Pippi on the Run (1973)


Pippi On the Run (PÅ Rymmen Med Pippi LÅNgstrump)

Sweden. 1973.


Director – Olle Hellbom, English Dialogue – Fred Ladd, Photography – Kalle Bergholm, Music – Christian Bruin & George Riedel, Pippi Theme – E. Johnny Graff & Leonard Whitcup. Production Company – Iduna Film/KB Nord Art AB


Inger Nilsson (Pippi Longstocking), Maria Person (Anneka Settigren), Par Sundberg (Tommy Settigren), Walter Richter, Berno Sterzenbach, Kurt Zips, Hans Alfredson, Ollegard Wellton, Fredrik Ohlsson


After their parents try to tell them what to do, Tommy and Anneka Settigren decide to run away from home. Pippi Longstocking decides to accompany Tommy and Anneka, telling Mr and Mrs Settigren that she will ensure their safety. The three of them head off on a series of adventures. In order to make the journey more interesting, Pippi has deliberately taken no money with her.

Pippi on the Run was the fourth and final of the Swedish Pippi Longstocking films starring Inger Nilsson. The film series had begun with Pippi Longstocking (1969), which was edited out of episodes of the tv series Pippi Longstocking (1969). This proved popular enough that two further films were made, Pippi Goes on Board (1970) and Pippi in the South Seas (1970). This fourth film was made a few years later with the same cast but a different crew line-up. All the previous films had taken their titles from Astrid Lindgren’s original Pippi Longstocking books but, as Lindgren had not written the last two books in the series at this point, Pippi on the Run is the only of the films to come with an original title.

All of these Swedish Pippi Longstocking films are dull and lifeless. By the point of Pippi on the Run, the films had become so monotonous and uninteresting it is difficult to tell one from the other. Predictably the plot here rambles with almost complete lack of drama – the film is just a picaresque bounce from one vaguely cute incident to another. The other Pippi films were lacking in any of the surreal nonsense of Astrid Lindgren’s books, however Pippi on the Run tries to make up for that and there is a higher fantasy content to it than in all the other films in the series put together. There is a certain charm that can be found in the various nonsensical incidents involving Pippi flying in a car using a mixture of rainwater and superglue as fuel; taking off into the air on a bicycle that has no wheels; she and the children dancing around the walls and ceiling of a room with superglue on their hands and legs; and particularly the final image of Inger Nilsson flying on a broomstick, circling her house outlined against a golden sunset. Pippi on the Run is also a very pastoral film with much footage of animals, plants and trickling brooks added in, although the location shooting through Swedish countryside and villages seems distinguished only by its thorough drabness.

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