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Monika

date 1955
by Ingmar Bergman, director; Kroger Babb, U.S. distributor
medium Promotional Postcard and Advertisements

In 1955, legendary exploitation distributor Kroger Babb bought the rights to Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s Summer with Monica, a bleak tale of an unconventional woman trying to live a bohemian lifestyle. Babb, not one to treat cinema as art, cut the 95-minute film to 62 minutes, dubbed the film into Americanized English, and replaced the dreary Swedish score with an energetic, upbeat one. Babb finished off the transformation by renaming the film Monika: Story of a Bad Girl and played up the supposed sexual explicitness of the film, all of which was contained within a single scene of the movie. Reflecting Babb’s repackaging of the film, the art on the movie’s advertisements display the sexy Monika in various degrees of undress with such tag line come-ons as "She’s 19—and naughty but nice!", "Everybody’s Talking About Monika!", and "The Devil Controls Her By Radar!"