher contrast level. Both have print defects, primarily around reel changes, but are otherwise pretty clean. Not perfect, but well above average.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoSwedish, Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Mono audio is available in original Swedish or an English dub, which are attached to separate transfers, so switching between them via remote is not possible. Both are fairly limited in frequency range, and contain an ambient level of hiss. The Swedish track is pretty clean, with only extremely mild distortion in a couple of places. The English track is quite sibilant, and the dub voices are nowhere in sync with the lip movements, and the script has been altered in many details. The commentary is only available on the English version as the second audio track.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Subtitles/Captions in English
2 Original Trailer(s)
14 Other Trailer(s) featuring Misty Mundae: Mummy Raider, Erotic Vampire in Paris, Gladiator Eroticvs, Erotic Survivor 2, Vampire Obsession, Erotic Mirror, Sexy 6th Sense, 2069: A Sexy Odyssey, Naughty Stewardesses, Female Animal, Masters Plaything, Seduction of Inga, I Like Girls Who Do, Possession of Nurse SherriThe Seduction of Inga
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Joseph Sarno, Peggy Stephens, Sam Sherman, Bruce G. Hallenbeck
Packaging: unmarked keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. Separate English language version
  2. Audio interview with Marie Liljedahl
  3. Outakes
Extras Review: An outake reel (09m:29s) contains a lot more groovy dancing—I swear, the goofiest is a ringer for Kevin Bacon—plus bits and pieces that look like alternate takes. Interestingly, one scene of Inga at a train station with an old woman looks far more natural here than the overcompressed version seen in the Swedish cut of the film.We also get an 08m:59s audio interview with star Marie Liljedahl. The format is a little odd; questions are shown as text with a musical score and image montage behind them, then she vocalizes the answers. While there is some interesting information here, the delivery is pretty flat.A roundtable commentary by director/writer Joseph Sarno, his wife and assistant, Peggy Stephans, and producer Sam Shepard. Film historian, Bruce G. Hallenbeck directs questions to the group, which provokes some interesting responses, especially since Peggy has never seen the finished film. Considering this release is marketed as uncut, the director notes several changes to his film, including a number of dissolves and background music during the sex scenes, which he claims weren't supposed to be there. The participants also talk over each other on occasion, carrying on two separate threads in the conversation. There is a great deal of ground covered here, including the fact that none of the intimate scenes were simulated.A trailer archive is broken into two menus, one, Seduction Cinema, for a collection of recent, made-for-video erotica: Misty Mundae: Mummy Raider, Erotic Vampire in Paris, Gladiator Eroticvs, Erotic Survivor 2, Vampire Obsession, Erotic Mirror, and Sexy 6th Sense. The Retro-Seduction Cinema section is for older films including 2069: A Sexy Odyssey, Naughty Stewardesses, Female Animal, Master's Plaything, Seduction of Inga, I Like Girls Who Do, and Possession of Nurse Sherri.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

Joseph Sarno's first Swedish soft-core film has historic interest, and is served here in both its original language version and its US counterpart. With good acting and production values, Inga harkens back to a day when erotica didn't have to be explicit to be considered sensual, and actually supported a developed storyline. The extras compliment the feature, and contain interesting insights into the maturation of the genre. The style is definitely 1960s, complete with the fashion and music of the period. As an example of the early European style, Inga gets a recommendation for fans of the genre.

 


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