The Mondo-Esoterica Guide to

Marie Liljedahl


Born in February 1950, Marie Liljedahl was soon bound for the stage and began acting at the age of ten, appearing with the Royal Opera ballet company at the age of twelve and playing a few minor extra roles in Swedish films. It was after appearing in an American musical in 1967 that she was recommended to audition for American director Joe Sarno. One of the first sexploitation directors who began his work in the early 1960s with films like Moonlighting Wives (1964) he was in Sweden to helm Jag - en oskuld, a coming of age drama with several sex scenes. Just seventeen and with cherubicly innocent looks, she was ideal for the role. Going through a period of teenage rebellion and unconcerned by the script's call for nudity and sex scenes, she played the part so well that her supporting role became the main attraction and for the American prints the film was titled Inga (1968).

The film circulated widely around Europe and Maria quickly found herself in demand, particularly in Germany where like Sweden, liberalisation was allowing increased eroticism in the cinema. She took the lead role as a prudish young woman who is put off sex by an encounter with her parents at the deed in the light sex comedy Willst du ewig Jungfrau bleiben? (1969), followed by the completely off the wall Grimms Märchen von lüsternen Pärchen (1969) an erotic take on the Grimm's Fairytale stories, playing an almost naked Snow White who in the film's most notorious scene has to orally milk a cow. She followed these parts with a photoshoot for Playboy magazine, appearing in the June 1968 issue and again in March 1969.

The continuing sucess of Inga, particularly when it opened in the US, brought Marie to the attention of British producer Harry Alan Towers who quickly snapped up the young star for Eugenie (1970), one of a number of erotic films that Towers was filming with Spanish director Jess Franco. Based on the writings of the Marquis de Sade, the film was Marie's most explicit to date including a number of fully nude and sex scenes as well as several scenes of suitably sadistic whipping with Marie's Eugenie taking most of the punishment. Another updated literary source provided the material for Towers' follow-up, Dorian Gray (1970), this time directed by Massimo Dallamano with Marie playing a typically naïve, virginal role as the lover of Helmut Berger's Gray.

By now the increasing demands of the erotic films, particularly the increasing violence that was becoming associated, were staring to take their toll on Marie and she seemed unable to escape the cycle of sex cinema. She travelled to Jugoslavia to star in the very unusual Swedish production Ann och Eve - de erotiska (1970) and despite her considerable number of on screen sexual encounters was still able to play a corrupted innocent. Her final role would come at the hands of Joe Sarno and a sequel to her first film, The Seduction of Inga (1971).

Detailing the further exploits of the eponymous character, Sarno's film was considerably less demanding on its star than her other ventures and in many places was surprisingly coy - again it performed incredibly popular particularly in the USA (despite some rather crude body-doubles used to pad out the sex scenes) and at the end of 1971 Marie was named Playboy's top sex star of the year. Despite continued interest from film-makers including Roman Polanski, Marie had elected to leave the profession at the age of just twenty-one. She would spend the next years living in Sweden and later travelling the world to educate her daughters in ballet. With the re-discovery of many of her films on DVD, Marie has given a number of interviews about her work and has not shied away from discussing her roles, although never regretting leaving the industry when she did.

DVD Reviews: Films starring Marie Liljedahl

Ann och Eve - de erotiska (1970)

AWE Region 2 DVD
Marie doesn't get much to do in this very unusual Swedish film which descends into surreality.
Of interest to fans of strange films
Eugenie (1970)

Blue Underground USA R0 DVD
A typically unorthodox Jess Franco film sees Marie in her most explicit role receiving de Sadean punishment.
Inga (1968)

Retro-Seduction Cinema R0 USA
The film that made Marie a star is more drama than 'adult', but well written and certainly enjoyable.
Of interest
The Seduction of Inga (1971)

Retro-Seduction Cinema R0 USA
The sequel contains equally sparse sex scenes but a rather less interesting story.
Of interest.


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All text in this page written by Timothy Young - November 2010.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

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