A Guest Is Coming (1947) - full transcript

The owner of an old mansion has decided to sell it. The next morning he is found murdered. Writer George Essman must try to figure out who the killer is.


Peace on Earth

-Look, Aunt, at how clever Berit is!
-Yes, how clever you are, Berit.

-Yes, aren't we clever?
-Yes, hello!

Christina, my dear...

If I could only understand
what Eva did with the Christmas runners.

Father's convinced the authorities Brunn
isn't profitable. Lies, he can't run it!

You know that, Andersson, as do I.

I'd figured out a better way to manage it.

Then I got home and learned
it's to be sold. Of course, I got mad!


-That's not as fast as a car.
-And you are?


-Can't Count Ragnar lease it?
-The manor is to be divided into plots.

Brunn will no longer exist.

-Doesn't he get angry when you do that?
-No, not Olle.

-That must hurt!

-Aren't there any better horse brushes?
-Not at this manor.

-There's a good brush by the window.

-What if he kicks you?
-Olle doesn't kick!

Come, why don't you climb onto him?
Up you go!

-There you go.
-This is fun!

Berit would love to give her cousin Eva
a little kiss. A little, little kiss.

-Rosy cheeks!

-Shame on you, Urban.
-You little charmer!

-Bear in mind I'm your brother's wife.
-He doesn't deserve you.

-Christina, rest a while.
-You deny me everything.

My dear, can't you play
something else for a change?

-She's sad because the man didn't come.
-What man?

Christina's man, the one that
writes books. He's on the grand piano.

What? Is someone on the grand piano?

I'll bet it's Clemens.
He generally prefers that position.


-What's gotten into Christina?
-She's upset that Essman didn't arrive.

Yes, you said there was a Christmas guest.

Who is Essman?

A successful writer.
You must have heard of him.

My dear doctor,
best sellers aren't really my genre.

None of us know him,
but Christina has devoured all his books.

-So she thought she'd invite him.
-We waited for the train. He didn't come.

Now the poor girl is so disappointed.

She was so happy that he was coming.

Writers are an unreliable bunch.

-Maybe he'll be on the next train.
-There are no more trains today.

Poor girl.
She's so sensitive and impulsive.

A thoroughbred!

-Do you have a cigar?
-Of course.



One and a half million. Not bad.

Signed and sealed.

-No, a brother can't witness.
-No, you're right.

But you could talk to that doctor.
Häger is his name.

-He's new to the district, isn't he?
-He's a childhood friend of my wife's.

-Of Doris?


Right... It's done.

-The food's ready. We're dipping the sop.
-Yes, we're coming.

-What would you have done in my shoes?
-You know...

I've been away from Brunn so long,
it's none of my business.

The Ernstams of Brunn.
That's what they've said for 300 years.

"Brunn's Villas" doesn't sound as good...

But farming doesn't pay anymore!

It's not the first farming entailed estate
that's become a money entailed estate!

You're not the first holder of an entailed
estate that prefers interest to mud.

-Yes, but what about yourself?
-Two brothers couldn't be more alike.

I'd also waste no time
considering a fancy, new Chrysler!

I asked Doris to sell
her damn pearl necklace...

-Oh, dear.
-With some cash we may keep it afloat.

-But I can't force her to sell.
-Something she got from her ex? No...

-Anyway, not for the manor's sake.
-There's too much city in her for that.

But I can't damn well
be forced to keep the manor!

-She's already dropped down.
-Yes, it'll soon be time.

Poor girl. It's not easy
becoming a mother for the first time.

Hey, sweetie...

-How long until your veterinary exam?
-I just started.

How dirty you are!


Thank you.

Are you also going to be sold?

When you came weeks ago, I'd no idea
the manor was to be sold. It's awful.

-That I came?
-No, that you took the trouble to come.

-If only I'd known...
-Lucky for me you didn't know.

I'm sorry for your sake.

-Can we dip the sop, Auntie?
-Sure, just get in line!

-Here you go, Henrik.
-Thank you, Doris.

-How nice of you to come, Pastor.
-Sure... Oh, excuse me.

Don't you think it's odd to celebrate
Christ's birth by dipping sops in stew?

Christmas was originally a pagan feast

and however honorable it is today,
dipping sops in stew was a pagan custom.

It showed the cooperation
and cohesion within the family...

-Which is still apparent at Brunn.
-Did you hear, cohesion...

-I was here first!
-It was me! Girls are so dumb!

-Hey... Have a shot.
-Thank you.

Have the children had any? She hears
badly. Berta, have the children had any?

-No, no...
-No, no?

-Make sure they have some.
-Oh, no. Yes...

Someone was there!

There, there.
It was just the frost that sparkled.

Do you think it was Santa Claus?

-He'll only be here tonight.
-Did he have a beard?

-Here you go, Christina.
-No, no...

-What were you saying, Pastor?
-What were we talking about?

-About Santa Claus.
-Oh, yes.

Santa Claus was originally an angry fellow
you kept on good terms with.

-Uncle Urban is Santa Claus!
-You think so? You're mistaken!

Oh, no! Last year, Santa Claus had
exactly the same shoes as Uncle Urban.

Listen, stop that mournful song!

Can't you play "Hey, Santa Claus"?

Hey, Santa Claus, fill your glasses
and let’s be jolly together!

Our time is brief upon the earth,
with troubles many and little mirth

Hey, Santa Claus, fill your glasses
and let’s be jolly together!

Cheers and Merry Christmas!

...fill your glasses
and let’s be jolly together!

Hey, Santa Claus, fill your glasses
and let’s be jolly together!

Our time is brief upon the earth,
with troubles many and little mirth

-Merry Christmas, little sweetie.
-Sorry, but to whom do I have the honor?

Georg Essman. Guest.

Oh, my apologies.
Welcome to Brunn. Come in!

It's your guest, Christina.

It's not you.

Isn't it me?

I mean, I didn't recognize you.

That's not so strange. We've never met.

-No, we haven't.
-I went one station too far.

-I was deep in thought.
-Maybe so...


Thank you.

Is it true that writers
can read other people's eyes?

Dear Christina, someone who can't read
a woman's eyes, can't write a best seller.

-What do you read in my eyes?
-How does a writer get their ideas?

-Like this.
-But I'm not interesting.

-More than you think.
-You probably find all women interesting.

On the contrary. Few are interesting
and even fewer are charming.

-Now your sister is upset.
-She's my step-sister.

-My children are your children...
-Mother was married before. Father, too.

But seriously,
how do you get the ideas for your books?

Seriously, I'm not a writer.

-You're not?
-Ask the literary big-wigs.

They're jealous!

-Not of my novels.
-No, but of your print runs.

That's another thing.

-How are things with your sugar?
-Thanks, fermenting and thriving.

-And you take your insulin correctly?
-An injection now and again.

So how is the Pastor
enjoying the new parish?

Splendidly! I've already discovered
the importance the Ernstams play.

You see the name everywhere.
Notably at church.

I hope we long have the blessing
of the Ernstams' protection.

-Let's hope so, Pastor.

Brunn is an old, traditional manor,
isn't it?

The first Ernstam was enfeoffed
during the Thirty Years' War.

My brother is the tenth tenant in tail.

That's fascinating.

It's certainly not so easy
to be celebrated nowadays.

-Thank you.

-Where did the cigarette lighter go?
-The cigarette lighter?

Yes. Her Ladyship just used it,
put it on the table and now it's gone.

My dear Pastor, that was a match.

A match. No, my dear Ladyship...

-Of course it was a match.
-That's right. She used this.


That looks good!
Makes you want to be a pig!

Aren't you one already?
Go freshen up and clean the dirt off

so you can join the Christmas dinner!

How much wood do you want?

-How much wood do you want?
-Did you say something?

-Right, okay.

-Does Santa Claus like porridge?
-There's no Santa Claus!

There is, isn't there, Eva?

-Oh, yes...
-It's just a dressed up Santa Claus.

-It's probably Santa Claus!
-No, the horses will eat the porridge.

Is that what you think? Come on.

Are you really Georg Essman?

So you imagined me like this?

And you're so disappointed...


-Have you wrapped your presents?
-Perhaps not all of them.

You better hurry, then.

"And it came to pass, that there
went out a decree from Caesar Augustus

"that all the world should be taxed.

"And this taxing was first made

"when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.

"And all went to be taxed,
every one into his own city.

"And Joseph, because he was
of the house and lineage of David,

"went out of the city of Nazareth..."

-I got the almond in the porridge.
-You're too young to marry!

You didn't get mustard on your dog.
Stupid girl!


"...And so it was, that, while they were
there, the days were accomplished....

"And there were in the same country
shepherds in the field, keeping watch

"over their flock by night. And, lo,
the angel of the Lord came upon them.

"And the glory of the Lord shone round
about them: and they were sore afraid.

"And the angel said unto them:

"'Fear not: for, behold,
I bring you good tidings of great joy'..."

-Are there any good children here today?

-Merry Christmas to all.
-Merry Christmas.

Now you're going to have
some porridge and milk...


Edvin, are you here?

Come out.
You don't need to be afraid.

Are you also looking for Santa Claus?

Who is Edvin?

A farmhand
who was with us for many years.

But Father drove him away.

Over some small thing.
Father's so hot-headed.

-What's Edvin doing now?
-He's mooching about on the roads.

He usually comes at Christmas.
He sees Brunn as home in some way.

Now it is Christmastime...
The kids are having fun down there.

-Did you get this from your dear doctor?
-No, I got that from Urban.

Always so grand.
I wonder how long he can keep that up.

-Shouldn't you put those in the safe?
-No, I can't be bothered.

There aren't any thieves here, anyway.

Well... Another early start tomorrow.
Damn Christmas Day matins!

Hello! Hello!


Hello there!
Did they have to be in such a damn hurry?

They couldn't wait forever.
Should I harness Olle?

Why aren't you at Christmas matins?

Why are you sulking like that?
You're destroying the Christmas spirit.

-Have you done anything to cheer me up?
-What do you mean?

You don't understand. Just as you don't
understand farming!

-What in hell...!
-Why study agriculture, and not use it!

-I've studied and made plans...
-Don't make me angry, boy!

I'm the tenant in tail!
Do you know that?

And I've decided that the manor
will be sold! It's decided!

I'll harness him myself...

...and gather

the prayers of the earth...

-Why hasn't Father come?
-Perhaps he overslept.


The spirit of Christmas
need not dissipate on Boxing Day...

You don't think
something happened to Father?

On one condition...

That we remain in touch with Him
who has given us Christmas.

-Do you see Father?
-No, I see Edvin.

The farmhand?
What's he doing here?

-You remember he liked Christmas matins.
-Yes, yes...

-What's the meaning of Father not coming?
-...our thoughts and our will...

...for all time.

-We have to find Father.
-He's probably at the entrance.

-He's not here!
-He's probably waiting outside.

Come on, let's go home and sleep.

-Isn't it dangerous?
-No, I've ridden him myself.

There's Olle, the one I rode. He's
really nice. Come, you can pat him.

It's Uncle Clemens!

Is he hurt?

He's gone.

Uncle's dead?

-Kicked to death...
-That's impossible! Olle is so meek.

There's not a drop of blood here.

The kick hit his hat.
There's a mark from a horseshoe.

No... It's not true! Not Olle!

-How'd he end up so far away?
-Those kicks can have a whole lotta power.

Oh, God...

It's the last thing I would have imagined.
Olle is so docile.

There's something strange about this.

-We better call the police...
-I just saw him.

-I'll fetch him.
-What's this?


A horseshoe is missing.

All three were there this morning.
I always check them when I come in.

It's like they're mine.
I put them up a few years ago.

It's a heavy son of a gun, this one.
The other was the same.

-Is someone here?
-I saw him! He jumped out the hatch!

Who was it?


This is the evening news from TT.

As stated in the afternoon news,

Count Clemens of Ernstam
was murdered early this morning...

Turn off the radio!

They haven't caught him yet.

-You called Edvin's name in the stables?

The district police are heading out.

They won't find him...

My dear...

How does it feel
becoming tenant in tail?





I thought it was Miss Eva...

The young Miss is from the manor.

So you also thought I killed...?

No, I just took this down to show
Miss Eva what happened in the stables.

The Count was dead when I got there.
I just stared at him.

It couldn't have been Olle
that kicked him to death.

He's the kindest stallion around. I heard
people returning and went to the hayloft.

But I saw who took the horseshoe
from the wall. I saw him from the hayloft.

This is how it was hanging.

Someone went up and grabbed one
of them like this. No one noticed.

I saw who it was,
but no one will believe it. It was...


Where is everyone?
Is anyone here?

-Berta! Is anyone here?
-What's going on?

-What did you say?
-I asked where everyone is?

-In their rooms, I think.
-And Count Ragnar?

-I just saw him out on the hill.
-Go check and ask him to come to my room.

That's what she thinks!

It's not hard to figure out what happened.
Edvin got scared when she left.

He crept under the car and moved this.

-Do you really think Edvin did it?
-There's no doubt about it.

That's what happens in the world. It's not
always society that administers justice.

Sometimes it's chance.

-Why didn't you tell all to the police?
-I told them everything.

Tuck yourself in...

That's it...

Tell me why you
didn't want to say everything.

Keeping silent is good.

But speaking is sometimes better.
Even if you want to protect someone.

Ragnar was here.
I told him what Edvin had said.

Why didn't you tell the police that?

-It was Ragnar that...
-...asked you to be silent?

-Did he say why?
-He said there's nothing to look into.

It won't make it better.

Tell me,
he couldn't be the one who did it?

-Tell me what Edvin said.
-I went to the mill to find Ragnar.

And then...

Sleep well now, Miss Siv.


Are you being nasty to Eva again?
What has she done?

She's trying to take the prince from me!
She's always hated me!

-Eva doesn't hate you.

Have you done all this today?

It wasn't nice of you to take
the Pastor's cigarette lighter.

-And Mother's lovely, expensive pearls.
-She's not my real mother!

-No, you can't take that. It's my prince!
-Be a nice girl and come with me.

Otherwise the prince won't want to stay.


Come in!

Do ladies usually receive you this late?

You're the third young lady
I've seen in a negligée in half an hour...

-Are you looking for inspiration?

-Why'd you really come here?
-Why I came?

Read it!

From Christina?

-Oh, right... The invitation!
-That's right. Read it.

"I have such confidence in you.

"I'm in mortal danger.

"I know who my enemies are.

"I beg you, you must come!"

-And I came.
-Yes, you did.

-Do you find it odd?
-No, you're a writer.

It wasn't just professional interest.
I'd never had Christmas at a manor.

You were her prince,
that would come and rescue her.

From her evil step-sister, right?

She believes she's just like Cinderella.

Yes, I've noticed.
The constant browbeating.

She has this strange idea
she's been sidelined.

-Isn't she also a kleptomaniac?
-Of course.

I've lied many times for her. We have
to send her away tomorrow morning.


She's been in a home for years.
She's here for Christmas.

-You read a lot.
-You don't?

Maxwell Anderson... Strindberg...
You have a mind for drama.

There's something
in this house I don't like.

I also don't think Edvin killed Father.

Do you think Edvin died by accident?

Someone pushed the plank away
with a sharp cane.

Can I borrow your typewriter?

Sleep well. And sweet dreams...

To Aerotransport

To National Police

Hey... Hello there!
What do you want?

I was expecting a parcel.

-Who would that be for?
-Georg Essman, Brunn's Manor.

The post office
is actually closed on Boxing day.

"Georg Essman"... Is that you?

-That's me.
-Sign here, but be quick!

-Is there a fire?
-The train's coming.

Get going, then.

-Afternoon, Andersson.
-Your Lordship.

National Police, Stockholm.

Are you sure it was the farmhand Edvin
who murdered Count of Ernstam?

It would be interesting for you to search
the bedrooms at Brunn's Manor.



Is anyone home?

Is anyone home?

What was that?

-I asked, is anyone home?
-I hear poorly.

-Is anyone home?
-The family is with the priest.

-To discuss the Count's funeral.
-And Miss Eva?

-She is with them.
-I see.

-So the house is pretty much empty?
-I haven't heard anyone.

-No, of course not.
-Damn fool!


Count Ragnar's bedroom. Correct?

That's where it was?

Yes, I found it this afternoon.

-Why didn't you take it then?
-My daughter was with me.

They're back. I ran ahead.

-Someone must have put it there.
-That's right.

My boy didn't do it! He didn't do it.

You must promise me.

Where is Ragnar?
There's a telephone call for him.

-I don't know.
-He hasn't returned from the station.

Where was that?

We must inform
the district police about this.

Count of Ernstam is not home. Thank you.

58. Thank you.

Is the district policeman there?

No? Not until tomorrow?

Ask him to call the manor.
Dr Häger. Thank you.

-Where've you been all day?

-One needs to be alone sometimes.
-I'll see to Olle.

Thanks. I have to go to the office.

Do you always want to be alone?

I'll be back soon.


Right, Olle! That's it!

Still, boy. That's it. Still!

Still, Olle! That's it...

What in Heaven's name!

Is that you, Ragnar?

Look what I found in Olle's crupper.

Imagine, a nail!

It must have been a sloppy
saddle maker who forgot it.

No wonder Olle kicked!

It wasn't Edvin.
Olle kicked your father.

I remember Edvin saying he'd seen
someone take down the horseshoe.

You father was already dead.
The one that did it, he tried...

Tell me it's not him!

This is to the safe.
So nice of you to stay.

-I don't think it's him.
-But they'll arrest him!

He had one motive, of course:

To save Brunn.

And he could have been
at the murder site both times.

We don't...

Did someone scream?

-What are you staring at?
-She fell down!

Find the doctor, summon the others
and be quick about it!

-Could she have come down this far?
-The current is strong.

-You see anything?
-Isn't there something by the rock?

-There she is!
-Over there!

-She's alive.
-She's had a blow to the temple.

-From when she fell.
-She must get to hospital. Fetch my car.

-I'll get some blankets.
-Who's taken the crupper?

Who took it?

What crupper?

When I came, there was a crupper here.

Now it's gone.

Here's the car.

There's a risk of pneumonia.

-But I think she'll get through that, too.
-She was incredibly lucky.

-In her misfortune, yes.
-I wonder how the accident happened.

It wasn't an accident. The girl
was probably pushed into the mill race.

Is that believable?

As believable as Count Clemens
being kicked by Olle.

Why do you think the girl
was pushed into the race?

Because she knew
your brother's death was an accident.

An accident?

That the horse kicked him to death.
It was dangerous to know.

What about Edvin?

He knew as well.
That's why he was murdered.

Writers have some imagination.

I wonder who took the crupper?

I'd really like to have a look at it.

-Makes no difference, I guess.
-Mr. Essman?

-Stockholm on the phone.
-Thank you.

-How is she?
-She'll be alright, I hope.

-Is she conscious?
-That will be a while.

-She had quite a blow to the temple.
-And there's a risk of pneumonia.

We'll know earliest by tomorrow afternoon
what the poor girl experienced.

Can't you read?
It's in big letters on the boxes.

-Is there any tea, Eva?
-It's been served, Uncle.


-Is something wrong?
-Yes. In here.

Who do you yearn for?
A sweet girl from Stockholm?

-For you.
-I don't believe you.

Do you believe me when I say
I'm soaked up to my knees...?

And dead tired?

I don't doubt it.
But tea is served and the bed is made.

-It was you who called the police.
-Did I have a choice?

Have I ever had a choice?

How many times have I proposed to you?
But you've married others.

You know as well as I that I chose
this district just to be close to you.

And now this...

My boy...!

-You look like you got the brush-off.
-What a Christmas!

Yes, an accident seldom comes alone.

You believe that these are accidents?

-I don't believe what this Essman says.
-No, and who does?

-Have you seen Ragnar?
-No. Eva also seems to have disappeared.

It's an awful business.
So, he'll call tomorrow?

-The district policeman, I mean.
-Yes, he will.

-Goodnight Doctor.

-You scared me.
-What do you have there?

Brunn's death sentence.
Signed and everything.

What were you going to do with it?

Give it to you. Mother gave me the key.

The fire is almost out.

-What's wrong with the dogs?
-I don't know.

-Is that why you can't sleep?

No, I've been thinking about everything
that's happened. And now with Siv.

-So it's a first-name basis with her?

-Listen, Ragnar...

Were you in the barn
all Christmas morning?

Sure. Why?

No, nothing.


That was close!

Is this your gun?

-And loaded as well.

What do you mean
having a gun lying around?

Don't you know there are children here?
She could have shot herself!

Or she could have shot you!

Like this.

-What happened?
-Take the child, Mother!

I'll fetch the doctor!

Has something happened?

-A new accident?
-An unintentional shot.

-The girl must have found the gun.
-Go down and put her to bed, Mother.

It's over.

-The district policeman is on the phone.
-I see.

-It's for her. Put them in some water.

She's been unconscious a whole day,
poor dear.

The doctor gave her
some injections this morning.

-Is the doctor still here?
-No, he just left.

Stop right now!

These are live rounds, this time.

-You don't shoot foxes with blanks.

They're more easily caught in traps.
The very last witness, you thought.

He didn't get a drop into her.

My dear Doctor,
concerning the Essman case...

I never thought you'd be seduced
into issuing a false death certificate.

I don't get why Uncle Urban...
He was never interested in the estate.

No, but it's the money.
He'd be a moneyed tenant in tail.

Interest on one and a half million.

-He was quick-witted in the stables.
-He got an impulse and went with it.

The circumstances were a little strange
and people were skeptical.

It was so easy taking down a horseshoe,
pocketing it and saying it was gone.

-Then putting it in Ragnar's room.
-Of course.

By throwing suspicion on you,
you lost your rights, so to say.

-Do you regret coming?

I only regret scolding someone for sending
me blanks instead of live rounds.

-Will you come back some day?
-I don't know.

Writers and adventurers
are the bosom buddies of travel.

All aboard!

-Hello. How is she today?
-Sitting up for the first time.

-May I go in?
-By all means.

Thank you.

-Hello, Siv.

You look really well.
You even have color in your cheeks.

-I do?
-You're prettier than usual, I think.

You think?

-What are you reading?
-A very good book.

-A textbook on keeping chickens.
-Keeping chickens?

It's so silly
not to have chickens at Brunn.

We could start with 50 or so Leghorns

and increase a bit every year. In ten
years we may be famous for our chickens!

-You sound enthusiastic.
-I am!

-But that implies one thing.

That you stay and look after them
for ten years. Or it won't work.

-Is that what you want?
-Want? I'm as fond of chickens as you!

Those small, sweet, pinkish ones you
feed early and must change now and then...

-You're just joking.
-I'm not. Of course we'll have chickens.


We can talk about it another time.
I have to get going.

I have a lot to do.
Brunn doesn't run itself.

-Goodbye, Siv.
-Goodbye, Ragnar.


-Didn't you forget something?


Subtitle translation by Alexander Keiller