The so-alled Beck-series, a wonderful series of feature length movies based on the outstanding Swedish crime fiction novels featuring Inspector Martin Beck is now available on This marvelous series of 10 books, called The Story of a Crime, thrilled the whole world when it was published. Written by Sjowall and Wahloo, this was the series that more than anything is responsible for the breakthrough of Scandinavian crime fiction in Europe and the United States. As a reviewer on, Mark Pastin so eloquently put it:

«Before there was the girl with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Joe Nesbo, Henning Mankell and all of the other excellent authors in the Scandinavian mystery invasion, there was the Martin Beck mystery series written by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, published between 1965 and 1975. They are the Dashiel Hammett and Raymond Chandler of the Scandinavian school and their books stand up quite well against the best of Hammett and Chandler.»

Sjowall & Wahloo created the complex duo of Swedish cops working in Stockholm. Detective Martin Beck (Peter Haber) is the main protagonist: A smart and street-wise Swedish detective who works methodically to put the bad guys behind bars, but who is actually a nice, honest and quite interesting guy.

His partner, Gunvald Larson (Mikael Persbrandt) is the ultimate bad cop, albeit with some cracks in his armor. He is an impulsive and at times quite violent man, a dashing figure, totally politically incorrect, and a man who stops at nothing, once he gets going. Together, this intriguing duo , along with their team, solves the most difficult and heaviest cases of the Stockholm underworld.

Martin Beck and Gunnvald Larsson

The Beck-series is a wonderful set of detective movies. I believe I have seen them all. As in the novels – which most of the movies are based on – the plots are excellent, some of the plot twists mind-bending, with lots of very interesting personalities among both the bad and the good guys, and very interesting depictions of Swedish society. I love this series – it really is outstanding. What can I say: Realistic, well-scripted, well-acted, good stories, well- executed. What more can anyone want? It is simply Scandinavian noir crime fiction about as good as it gets! Excellent entertainment, and lots of it!

About the DVDs

Directors for the series are Pelle Seth and Kjell Sundvall. The format is widescreen in Swedish with English subtitles. The series comes in several sets of 3 DVDs of about 90 minutes each. The moves are NR, and Region One for customers from the US.

Beck-series, Episodes 1-3


Beck, episodes 1-3Beck: Episodes 1-3After the bodies of two immigrant boys are discovered, the police receive an anonymous message from a group called the Swedish Front: The slaughter has begun. Beck and his team find a lead through a website where young boys are sold for sex, but time is running out for them to locate the next victim before the killer strikes again.


An elderly woman is found murdered. The prime suspect is her husband, a deeply-religious man who collects Russian icons. His grief appears genuine, yet his story doesn’t exactly check out. Could the real killer still be at large?


A truck driver is killed in a sting operation – and the dead man turns out to be Beck’s long-lost son. Beck’s world crumbles around him, and he loses focus. When he returns to the investigation, it s with renewed passion – this time it’s personal.

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Maria Wern 1-3The Maria Wern series is a new, very interesting crime fiction series from Sweden that now has been released on DVD in UK and US. The series consists of 7 feature-length episodes (each about 90 minutes) based on the novels by best-selling Swedish crime fiction author Anna Jansson and starring acclaimed Swedish actress Eva Röse as Police Inspector Maria Wern.

The series takes place on the idyllic and picturesque Swedish island of Gotland. We follow this likable, hard-working, serious and smart PI both at work and in her daily life as a widowed mother of two children.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Scene from Maria Wern.

Throughout the series, Maria struggles to sustain her female perspective and approach to life in a harsh and male-dominated environment. She constantly encounters rage, death and evil but she stays determined to endure what sometimes feels like a battle that can’t be won.

The Maria Wern series is another excellent Swedish series. The language is Swedish with English subtitles. The plots are intelligent and interesting, the acting very, very good, and the photography beautiful, almost outstanding. The Maria Wern series is entertaining and suspenseful.

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Kissed by WinterKissed by Winter (Vinterkyss) is a contemplative, quiet, understated Norwegian movie. However, even though it is understated and in many ways a movie with few words and hardly one wasted word, it is a powerful and impressive movie that is touching.

Kissed by Winter is filmed in Sweden and Norway, mostly during the winter. It was directed by Sara Johnsen – a up and coming, very talented director. The cast is mixed, with actors both from Norway and Sweden, and starring Norwegian actor Kristoffer Joner and Swedish actress Annika Hallin.

Kissed by Winter paints a real, hard, unsentimental picture of what can happen to a normal couple when disaster strikes. After some event – we don’t know what has happened – Victoria (Annika Hallin) starts a new life as a doctor in small, snowy Norwegian town.

One winter morning two kids find a young man dead in the snow. The police officer assumes the dead teenager has been hit by the snow plow and then buried under the snow. The driver of the snowplow is a man Victoria has started a sort of relationship with. Now Viktoria, already burdened by sorrow, has to deal with death and possible loss in her new surroundings. We follow her as the stories of there and then and here and now get intertwined and reinforce one another.

Annika HallinActress Annika Hallin (see image) performs brilliantly, playing on a wide repertoir of small understated movements and minute gestures she manages more than many an actress could with a waterfall of tears. Her frozen face and sad eyes bring the devastating pain that her character feels to every viewer. It is a strong tale of guild and sorrow. I liked this great movie from Norway a lot – Kissed by Winter made an impression and will stay with me for a long time.

Pruduct Details

  • Actors: Gran Ragnerstam, Kristoffer Joner, Fridtjov Saheim, Trine Wiggen, Annika Hallin
  • Directors: Sara Johnsen
  • Format: Color, Dolby, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Norwegian/Swedish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Homevision
  • DVD Release Date: February 12, 2008
  • Run Time: 80 minutes

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A piece of good news for fans of Scandinavian crime fiction: Italian Shoes, a wonderful novel about a retired Swedish doctor by Swedish writer Henning Mankell (see image) will become a movie! And it seems Kenneth Branagh will be directing it.

Italian Shoes, adapted by Richard Cottan, follows the tale of an elderly former surgeon reunited with an old flame he had abandoned many years ago. Dying of cancer, she asks him to fulfill a promise he made nearly 40 years ago. To fulfill the promise, the two of them sets out on a long journey full of surprises through a wintery Sweden.

Swedish Yellow Bird, which also produced the Swedish version of The Gird With the Dragon Tattoo and the other Millennium movies based on Stieg Larsson’s books, is in development with Andy Harries’ Left Bank Pictures, according to Variety.

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