ELOKUU (24/100)

Matti Kassila’s brilliant adaptation of F. E. Sillanpää’s 1941 novel of the same name. Viktor Sundvall (Toivo Mäkelä) is a man whose entire life has been on the verge of something happening, but it never does. He’s married to Saima (Emma Väänänen), but in his youth he was passionately in love with someone else. He’s […]

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TUNTEMATON SOTILAS (23/100)

Unquestionably the best known and most popular Finnish film ever made, Tuntematon sotilas (1955) (The Unknown Soldier) follows the men of a machine gun platoon through the Continuation War fought between Finland and the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1944. Based on Väinö Linna’s novel of the same name, viewing figures in theatres at the […]

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SININEN VIIKKO (22/100)

Matti Kassila’s drama Sininen viikko (1954) (’Blue Week’) was based on a novel written by Jarl Hemmer. Siiri (Gunvor Sandkvist) and Usko (Matti Oravisto) meet and fall in love at a summer camping area on an island. When all the visitors return to the mainland and the island empties, the young lovers stay behind to […]

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HILJA – MAITOTYTTÖ (20/100)

Toivo Särkkä’s adaptation of Johannes Linnakoski’s novel of the same name, Hilja – maitotyttö (1953) (’The Milkmaid’). Told in a rural setting, the film is an erotically charged melodrama about a young and beautiful woman, Hilja (Anneli Sauli) who is defenceless against the despotic farm chargehand Kalevi (Tauno Palo). While taking milk to town, Hilja […]

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VALKOINEN PEURA (19/100)

Valkoinen peura (1952) (The White Reindeer) consistently ranks in the Top 10 Finnish films of all time—and for good reason. Directed by Erik Blomberg, who also wrote the screenplay with Mirjami Kuosmanen, his wife and star of the film, the story is a simple Lapp saga about Pirita (Kuosmanen) a young Sami woman who through […]

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NOITA PALAA ELÄMÄÄN (18/100)

Roland af Hällström’s horror Noita palaa elämään (1952) (‘The Witch’) was based on a stage play written by Mika Walteri. At the site of an archeological dig in swampland belonging to Baron Hallberg (Aku Korhonen), Doctor Hannu (Toivo Mäkelä) and his wife Greta (Hiilevi Lagerstam) find the remains of a woman who is believed to […]

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