KAL NAPOLEON KALSSONS BONDTUR ELLER EN VANDRING I STOCKHOLMS LUSTGÅRDAR
[Kal Napoleon Kalsson’s Stroke of Luck, or, Wandering through the Pleasure Gardens of Stockholm]
Maria Ekman (SE 1915)
After winning a huge sum of money in a lottery, Kal Napoleon Kalsson decides to go to Stockholm to pay his nephew Gunnar a visit while spending his newly earned fortune on what luxury the city has to offer. In Stockholm Kal Napoleon falls in love with Lisa, the sister of Gunnar’s fiancée, and the money-spending excesses continue as the newly engaged couple start planning for their future married life.
The thin and slightly repetitive story of this fiction film is built around showing off a number of places where the wealthier members of the audience could spend their money on various items, such as expensive clothes, shoes, luxury cars, or dining at a fancy restaurant. (Simpler moviegoers had to settle for being told what coffee to buy – in this case, Brana-Kaffe, which is prominently displayed on a table and mentioned in an intertitle.) This multi-product-selling structure makes this film different from the others in our series, which are made to advertise only one brand or product.
The film was written and directed by Maria Ekman, and is the oldest surviving Swedish film that can be officially regarded as a commercial. It was, however, not the first Swedish film made in this genre. In 1911 a similar film, the now-lost Stockholmsfrestelser eller Ett Norrlands-herrskaps äventyr i den sköna synderskans stad [Stockholm Temptations, or The Adventures of a Norrland Couple in the Beautiful Sinner’s City], was directed by another female filmmaker, Anna Hofman-Uddgren. From preserved records we know the plot of Hofman-Uddgren’s film: it also dealt with lottery winners from the country spending their money in Stockholm.
While Kal Napoleon Kalssons bondtur remains the otherwise unknown Maria Ekman’s only credited contribution to filmmaking, the lead actor, Sigurd Wallén (1884-1947), who made his film debut in 1911 in Hofman-Uddgren’s Stockholmsfrestelser, would continue working both in front of and behind the camera, and became one of the most productive Swedish film directors of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.
About the print: In 2019 a 35mm print was struck from the film’s original nitrate negative. It is uncertain if the design of the intertitles is original, since these are on acetate film stock spliced in later. The wording does however correspond to the title list submitted to the Swedish board of censorship in 1915.
Tina Anckarman, Magnus Rosborn
regia/dir, scen: Maria Ekman.
cast: Sigurd Wallén (Kal Napoleon Kalsson), Erik Taube (Gunnar, suo nipote(his nephew), Magda Englund (Tora, la fidanzata/Gunnar’s fiancée), Edith Wallén (Lisa, sua sorella/Tora’s sister).
prod: Reklamkontoret, AB Svenska Biografteatern.
copia/copy: 35mm, 454 m., 22′ (18 fps); did./titles: SWE.
fonte/source: Svenska Filminstitutet, Stockholm.