During July of 1918, in the United States, Motion Picture World announced the formation of the new company of Filmaktiebolget Skandia, which would include the merging of Skandia Film. “The company expects to have under contract popular Scandinavian actors. The studio will be that of the Hasselblad company at Sodra Linden (Goteburg). The present structure will be enlarged and modernized so that there may be productions on a large scale. The new company will start producing in May.”
While with Filmindustri Skandia, John Brunius directed the film "Oh Tommorow Night" ("Ah I Morron Kvall"), which he co-scripted with writer Sam Ask. Photographed by Hugo Edlund, the film stars actresses Eva Eriksson, Mary Graber, Hulda Malmstrom and Gucken Cederborg.
John Brunius during 1919 directed “The Girl from Solbakken/The Fairy from Solbaken” (”Synnove Solbakken”), based on the novel written by Bjornstjerne in 1857. The assistant director to the film was Einar Brunn, it having been filmed in both Sweden and Norway by photographers Hugo Edlund and Arthur Thorell. Starring Lars Hanson and Karin Molander, it was the first film in which actresses Ellen Dall, Ingrid Sundall and Solvieg Hedengran would appear. The film reunited Sam Ask with John Bruinius, they both having co-written the script, as with the film Masterkattan I Stovlar. Tytti Soila, in regard to the film’s editing writes, “The film’s conflict of ideas is condensed in a sequence when there’s cross-cutting between a religious revival meeting at Synnove’s home and young people celebrating Midsummer by dancing in a meadow.” This seems to be the same sequence that Bo Florin credits Brunius with cutting across the 180 degree line. Scholar Bo Florin, in an article entitled “Norwegian Tableaux: A Norway Lass” writes that “The plot of the film faithfully follows Bjornson’s story.” Florin goes further to look at the adaptation of the visual narrative of the novel, alighting upon observations by both Leif Furhammar and Rune Waldecranz that Bruinius replicates tableau like compositions by the painter Tidemand, showing bruinius’s acurracy in reproduction and adds that he also uses the painting Swedish painter Killian Zoll. This was at a time when Skandia specifically was in competition with Svenska Bio over Nordic Literature on the screen.
Actor Einar Hanson is listed among the cast of the 1919 film People of Hemso (Hemsoborna) directed by Carl Barclind for Scandia. The film was adapted from the work of August Strindberg by Sam Ask and photographed by Hugo Edlund. Hilma Barklind and Mathilda Casper appear in the film.
Filmindustri Inc. Skandia had begun in 1918; two years later Skandia merged with Svenska Bio to form a partnership between Charles Magnusson and Nils Bourevy to run Svensk Filmindustri. In the United States, Photoplay magazine recorded, "The Skandia Film Corporation has just finished the construction of a great glass studio, modeled after and lighted by American methods, near Langangen, north of Stockholm." Jon Wengstrom, in Sweden during this century, has noted that John Brunius not only continued to direct with Svensk Filmindustri after the merger, but produced "period pieces" for his own company.
Actor Lars Hanson appeared on screen for Scandia Film under the direction of Rune Carlsten in the film A Dangerous Proposal (Etta fanlight firer, 1919), starring with Gun Cronvall, Hilda Categren and actress Uno Henning in what was to be her first on screen appearance.
Photoplay, during 1919, noted, "The Skandia Film Corporation, the employer of these young stars is doing some really big plays on the screen. Among them are several pieces of Bjornsterne Bjornson and a modern drama of social conditions by Danish playwright Pontoppidan. The title of this is The Bomb." Bomben (1920) was directed by Rune Carlsten, written by Sam Ask and photographed by Rauol Reynolds. The film starred Karin Molander and Gosta Ekman. Rune Carlsten would call upon scriptwriter Sam Ask and photographer Raoul Reynolds again during 1920 when directing Snows of Destiny (Familjens Traditioner), based on a play by Einar Froberg and starring Gosta Ekman Tora Teje and Mary Johnson.
During 1920, the Swedish director John Brunius wrote and directed two notable films, the first of which, Thora van Deken, starred Gosta Ekman, Ellen Dall and Edvin Adolphson, which Pauline Brunius in the title role. The film was an adaptation of a novel written by Henrik K. Pontoppidan. The second, Gycrksviscarna, photographed by Hugo Edlind, starred Pauline Brunius with Nils Asther and Ragnar Arvedson. Both films were produced by Filmindustri Scandia Stockholm.
Give Me My Son (En villages), directed by John Brunius during 1921 in which he himself starred with Pauline Brunius, Tore Svennberg, Edvin Adolphson, Mona Geiffer Falkner and Jenny Tschernichin-Larsson, was revised in the United States shortly after its release by The Film Daily during early 1922. It summarized the film by claiming it was, "a new angle on the mother love theme presented in foreign dramatic offering..Handles dramatic moments effectively, but otherwise average...Pauline Bruinius plays mother role with considerable feeling, suitable cast." before it provided nearly a half page of synopsis, the periodical reported that the film, "gets away from the conventional happy ending. It is not tragic, but unexpected, and not what you think it will be. The denouement is particularly handled, aPnd there are no humorous incidents whatever, so the atmosphere becomes 'heavy' occaisionally.,,the more dramatic moments Re quite effectively handled in a manner that increases the interest to a proper pitch. It is accumulating." Screenwriter Sam Ask appears on screen in the film The Wild Bird (En Vindfagel), which was an adaptation of a play written by S.A. Duse.
The Mill (Kvarnen), directed by John Brunius during 1921 had starred Helene Olsson, Klara Kjellblad and Ellen Dall, it having been photographed by Hugo Edlund. The screenwriter Sam Ask also appears in the film, which was an adaptation of a novel penned by Karl Gjellerup. Author Tommy Gustafsson imparts the thematic structure to the film in Swedish Film during a chapter titled Travellers as a Threat in Swedish film during the 1920's. "Kvarnen's rendering of good and evil takes place on two levels. First with an overt symbolism, the filmmakers let a black cat name Pilatus follow Lise wherever she goes, while Amraenta, on the other hand is followed by a tame roe deer. Second, the dark haired Lise is portrayed as a sexually alluring woman with earrings and unbuttoned blouses where we are even able to get a glimpse of seductively bare shoulders and even cleavage. The blond Amrante on the other hand is portrayed as a fairy tale like and innocent character throughout the film." Author Peter Cowie, in his volume Scandinavian Cinema, writes, " 'The Mill' proved a greater critical success in France than it did in Sweden."
John Brunius again collaborated with screenwriter Ivar Johansson during 1926 to bring the film Tales of Ensign Stal (Fredrick stalls Sanger) to the screen. Hugo Edlund was the cameraman to the film. Appearing in the film Gosta Ekman, Edvin Adolphson, Pauline Brunius Elsa Lundqvist and Karin Swanstron.
Brunius directed the film Gusta Wasa from a screenplay by Ivar Johansson in 1928.
Although these last two films, "Tales of Ensign Stals" and "Gusta Wasa" were "mammoth costume dramas", author Peter Cowie notes that John Brunius left no mark on the films of the 1930's as a decade as a director, the scepter having been passed to Gustav Molander as the Golden Age of Swedish Silent Film had already reached an anti-climactic close.
After the advent of sound, John Brunius sought to continue the tradition of Swedish filmmaking by turning to the writing of Norwegian novelist Bjornstjerne Bjornson and an adaptation of the 1860 work "En Gald Gut", photographed in Norway for National Film by Gunnar Nilsen-Vig. The film featured actors Hauk Aabel, Goril Havervold and Tore Foss.
John Brunius directed two films during 1930, “The Doctor’s Secret” (“Doktorns Hemlighet”), written by Per Stille and starring Pauline Bruinius, Anne-Marie Bruinius and Marta Ekstrom, and “The Two of Us” (“Vi Tva”), in which Ervin Adolsphson appeared as an actor with Margit Manstad and Marta Ekstrom. “The Two of Us” is the first film in which Lisa Froberg appears on screen as an actress.
Danish Silent Film