THE DOLL (1962)
Article #1452 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-6-2005
Posting Date: 8-3-2005
Directed by Arne Mattson
Featuring Per Oscarsson, Gio Petre, Tor Isedal
A lonely night watchman uses an attempted burglary as an excuse to procure a mannequin who becomes the focus of his fantasies.
The above description should give you a clue that this movie is both disturbing and sad. I think it clearly qualifies as genre as well, since he begins to imagine that the mannequin can walk and talk. Though there’s some question at first as to whether the mannequin came to life, as the movie progresses, it becomes clear that it is the madness of the night watchman that pushes him on. The movie has several subjects worth pondering, such as the problems which can be caused by pervasive loneliness, the way fear can overrun and take over our lives, and finally that it is much easier to fall into madness than to get back out of it. The movie is hard to watch at times, but quite fascinating, and peopled with some interesting characters, including a scarred landlady who may well have strong feelings about the night watchman, but whose disfigurement leaves her feeling as lonely as he is. This one is definitely worth a peek for anyone interested in the cinema of madness.