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Until his early retirement at age 50, Hasse Ekman was one of the leading lights of Swedish cinema, an actor, writer, and director of prodigious talents. Yet today his work is virtually unknown outside of Sweden, eclipsed by the filmography of his occasional collaborator (and frequent rival) Ingmar Bergman. This comprehensive introduction-the first ever in English-follows Ekman's career from his early days as a film journalist, through landmark films such as Girl with Hyacinths (1950), to his retirement amid exhaustion and disillusionment. Combining historical context with insightful analyses of Ekman's styles and themes, this long overdue study considerably enriches our understanding of Swedish film history.