The acclaim for this 1971 151-minute revisionist epic on the settlement of America still mystifies me. Uncommitted, tedious, and often dishonest, Jan Troell's movie works all of the obvious chickenhearted changes on the Fordian model. Instead of epic sweep it has slow, lumbering forward movement; instead of nobility it has scratching desperation. But all of the scrupulous “realism” does not stop Troell from indulging in sentimentality. With the Ingmar Bergman stock company, including Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow.
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