"Crisis" was Bergman's directorial debute. He also wrote the screenplay, adapting it from a play. In his memoir, The Magic Lantern, he writes with great humor about how the making of the film was one disaster after another: interminable rain, angry actors who had little if any faith in their young director, budget overruns, and needlessly expensive sets.
The plot is formulaic: smalltown innocent girl is lured to the big city, gets burned, returned wiser to smalltown. The unique twist for a film of this vintage is that the scoundrel of the piece beds a mother and daughter--an imbroglio that hollywood would never have ventured to put on the screen in 1946.
For the most part, the acting is lackluster. Inga Landgre is Nelly, the smalltown girl. She appears a few years later in Bergman's "Seventh Seal" as Karin, knight Antonious Blok's wife. The scoundrel, Jack, is played by Stig Olin, who also takes the lead in Bergman's later "To Joy." He brings a certain gusto to his role as a sweet-talking nihilist. The other performances--Nelly's birth mother, her foster mother, and her long-suffering straightman admirer--are unmemorable. The musical score, overwrought and melodramatic, makes a mediocre movie worse.
In all this mess there is one obvious Bergmanism. Ingeborg, Nelly's foster mother and professional saint (played by Dagny Lind) is traveling in a Pullman sleeper shortly after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. She's in a bottom berth, and the camera shot of her is reminiscent of a body in a coffin. suddenly she awakes, pushes franticaly at the ceiling of her berth, and screams over and over "Help me! I don't want to die!" It's an effective scene, and it's pure Bergman.
Bergman fans will want to watch "Crisis" because it's Bergman's first. But it has little to draw anyone else.