Inga (1968)

a.k.a. - Jag - en oskuld (SWE)

Marie Liljedahl stars in Joe Sarno's well written erotic drama. Retro-Seduction Cinema R0 USA.

The Film

In contemporary Sweden, Greta a thirty-something woman is attending a party with her boyfriend Karl. He is a writer, working on a project but not earning any money, instead he lives off Greta for all his expenses. Greta meets and old friend Einar, whom her mother used to babysit. He is now very successful and wealthy but his disabled wife has left him without a suitable escort for formal events and Einar's sister Sigrid suggests that if Greta becomes his mistress that she could support her financially. Einar however has eyes for much younger woman and when Greta's young virginal niece Inga (Marie Liljedahl) arrives to live with her, she sees a chance to secure the promise of a steady income from Sigrid...

In the opening a young woman at a party of twenty-somethings is outed as a virgin by a mock court and 'sentenced' to be publically deflowered. Is it a warning for parents to lock up their daughters or are we supposed to be aroused? The film takes a firmly neutral standpoint on this issue and throughout the film with a number of emotive issues being raised, most notably adultery and infidelity, the script remains surprisingly impassive, never forcing any characters to emerge as the good or the bad. Instead we have to form our own judgements as you would when meeting people in a real social circle. This is most evident with Karl who on first impressions seems to be leaching off Greta and whose temptation to cheat on her comes off as particularly unpleasant. As the film progresses it becomes clear that Greta is the one who needs Karl and our perspectives of all the characters change dramatically.

Inga was not originally to be the script's main focus, it was only after European audience's extremely positive reactions to Liljedahl's performance that the focus of the American promotion was focused on the character - as a result Inga does not arrive into the story proper until the half-way mark which does allows the script time to develop the other characters and their relationships but has the side effect of forshortening the coming-of-age of Inga's character which has enough potential to fill out the whole film, but has to be compressed into a much shorter space of time. The film as a whole runs to just 80 minutes and as a result is always well paced, culminating in a very neat ending. While the presence of sex scenes in the film was enough to see it pushed as a raunchy production in the States, the film seems to be less an attempt to make a blue movie than a realistic drama that contains realistic sexual scenes. The nude scenes never come across as gratuitous although they are certainly not dull and Inga's masturbation sequence is genuinely erotic.

American director Joe Sarno had worked on a number of early sexploitation films, incorporating sex and nudity into detailed soap-opera storylines, partly to allow them to be shown into the US which had strict censorship laws at the time but also out of a prefence for realistic situations rather than endless sex scenes. Sarno shot Inga, like most of his film from the period, in black and white and his direction as a whole is nothing too impressive but always solid and does incorporate some beautiful framing in a few scenes. The sex scenes themselves are often shot in unusually tight close-up which does serve to make them seem very intimate but might well be a side effect of censorship concerns. The soundtrack is a very varied mix of contemporary dance music and an effective background score.

Just seventeen when the movie was filmed, Marie Liljedahl was making her first real cinematic appearance but does some very good work throughout, both in the acting and the sex scenes - her very young looking innocent appearance is simply perfect for the role and it is easy to believe that she is as naïve as her character at the start of the film. The rest of the cast consist of some experienced actors and some who have no other filmic credits, but the acting is generally strong.

With the film boasting a number of sexual scenes and starring the gorgeous Marie Liljedahl, Inga, like many of Joe Sarno's films has understandably but quite incorrectly been labeled as a pornographic film, with the result that many viewers are left disappointed by the lengthy dialogue scenes and quite sparse nudity. Inga would be much better classified as a well balanced drama piece in which sex and sexual development, as in real life, often has a key role to play but is far from the only factor present. The clever and unpredictable little script is well served by some solid direction and the beautiful Liljedahl in the title role. Recommended.

In Brief
Anyone famous in it? Marie Liljedahl - a young Swedish actress who made just seven films including Jess Franco's Eugenie (1969)
Directed by anyone interesting? Joe Sarno - an American director who helmed over a hundred sexploitation films, including this film's sequel The Seduction of Inga (1971) as well as films like Moonlighting Wives (1966) and Laura's Toys (1975)
Any gore or violence? None
Any sex or nudity? A number of female topless shots although all quite brief.
Who is it for? Certainly of interest to cult film fans, but not for anyone looking for a softcore porn film.

Visuals Original Aspect Ratio - 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen. Black and White
The print is generally good, with good details and contrast. Noticable grain and specking but never distracting.
Audio English mono, sounds fine.
Subtitles None.
Extras The disc includes:
  • Swedish version of the film. A seperate video file includes the entire film in Swedish. The films run the same length and there do not seem to be any differences in editing, some dialogue is changed slightly, but not changing the story at all. Picture quality is a little more grainy but still watchable. Includes burnt-in English subs - they are white and can be sometimes hard to make out properly.
  • Audio commentary with Joe Sarno, his wife Peggy (who was involved heavily in the film), producer Sam Sherman and moderated by Bruce Hollenbeck. Slow in paces but with a lot of interesting information.
  • Two theatrical trailers, both emphasising the sex scenes.
  • An interview with Marie Liljedahl - audio only, asks some interesting questions about her involvement with this film, but leaves many interesting questions unanswered. (10 minutes).
  • "Outtakes" - extra footage of the dancing party scenes and what seems to be an alternate take of the shower scene (although it looks identical to that in the final film). A curio. (10 minutes)
  • Trailers for other Retro-seduction releases: 2069: A Sexy Odyssey, Naughty Stewardesses, Female Animal, Masters Plaything, Seduction of Inga, I Like Girls Who Do and Possession of Nurse Sherri.
  • Trailers for other modern Seduction Cinema projects: Misty Mundae: Mummy Raider, Erotic Vampire in Paris, Gladiator Eroticvs, Erotic Survivor 2, Vampire Obsession, Erotic Mirror and Sexy 6th Sense.
Region Region 1 (USA, North America) - NTSC
Other regions? Not otherwise available on English friendly DVD.
Cuts? Believed to be uncut, but this is unconfirmed, many different edits of the film circulated in Europe. The print used is English language.



All text in this review written by Timothy Young - 5th November 2010 - part of 'Naughty November'.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

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