Based on four short stories by Birgit Tengroth, who also plays Viola, this early Bergman film foreshadows his later, more successful works, focusing on the introspective life of women. Rut (Eva Henning), a neurotic ballet dancer, and her husband Bertil (Birger Malmsten) are travelling from Switzerland to Sweden across war-torn Germany. As they travel they argue bitterly over his love affairs and her inability to conceive, the result of a previous abortion - in between handing food out of the train windows to starving Germans. Meanwhile, a partially obscured love triangle emerges as the focus shifts to Viola, Bertil's mistress, who is wandering through the streets of Stockholm on a midsummer night, having been dismissed as insane by a psychiatrist who tried but failed to seduce her. By chance she meets an old school friend, Valborg (Mimi Nelson), a lesbian who also attempts seduction - with tragic consequences.