Sweden, 1983, 109 min.
Allan Edwall - Bendel
Lena Nyman - Mia/Ingegerd
Lill Lindfors - Agda
Björn Gustafson - Nilsson
Jan Blomberg - Vreding
Jim Hughes - Rodney
Eva Dahlman - Angelica
Åsa Bjerkerot - Eva Velin
Tomas ALfredson - Jonas
December 10, 1983
Two rogues in
Stockholm named Pettersson
(Skarsgård) and Bendel
(Edwall) are both worn, run-down and
broke. Despite this,
they get together in the big city to see what they can skim off the
top. They begin a business in which they tamper, scam and
exploit loopholes that exist.
At first success comes their way and they get rich. However,
their luck eventually runs out and the two men are back in the
bottom of the barrel.
This film is based on
Waldemar Hammenhög's controversial 1931 novel
"Pettersson & Bendel" and
has previously been adapted for the screen in 1933 and in 1945. Filming
took place in Stockholm in 1983. The film is a comedy of contemporary
manners, not a serious commentary on the situation of immigrants in
present-day Sweden. The songs "It's So Nice to Be Rich" and the
title melody were performed by Agnetha Fältskog who also released them
on single that year. In both production photos, you
can see Stellan on the right.
The outlaw Carl-Johan Pettersson (Stellan
Skarsgård) accidentally meets the illegal (and likewise poor)
immigrant Joseph Bendel (Allan Edwall). Together, they start a
business that is based on illegal deals
They have distinctly different personalities; Bendel is street-smart
and smart, while Pettersson is charming and has a feminine feel.
Slowly but surely they build up a large capital and start the
company group "P&B". As their financial
successes grow, however, Pettersson
gradually begins to feel worse and worse. He feels inferior to the
sophisticated Bendel and has difficulty moving in the "finer"
circles of society. He lies compulsively and presents himself by
a false name to almost every person he
In addition, Pettersson lives in an unhappy relationship with
girlfriend Mia (Lena Nyman). When he then meets the teacher Ingegerd
(paradoxically she's also played by Lena
Nyman) he falls in love and he is torn between Mia's vulgar style
and Ingegerd's sophisticated style.
Bendel, for his part, has problems with illegally immigrating to
Sweden and being detained by police. Bendel's background and past
are shrouded in obscurity and nothing he wants to discuss with
anyone, but Pettersson thinks that Bendel carries a secret of some
Over time, business for P&B begins to deteriorate and the original
friendship between Pettersson and Bendel is put to the test.
The film's message is simple and clear; Making
a lot of money is not a guarantee of a happy life but can
often lead a person to