Beach Life – Images from the Stills Archive

An article by
Stills and Posters Archive of the Swedish Film Institute
Vera Voronina (centre) in the film Hon, den enda (1926)

The swimming season is here and our Stills Archive offer these glimpses of sandy shores and beach fashion from five Swedish feature films of yore.

Brokiga Blad (‘Particoloured Pages,’ 1931)

After winning first prize in a radio show contest the Nilsson family—mother Stina, father Nils, their daughter Vera and her fiancé Håkan—travel to visit the Stockholm Exhibition in 1930. Many weird things happen on the way to the capital. In the photos below the family have come to Södertälje where a troupe of chorus girls perform on the beach during a film shoot.

The elderly couple in the middle are actors Stina Berg and Nils Lundell, portraying the parents bearing the same given names.

On the photo to the right we can see one of the film’s directors, Edvin Adolphson—in the darkest swimsuit. In the film he is portraying himself as a hapless film director.


Hon, den enda (‘She, the Only One,’ 1926)

The upper class ladies man Valentin makes an odd bet with his uncle. The wager is that Valentin must marry Dolores if he within 48 hours is unable to seduce her, since this would disprove his pet theory that all women are easy and faithless. The backwards and not so nice premise aside, there are some fantastic beach images from this film.

The Russian actress Vera Voronina plays the female lead Dolores del Prado. The man at the far right is Nils Ohlin who plays an unnamed minor character: Guest at Castro del Prado.

Lydia Potechina, who also was born in Russia, plays the role of Rosa del Prado.


The three fully dressed persons front and centre are Alfons Fryland who plays the male lead Valentin van Zanten, Vera Voronina and the director Gustaf Molander.

Love and Burglars / Landsvägsriddare (1921)

The two women in the photo are Pip Overbeck and Margot Linnet who portray the two sisters Inger and Else in the film. While they are bathing their home is visited by burglars.

Drottningen av Pellagonien (‘The Queen of Pellagonia,’ 1927)

The wealthy Käthie Löwenborg (Vera Schmiterlöw) has grown bored of being rich and trades places with her faithful maid Josefina Pettersson (Stina Berg). The duo travels with a ship out in the Stockholm archipelago and make the acquaintance of the captain of the yacht Primrose, Gösta Sallén (Felix Grönfeldt). While Gösta courts Käthie, Josefina—who now is called the Dowager Queen of Pellagonia—gets admirers as well. Three of them, to be precise, and they are named Rund, Grund and Sund.


Top row: Felix Grönfeldt in white clothes. Middle row: John Melin, Vera Schmiterlöw, Ossian Brofeldt, Stina Berg and Kurt Welin in a bathrobe to the right.

The three gentlemen courting Josefina, in the mistaken belief that she is well off: Rund (John Melin), Grund (Kurt Welin) and Sund (Ossian Brofeldt).

Konstgjorda Svensson (‘Artificial Svensson,’ 1929)

Mary Björklund (Karin Gillberg) travels to the fictitious resort Östersjöbaden where she encounters the pilot Harald Smith (Sven Garbo, the brother of Greta), also in the photo below, to the right, is the canteen worker Mary Lantz (Brita Appelgren) who is enamoured of three things: speed, flirting and aviators.


The remit of the Stills and Posters Archive of the Swedish Film Institute is to collect stills and posters for Swedish and foreign films that have been screened in Swedish cinemas. There is an ongoing project aimed at digitising all physical stills from Swedish features. We are working chronologically and are at the moment scanning images from the 1950s.

The digitised images can be seen here at the Swedish Film Database on the posts of each respective film. The numbers may vary from a handful to more than a hundred per film. Also much newer film posts may show images since they nowadays come to us in digital formats. Altogether there are around 80,000 published images and many more are on the horizon.

(published in July 2021)

The Films in the Article

The images are also visible in the Swedish Film Database where you can read more about the respective films as well as see more photos. Links to the film posts below.

  • Revue film starting off as a parody of agrarian drama film and then continues by various zany stops and turns to the capital and the exhibition there. Edvin Adolphson portrays the director who has increasing difficulties keeping his film together, both the film he is making in the film and the one we are watching. The real film ended up in the red, with 166,754 Swedish crowns in debt.

  • International co-production with a German company. Some of the larger roles are played by German and Russian actors while the rest of the actors were Swedish. Based on the French play "Il ne faut jurer de rien" (1836) by Alfred de Musset.

  • Basically a Danish film produced in Sweden featuring the famous-to-be comic duo Fyrtårnet og Bivognen (called Ole & Axel in the US and Long & Short in the UK) from the same country, although Bivognen was portrayed by Aage Bendixen instead of Harald Madsen who made the role his in subsequent films. Despite this the film is regarded by many as the first Fyrtårnet og Bivognen film.

  • The film received unusually brutal reviews. For instance the periodical Filmjournalen wrote: "Five reels of concentrated stupidity and vulgarity. /.../ Badly written, badly mise-en-scened, badly acted and badly shot—can you ask more of a motion picture dud?"

  • Comedy of errors set in a military milieu and the first Swedish sound film with recorded speech—in a prologue. The comedian Fridolf Rhudin portrays an inventor who has come up with a contraption that can control aeroplanes remotely. By mistake he is enrolled in the Seventh Company instead of the aviator Harald Smith, while Smith enjoys the beach life at a nearby seaside resort hotel together with Colonel Björklund's daughter Mary.

External links