100 Dragspel och en Flicka (A Hundred Accordions and A Girl)
Cast and plot synopsis: Two young guys (Elof Ahrle plays the alpha male and the male romantic interest, who has also composed a new song -- the title song of this film, in fact. ) run a small accordion workshop, and have invented a terrific new accordion. Young boy (played by Anders Nyström) shows up. Note Anders Nystrom played Antti in the tearjerker classic Barnen ifrån Frostmöfjället). Old FarFar (a distinguished accordionist) has lost his money. Boy's older sister is the Flicka of the title, and of course Elof is immediately smitten Plan is to win international accordion competition and sell patent to major accordion multinational manufacturer, save the day. But .. and here it becomes maybe the world's only accordion thriller, the big, bad corporate accordion combine has other plans. They scheme to steal the revolutionary new accordion design. Clip of the wild jazz accordion bad boys here. But the good guys foil them. They still have to win the competition, though, and that means getting somebody to play the accordion in the contest. FarFar is designated, but gets stage fright at the last minute. Oh No! Young boy steps in and saves the day. Big, hundred-accordion finale! Farfar gets the money, Elof gets the girl, everybody sings and everybody lives happily ever after (except the bad guys, who we don't hear much about).
The film is in Swedish without any subtitles of any sort. Not only Swedish, but a rather difficult 1950's vintage Stockholmska you probably can't hear anywhere anymore. I've watched it enough that I know most of the dialog by now, and eventually I plan to put together a set of condensed subtitles to make things easier for non Swedophones.
Other stills, clips:
Music: A modern rendition of the title song by a bunch of agreeable Swedish guys on their front porch can be found here, courtesy of Youtube. The grand finale is practically an encyclopedia of nordic accordion classics, including Säkkijärven Polkka.
Where to get it: This is a small tragedy, but so far as I can tell, you can't any longer get the DVD for love nor money, nor have I ever heard if it playing in cinemas. For a brief moment, it was available in a European region coded disk in the series Guldkorn från Svenska Film, which was evidently based on a Swedish TV series in which these classic films were shown along with commentary. Other greats in this series include Harald Handfaste (the Swedish Robin Hood -- "Vi ska kämppa för bröd, frihet och rättvisa," altogether rather reminiscent of the cry taken up by theearly 20th century Stockholm workers movement.), and Lill-Babs in Pang i Bygget. I bought my copy at NK in Stockholm and have assiduously kept backups to make sure this precious bit of cultural history is preserved. Because I am uncertain of the copyright status of the film, though, there is no way I can make the film available. If anybody knows of a source where people can legally get copies, please do let me know. It seems the Finns have done much better at keeping the classics of the early 20th century (e.g. Kaksi Vanha Tukkijätkä, and other lumberjack movies) available in the sort of low-cost editions you find on the bargain rack of Jounin Kauppa.