Scen.: Georg af Klercker. F.: Gustav A. Gustafson. Int.: Manne Göthson (Robert von Meislingen), Gabriel Alw (Peter Långhår), Justus Hagman (Jens), Sture Baude (un attore), Johnny Björkman (Emil Ström), Hugo Björne (direttore del teatro). Prod.: Hasselblads Fotografiska AB. 35mm. L.: 1262 m. D.: 62‘ a 18 f/s. Bn.
This drama of a baron, with ambitions as a poet that exceed his talent and who befriends an impoverished writer, was directed by Georg af Klercker and produced by Hasselblads in Göteborg (owned by the famous camera manufacturer). One of the few studios outside Stockholm at the time, the film brings unfamiliar locations and faces to the screen. A romantic depiction of true Art, Nattliga toner displays theatre’s capacity to reveal truth in the midst of disguise and appearances, and shows Klercker’s mastery of framing and lighting, much admired by Ingmar Bergman.
The film was originally preserved in the late 1960’s, when a duplicate positive and prints without intertitles were made from the original camera negative. In the early 1990’s Bergman convinced the Svenska Filminstitutet to restore the film and insert full-length titles, as he thought the film had been unjustly neglected.
Klercker was hired as director and head of production by Svenska Biografteatern in 1912, soon to be followed by Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller. After falling out of favour with studio head Charles Magnusson he tried his luck with Hasselblad, for which he made a number of visually striking melodramas and adventure films. By a twist of irony Hasselblad was taken over by Skandia later in 1918, which was involved the following year in the merger with Svenska Biografteatern which saw the birth of Svensk Filmindustri, headed by Magnusson. Thus Klercker’s days as a director were effectively over.
At the time when Nattliga toner was restored, Bergman wrote a stage play called Sista skriket (The Last Cry), depicting a fictional encounter between Klercker and Magnusson, where the director begs for one more opportunity to make a film. The first performance of the play was staged in the main cinema of the Svenska Filminstitutet in 1992, followed by the first screening of the restored version of Nattliga toner. The stage play was later adapted for television and broadcast in 1995.