Meet Monika! “The Story of a Bad Girl” Opens in Lincoln, Nebraska With a Story on This Day in Exploitation, 1955

LINCLON-NE-9-25-55

Summer With Monika is one of the many legendary films of Ingmar Bergman that is well-presented through Criterion DVD releases and respected by many cinema lovers worldwide. By 1955, Kroger Babb, 10 years into his fame and fortune with the Mom and Dad Roadshow (which we will get to in another post today!) decided to take another gamble and Distribute a US version of the film that cut to the parts that may Drive In customers wanted to see as nudity and eroticism were hardly ever seen in an American film at that time. Although Svensk Filmindustri, the original production company, understandably were not amused by the treatment and editing which also included a new score and a tainting of the story which saw things in a more scandalous light, Kroger Babb’s edit which captured the flavor of the Early Rock and Roll era that knew a “Bad” thing was cool, turned into the only Bergman film viewed by many people in the States who would not have watched any of his other films. Harriett Andersson is the star of the show who caused a lot of eyes to go wide in the Mid 50’s.

Hallmark Distribution did get into trouble, but got away with it in the end after Exploitation legend David F. Friedman had a talk, a meeting reported in Jack Stevenson’s book Fleshpot. The full version received an American distribution that played many art houses and even exploitation-friendly screens soon after.

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2-25-56, Bloomington, Illinois – The hype used to bring them in to make this a boxoffice winner.

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9-21-56, Council Bluffs, Iowa – Another wild ad featuring the double bill of Mixed Up Women,

COUNCIL-BLUFFS-IOWA-9-21-56-TOP

The announcement that “SHE’S HERE!” – although the Uncut! line reads more like “The good stuff is here!” in the world of Babb, who knew why the Country Customers wanted to see it.

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9-19-56, Mason City, Iowa. The “Sin in Sweden” line makes this ad a winner! Americans that wanted a taste of those “scandalous” Imports, even if they were originally just pure dramatic films with eroticism, were brought in by these hyper sells.

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6-26-58, Long Beach, CA

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6-23-61, the real reel deal at the Monroe in Chicago, still being presented in the Adult section of the ads.

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~ by screen13 on September 25, 2015.

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