Ragnhild Prim (SE)

Screenwriter, script supervisor, journalist. Born in Stockholm 1890, deceased in 1975.

1890 - 1975

Ragnhild Prim was a script supervisor and screenwriter and employed at the Svensk Filmindustri/SF film studio in the 1930s. Here, she contributed to the script of the Ingrid Bergman film A Woman’s Face (Gustaf Molander, 1938), which was sold to Hollywood, where it was shot in a new version starring Joan Crawford.

Very little is known about Ragnhild Prim, who for about 20 years worked as a journalist, script supervisor, secretary and screenwriter, primarily at the Svensk Filmindustri film studio. After completing elementary school, technical school and art school, Ragnhild Prim undertook, according to a contemporary reference work, “educational trips to Denmark, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, North Africa, Egypt, Greece, Turkey and other countries.”

She makes her entrance in the Swedish film history as a “script girl” in the early 1930s. She was already 40 years old when she debuted as a script supervisor. She had previously worked as a journalist with the aim of becoming a screenwriter.

Between 1931 and 1934, she worked as a script supervisor on about twenty productions, among them several of SF’s most successful box office hits, directed by Gustaf Molander: Servant’s Entrance (Vi som går köksvägen, 1932), Dear Relatives (Kära släkten, 1933), En stilla flirt (”A Little Flirt”, 1934). This intense period can be considered Ragnhild Prim’s schooling stint. At the time, there was no film school in Sweden and the only way to learn about films was to work with them hands on.

But after 1934 and En stilla flirt, Ragnhild Prim seems to have ceased her work as a script supervisor. Likely, she must have been promoted to script assistant – however, in the SF archives she is alternately mentioned as journalist and/or secretary. It is probable that she was employed throughout the 1930s as a secretary, while periodically also working as script assistant and screenwriter from time to time.

At this time, the SF script department had its office out in Filmstaden (”The film town”) in Råsunda just outside of Stockholm. The head of the department was Stina Bergman, who in turn sorted under Karin Swanström, Filmstaden’s artistic director. Despite this strong female dominance at Filmstaden during the 1930s, it did not lead to very many women being allowed to prove their abilities. Ragnhild Prim seems to be one of the very few women who advanced from the “ground floor” – assignments within editing, costuming or as script supervisor or secretary where the women usually were put to use – to the more artistic film functions, including the job as screenwriter.

In the late 1930s, Ragnhild Prim’s name appears on two of the more interesting films of the decade: Per Lindbergs Rejoice While You’re Young, Fellow Cadets (Gläd dig i din ungdom, 1939) and Gustaf Molander’s A Woman’s Face (En kvinnas ansikte, 1938). The former is a script adaptation of a novel by Vilhelm Moberg. The author himself as well as director Molander also worked on the screenplay. A Woman’s Face is one of the two films that brought Ingrid Bergman to Hollywood (together with Intermezzo, 1936). The script for A Woman’s Face was sold to Hollywood and shot there in a new version, directed by George Cukor and starring Joan Crawford in the Ingrid Bergman part. But in the correspondence with Hollywood there is never any mention of Ragnhild Prim’s contribution. Gösta Stevens, SF’s most prolific screenwriter at the time, gets the script credit, and he continued as one of SF’s most prominent screenwriters for another 20 years.

Perhaps this is the reason why Ragnhild Prim leaves SF – in any case, her name does not appear in connection with any other SF production after this. She is responsible for the idea behind the Nils Poppe film Det spökar – det spökar… (”Ghosts! Ghosts!”), shot in 1943 by Imago film and directed by Hugo Bolander. A few years later, though, she is the sole screenwriter on actor Stig Järrel’s directorial debut Onda ögon (”Evil eyes”, 1947), produced by the short-lived film studio AB Films.

Onda ögon is a love story in a rural setting, providing lots of high-tension drama: a man murders his wife in order to remarry a new one; an explosion causes him to go blind; he regains his sight and accidentally shoots a rival during a moose hunt and is finally found out during a dramatic car drive.

Onda ögon received very negative reviews. Ragnhild Prim returned to the script supervising task for one more film: Loffe på luffen (”Loffe the tramp”, Gösta Werner, 1948). After that, she disappears from Swedish cinema.

Mikaela Kindblom (2015)
(translated by Jan Lumholdt)

Basic info

Main professions: Continuity/Script Supervisor, Screenwriter
Born: 1890
Died: 1975
Active: 1931-1948


En kvinnas ansikte (1938)
Gläd dig i din ungdom (1939)
Onda ögon (1947)

Simon i Backabo (1934)
Swedenhielms (1935)
Kungen kommer (1936)
Släkten är värst (1936)

Det spökar – det spökar … (1943)

En natt (1931)
Falska miljonären (1931)
Skepp ohoj! (1931)
Trötte Teodor (1931)
Hans livs match (1932)
Kärlek och kassabrist (1932)
Lyckans gullgossar (1932)
Pojkarna på Storholmen (1932)
Sten Stensson Stéen från Eslöv på nya äventyr (1932)
Svärmor kommer (1932)
Vi som går köksvägen (1932)
Värmlänningarna (1932)
Augustas lilla felsteg (1933)
Bomans pojke (1933)
En melodi om våren (1933)
En stille flirt (1933)
Giftasvuxna döttrar (1933)
Kära släkten (1933)
Två man om en änka (1933)
Vad veta väl männen – (1933)
En stilla flirt (1934)
Loffe på luffen (1948)

Read more about the films at Svensk Filmdatabas (SE)

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