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Gösta Berlings saga
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The Saga of Gösta Berling (1924) More at IMDbPro »Gösta Berlings saga (original title)

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Release Date:
27 October 1928 (USA) See more »
Gösta Berling is a young and attractive minister. Because he is an alcoholic and his preaches are far too daring... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(2 articles)
User Reviews:
Monument to Stiller's Directorial Talent and Pinnacle of Swedish Silent Cinema See more (15 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Lars Hanson ... Gösta Berling
Sven Scholander ... Sintram
Ellen Hartman-Cederström ... Märtha Dohna
Mona Mårtenson ... Ebba Dohna
Torsten Hammarén ... Henrik Dohna

Greta Garbo ... Elizabeth Dohna
Gerda Lundequist ... Majorskan; Margaretha Samzelius (as Gerda Lundeqvist)
Jenny Hasselqvist ... Marianne Sinclaire
Sixten Malmerfeldt ... Melchior Sinclaire
Karin Swanström ... Gustafva Sinclaire (as Karin Svanström)
Oscar Byström ... Patron Julius
Hugo Rönnblad ... Beerencreutz
Knut Lambert ... Örneclou
Svend Kornbeck ... Christian Bergh
Otto Elg-Lundberg ... Samzelius
Hilda Forsslund ... Modern (mother) (as Hilde Forslund)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Svea Palm ... Flicka i kyrkan
Anna-Lisa Baude ... Märtha Dohnas kammrrjungfrau (uncredited)
Erik Bergman ... Man at fest in ekeby (uncredited)
A.T.H. Buch ... Ruster little drummer (uncredited)
Hilda Castegren ... Woman at fest in ekeby (uncredited)
Gucken Cederborg ... Woman at fest in ekeby (uncredited)
Jan de Meyere ... Löwenborg (uncredited)
Anton De Verdier ... Cousin Kristoffer (uncredited)
Carl Deurell ... Inspekterande präst (uncredited)
Lars Egge ... Man at fest in ekeby (uncredited)
Bertil Ehrenmark ... Betjänt på borg / man vid fördrivningen av majorskan (uncredited)
Signe Enwall ... Bit part (uncredited)
Carl Ericson ... Inspekterande präst (uncredited)
Georg Fernqvist ... Man at fest in ekeby (uncredited)
Emil Fjellström ... Man vid branden (uncredited)
Mia Gründer ... Kyrkobesökare (uncredited)
Gösta Gustafson ... Inspekterande präst (uncredited)
Edmund Hohndorf ... Kevenheuler (uncredited)
Axel Jacobsson ... Lilliencrona (uncredited)
Axel Lagerberg ... Man at fest in ekeby (uncredited)
Birger Lyne ... Kavaljer (uncredited)
Arne Palm ... Pojke i kyrkan (uncredited)
Gaston Portefaix ... Major Anders Fuchs (uncredited)
Sven Quick ... Man vid branden (uncredited)
Edla Rothgardt ... Kyrkobesökare (uncredited)
Albert Ståhl ... Uncle Eberhard (uncredited)
Tom Walter ... Bit part (uncredited)
Ruth Weijden ... Kvinna vid fördrivningen av majorskan (uncredited)

Directed by
Mauritz Stiller 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ragnar Hyltén-Cavallius 
Selma Lagerlöf  novel
Mauritz Stiller 

Cinematography by
Julius Jaenzon  (as J. Julius)
Art Direction by
Vilhelm Bryde 
Makeup Department
Ester Lundh .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Manne Lundh .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Art Department
Edgar G. Ulmer .... set designer
Sound Department
Gábor Pasztor .... sound technician (remastered version) (as Gabor Pasztor)
Special Effects by
Nils Elffors .... special effects (uncredited)
Olof Ås .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Carl-Axel Söderström .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Music Department
Gaston Borch .... music arranger (uncredited)
Other crew
Alva Lundin .... title designer (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Gösta Berlings saga" - Sweden (original title)
See more »
183 min | Sweden:130 min (TV version) | Sweden:166 min (2 parts) | 185 min (Swedish Film Institute restoration) | Spain:88 min (VHS version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

As of 2010, about 450 meters of film from the original cut are still missing.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Weekend (1967)See more »
My Heart Belongs To YouSee more »


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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Monument to Stiller's Directorial Talent and Pinnacle of Swedish Silent Cinema, 29 January 2012
Author: Marcin Kukuczka from Cieszyn, Poland

The golden age of Swedish cinema (1913-1924) and the rapid growth in Svensk Filmindustrie were influenced by the works of two directors still remembered among many movie buffs today: Victor Sjostrom and Mauritz Stiller. They made a primary contribution to early films' style and, more importantly, their careers spread to Hollywood in the first half of the 1920s. Most importantly, both of them based some of their works on the source novels by Selma Lagerlof, a Nobel Prize Winner, an eminent figure in the Sweden of the early 20th century, a muse of Swedish silent cinema. However, the directors' results from the cooperation with the eminent author were quite opposing.

While Sjostrom, as a typical diligent Swede, won Lagerlof's heart (his timeless THE PHANTOM CARRIAGE), Stiller was not so successful being nearly 'persona non grata' due to his 'liberal attitude' towards the source materials (he tried to interpret it rather than film it). Even the adaptation of her GUNNAR HEDE'S SAGA did not meet with the author's enthusiasm. Therefore, the task to film GOSTA BERLINGS SAGA occurred a hard venture because Stiller had an investigating approach, his directorial attempts were loose, he changed some parts of the storyline, some characters for the sake of the new phenomenon that cinema was. That is the very basic fact about his GOSTA BERLINGS SAGA. Consequently...the strong points of the movie do not, indeed, lie in the faithfulness to the novel but elsewhere...

At first, it is important to note that for many years the film has been viewed on weak copies, which resulted in serious shortcomings within critical reviews. The new formidably restored Kino version (which I had pleasure to see during its premiere on Polish TV on two consecutive frosty evenings) with the lovely musical score recaptures its potential and makes this silent film not only 'endurable' but overwhelming and unforgettable. No doubt many reviewers find the restored version much more appealing. But where does the film's popularity lie?

For many, the film is remembered merely as Stiller's radiant discovery: Greta Gustafsson later known to the world as Greta Garbo. And, as a Garbo fan, I admit that knowing Greta Garbo's films without seeing GOSTA BERLINGS SAGA equals to having an apple tree in the garden and not tasting its apples. It is a must to see Garbo in this role of Elizabeth Dohna: a young, still inexperienced newcomer under the constant dominance of her tutor Mauritz Stiller from the time when, as some of her biographers say, in order to shape her, it was enough for the director to look into her eyes... Yes, Stiller noticed something unique in her and brought it out, to the light of camera. And there are some lovely scenes that capture her radiance, including the first close-up in the sleigh sequence, Garbo picking flowers in the garden and walking downstairs in shadowy interiors. However, the specific feature of the movie is its episodic structure and, what results from it, its numerous characters. In that way, saying that the film is worth seeing due to Garbo would be an unforgivably limited view. The film is a lovely representation of various characters and their lives in the 19th century Sweden. Those truly unique performances are handled by Lars Hanson and, above all, GERDA LUNDEQUIST!

Lars Hanson, a mainstay in Stiller's movies before leaving for Hollywood, gives a captivating performance here as a 'defrocked man of God' depicting his character's frustration, guilt, even curse and constant search for redemption. His wandering from the priest through a tutor, then one of the cavalier fellows to the owner of new Ekeby is filled with breathtaking moments. Women he loves disappear, things he owns gradually decline and nothing seems to be left at certain moments. However, a truly haunting part is portrayed by Sweden's Sarah Bernhardt - Gerda Lundequist as Margaretha Samzelius, the 'Majorskan.' With lots of flashbacks, the vibrant and subtle interpretation of her character leaves a viewer stunned. Perhaps the most memorable factor of her plot is the mother-daughter relation and her mother's curse she strives to get cleaned. Characters have much in common with one another (this aspect of the family relations is also developed in Marianne Sinclair's plot). Among the supporting cast, Karin Swanstrom as Gustave Sinclair and Ellen Hartman-Cederstrom as Martha Dohna are worth noticing, particularly due to the striking features of different female characters.

But what primarily makes GOSTA BERLINGS SAGA a captivating experience are its visuals. Great credit to the terrific cinematographer Julius Jaenzon. The picturesque depiction of Swedish climate and its idyllic landscape (many scenes depict the peaceful images of snow), the artistic use of light and shadow in the interior shots, the elaborate sets and bizarre wardrobe make many scenes real feast for the eyes. Top notch art direction by Vilhelm Bryde! Mind you that clothes are the undertone of characters' features (Martha Dohna with her peacock's dresses and weird hairstyle). The most memorable scenes of the film include the fire at the Ekeby Mansion (in particular Gosta saving the life of Marianne Sinclair), the famous Elizabeth/Gosta's sleigh scene on frozen Lake Lofven (consider the wolves and the formidable final shot of this sequence), Margaret Celsing approaching the house of her mother, Marianne Sinclair knocking at the door of her home, Gosta and his sermon, the banquet at Ekeby and the unforgettable finale at Broby Inn and new Ekeby.

The only flaw that does not allow the film be labeled as 'masterpiece' is its continuity caused by editing and shortening of scenes.

Much more could be said about 'Sweden's GONE WITH THE WIND.' It was a great surprise for me to see it in its restored version with the voice over that helped me follow the plots. A highly riveting silent movie, not merely for Greta Garbo fans. Intensely beautiful symphony of cinema with visual splendor! 9/10

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