The center of the film is assuredly De Sica’s Miracolo a Milano, with an outer shell of Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf. The satirical bent inclines toward Malle’s Le Souffle au cœur and may be decisive. The kid from The Silence with accompanying joke, Ingrid Thulin has had enough of that item...
Swedish neutrality during the war was a sore spot in Bergman’s early work, it’s reflected here.
The Bible verses are those in Clayton’s Our Mother’s House the following year.
The most obvious derivation would be Bertolucci’s Luna, evidently based on a structural analysis that can support the weight.
Kubrick has the Purcell theme in A Clockwork Orange.
“Do you know what my mother said? ‘The day you decide to become a man, I shall come back.’”
“Someone has to be the resurrection and the life,” it looks like the pickings round Ebenezer Scrooge’s bed. A bedtime story, committal of Aunt Astrid. Amid the provenance coming and going is Bergman’s Strindberg for television, A Dream Play with Ingrid Thulin... Fellini’s La dolce vita is a great favorite.
Bosley Crowther (New York Times), “a chamber of horrors”.
Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times), “not for a moment did I care about any of the characters.”
The conclusion is indeed remembered in Losey’s Secret Ceremony, if also in Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point yet Bergman had contented himself with a critic in All These Women.
Halliwell’s Film Guide, “curious Freudian parable”.