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Sweden, 1966
Directed by Zetterling
Screenplay by Zetterling, David Hughes
Starring Ingrid Thulin, Keve Hjelm, Lena Brundin, Jörgen Lindström, Judith Crist
New DCP restoration courtesy Swedish Film Institute and Janus Films. Approx 105 min.

Returning with new fiance Lena Brundin to his opulent family home, Keve Hjelm is overwhelmed by memories of a childhood marked by his oedipal relationship with dissolute mother Ingrid Thulin (seen in flashbacks, presiding over scenes of aristocratic decadence and sexual excess.) Adapted by Zetterling and then-husband David Hughes from her own unfinished novel, NIGHT GAMES caused a furor upon its release, its outrages including scenes of incest, masturbation, and a public birth at a debauched party. Denied a public screening at the Venice Film Festival, its acceptance at San Francisco caused jury member Shirley Temple to resign in protest. John Waters has named NIGHT GAMES his favorite film.


“NIGHT GAMES is an exceedingly Freudian film—although Zetterling later denied this and claimed that her heart was with Carl Gustav Jung rather than ‘uncle Freud’”
Mariah Larsson, A Cinema of Obsession: The Life and Work of Mai Zetterling

“An absorbing, even brilliant film… When it was first exhibited at the Venice Film Festival in 1966, it was considered the most daring film ever made. The police closed the theater to the public, and the judges saw it at a private screening…Now it can be seen for what it is: Not a sexploitation film in any sense, but a serious attempt to get inside the mind of this character.”
Roger Ebert

“It’s been attacked as pornographic, but the attacks have not convinced anybody who actually saw it; indeed the manner in which eroticism is handled would be enough to make anybody think twice about the joys of sex. For the concern of NIGHT GAMES is with a certain kind of depravity and with its unfortunate consequences. The scenes which have caused objections are in fact shocking; that is why they are necessary to the film.”
Film Comment

“Loaded with material of the most explicit and licentious sort”
– Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

Film Forum