Bernard Wicki’s film of Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s play (also known as Time and Again) is a fascinating work. The tragi-comedy (as Dürrenmatt describes it) is related to a theme ubiquitous in the arts, that money is the root of all evil.
Karla Zachanassian (Ingrid Bergman), one of the richest women in the world, returns to Guellen, a town in Central Europe, where she was born and from which she was expelled as a shameless harlot, 20 years before.
The town is on the brink of financial ruin and the people welcome the woman as a benefactor.
At a civic reception in her honour, Karla makes her intentions clear. She will give the people two million dollars for the trial and execution of one of their citizens – the merchant Serge Miller (Anthony Quinn, pictured at left) who made her pregnant and caused her humiliation two decades earlier.
Arguably miscast as a cold, merciless nemesis, Miss Bergman gives a striking portrayal.
Quinn’s personality and physical appearance are at odds with the characterisation but he plays the role of pathetic victim skilfully.
Police Officer Fisch
Police Captain Dobrik
Hans Christian Blech