Skilled action based on a profound crime story

Review of Mannen på taket / Man on the Roof (1976)

Review of Mannen på taket / Man on the Roof (1976) movie, by Stefan Stenudd


This is director Widerberg's widely acclaimed first action film, based on a crime story by famous Swedish writers Sjowall/Wahloo.



       It's a complex story, involving both the frantic efforts to stop a man from shooting people from a roof top, and the bit by bit revelations of why he's doing it.

       Widerberg could make movies, in this and other genres, and this time he was praised for accomplishing what many regarded as the first Swedish action film, which did not look like high school work, even in an international comparison.

       A lot of effort was put into it, involving large parts of Stockholm city at the time, and countless citizens volunteering as extras. It got to be much larger than the movie team had anticipated, but Widerberg managed to be creative about that chaotic situation, giving the film a sense of documentary, of not being fiction at all.

       Of course that heightened the suspense, and made its social message more urgent.

Stefan Stenudd
11 January 2003




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Ever Young. Novel by Stefan Stenudd. Sunday Brunch with the World Maker. Novel by Stefan Stenudd. All's End. Science fiction novel by Stefan Stenudd.
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I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.