Movies filmed in Stockholm
Stockholm has repeatedly inspired directors to capture its beauty on camera. Christie Petrakopoulou rounds up some films that were set in or around Stockholm.
Stockholm on film is always a pretty sight. Here is a list of films where Stockholm takes center stage. Most of the films mentioned below have received local and international praise.
I personally believe that when we talk about Swedish cinema and especially about films set in Stockholm, Ingmar Bergman’s films rightly deserve a place. As an Ingmar Bergman fan, I couldn’t just pick one of his films. Stockholm was Bergman’s home town and is the main location in some of his films.
In Summer with Monika (Swedish: Sommaren med Monika), released in 1953 and starring the beautiful Harriet Andersson and Lars Ekborg, we see some wonderful shots of the city.
Who can forget the iconic boat ride under the bridges of Stockholm, close to the Palace and the Parliament as well as under Västerbron that connects Marieberg with Södermalm.
Wild Strawberries (Swedish: Smultronstället) was released in 1957. The lead role of professor Isak Borg is played by one of the fathers of Swedish cinema, Viktor Sjöström. His co-stars are Ingrid Thulin and Bibi Andersson.
This film remains relevant today as it is about the journey of human existence that evolves during a car ride from Stockholm to Lund where Professor Borg would be honored and named a jubilee doctor after receiving his doctorate degree 50 years before from Lund University.
There is an iconic Stockholm scene in the film taken from Katarinahissen showing Isak’s car on the Slussen roundabout which looks almost as it looks today.
The last Bergman movie that I’d like to mention is Scenes from a marriage (Swedish: Scener ur ett äktenskap), released in 1973, starring Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, and Bibi Andersson – three actors that Bergman repeatedly collaborated with.
Scenes from a marriage is realistic, dramatic and humorous at the same time and since the film is mostly set in Stockholm, we see some beautiful shots of 1970s Stockholm including Karlaplan and Kungsgatan which more or less looks the same today.
Stockholm, in many ways, is the epicenter of the worldwide crime fiction phenomenon set in Scandinavia, known as Scandinavian Noir or Nordic Noir. This genre is considered to be dark and realistic and some of the most famous book series have been adapted into films.
Let the right one come in (Swedish: Låt den rätte komma in) is in my opinion one of the purest and sweetest vampire genre films. Based on the 2004 novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, the film was released four years later in 2008.
There is also an American version of the film with the title Let me in (2010) but I invite you to watch both versions and decide which one is best (…the Swedish one!). The story is set in Blackeberg, a Stockholm suburb in the 1980s.
Oskar is a 12-year-old boy bullied by his classmates. He finds a guardian angel named Eli, who has also been 12 for a while. Eli’s not an ordinary girl. She is a vampire. Let the right one come in is a story about love, friendship, devotion and, of course, blood.
Stig Larsson’s Millennium trilogy is probably among the most famous crime fiction stories set in Stockholm. The trilogy consists of the following: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish: Män som hatar kvinnor), The Girl Who Played with Fire (Swedish: Flickan som lekte med elden) and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest (Swedish: Luftslottet som sprängdes).
All three films had a Swedish premiere in 2009. The first story follows journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) who with the help of a troubled young hacker, Lisabeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), tries to solve the mystery of a girl that disappeared in 1966. In the second sequel, Salander is accused of a triple murder and Blomkvist tries to clear her name.
In the third and last book, Blomkvist continues his efforts to prove Salander’s innocence whose darkest moments are threatened to be revealed in court. In all three films, you get to see beautiful locations around Stockholm from Östermalm to Gamla stan and Södermalm. The first film was directed by Niels Arden Oplev and the two sequels by Daniel Alfredson.
An English language adaptation of Larsson’s first book was released in 2011 by David Fincher, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. In my honest opinion, it is a beautified Hollywood version of the Swedish one.
Easy Money (Swedish: Snabba Cash) is a best-seller turned into film directed by Daniel Espinosa and released in 2010.
Based on a novel of the same name by Jens Lapidus, the story is about Johan “JW” Westlund who leads a double life as an illegal taxi driver in order to support his expensive Stureplan lifestyle. The actor who plays JW is Joel Kinnaman who received a “Best Actor” Guldbagge Award for his role in the film.
Easy money is a thriller about money, drugs and organized crime. Lapidus wrote two sequels to Easy Money that were also adapted for the big screen; Easy Money II: Hard to Kill and Easy Money III: Life Deluxe released in 2012 and 2013 accordingly.
Twenty-five year old Sebastian (Martin Wallström) has been living a privileged and superficial Stureplan life when he becomes blind after a head accident which changes his life completely. He now needs to start over.
Mia (Mylaine Hedreul), his personal assistant and a girl he had never set eyes on, will teach him valuable life lessons such as to be humble, learn to love and never give up.
Ego was released in 2013 and directed by Lisa James Larsson. A realistic and easy to watch film that showcases Stockholm’s beauty.
Directed by Danish director Per Fly, Monica Z is a film about the life of Swedish Jazz singer Monica Zetterlund. With an amazing performance by Edda Magnason in the lead role, the film follows Monica through the good and the bad of the life of an international music star. Beautiful photography, beautiful costumes and beautiful Stockholm scenes.
Released in 2014, multi-plot comedy Stockholm Stories will make you fall in love with Stockholm (if you haven’t already). Five people, five stories, one beautiful city.