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Wild Strawberries (1957)
"Smultronstället" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  22 June 1959 (USA)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 53,220 users  
Reviews: 140 user | 102 critic

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

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Title: Wild Strawberries (1957)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Dr. Evald Borg
Jullan Kindahl ...
Agda
Folke Sundquist ...
Anders
Björn Bjelfvenstam ...
Naima Wifstrand ...
Mrs. Borg, Isak's Mother
Gunnel Broström ...
Mrs. Alman
Gertrud Fridh ...
Karin Borg, Isak's wife
Sif Ruud ...
Aunt Olga
Gunnar Sjöberg ...
Sten Alman / The Examiner
...
Henrik Åkerman
Åke Fridell ...
Karin's lover
Yngve Nordwall ...
Uncle Aron
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Storyline

With the exception of his elderly housekeeper Miss Agda who he treats almost like a surrogate platonic wife, widowed seventy-eight year old Dr. Isak Borg, a former medical doctor and professor, has retreated from any human contact, partly his own want but partly the decision of others who do not want to spend time with him because of his cold demeanor. He is traveling from his home in Stockholm to Lund to accept an honorary degree. Instead of flying as was the original plan, he decides to take the day long drive instead. Along for the ride is his daughter-in-law Marianne, who had been staying with him for the month but has now decided to go home. The many stops and encounters along the way make him reminisce about various parts of his life. Those stops which make him reminisce directly are at his childhood summer home, at the home of his equally emotionally cold mother, and at a gas station where the attendants praise him as a man for his work. But the lives of other people they ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Drama

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Unrated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

22 June 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wild Strawberries  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the Swedish DVD release (which contains an introductory interview with Bergman himself), Ingmar Bergman wrote the movie with Victor Sjöström in mind. He and the production company agreed that there would be no movie without Sjöström. Bergman didn't dare to call his idol Sjöström himself about the movie thou, so the head of Swedish movie industry made the call. Sjöström was initially reluctant, due to his high age, but agreed to meet with Bergman to discuss the movie. So Bergman went to his apartment and talked about it, Sjöström said he'll think about it. The next morning Sjöström called and agreed on the part on one condition. As long as Bergman promised Sjöström that he'd be able to come home and have his whiskey grog at 5 pm every day, he would do the movie. See more »

Goofs

The front license plate on the VW disappears when untying the rope. See more »

Quotes

Sten Alman: Me and my wife are dependent on each other. It is out of selfish reasons we haven't beaten each other to death a long time ago.
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Connections

Featured in Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

PARADEMARSCH DER 18:ER HUSAREN
Music by Alwin Mueller
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
exceptionally well made
10 July 2005 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Although I'm not the biggest Ingmar Bergman fan, I have really enjoyed some of his movies--especially the one that are not so pessimistic. Although the underlying theme of this movie is aging and impending death, the movie is NOT all pessimism. If it had been, it would have lost my interest early on. Instead, I really enjoyed the film--particularly the fine acting by Victor Sjöström as Professor Borg.

The professor is well-respected for his work as a doctor. However, despite his success in his career, he is a failure in his personal relationships. His emotional baggage over the years has prevented him from allowing himself to be close to those he truly loves. This theme mirrors one of the subplots of Through a Glass Darkly, where a father is being destroyed inside by his daughter's mental illness but he CANNOT allow himself to show his anguish--choosing instead to hide in his room with his tears. It is interesting that the same man playing Borg's son (Gunnar Björnstrand) plays the father only a few years later in Through a Glass Darkly.

Fortunately, unlike Through a Glass Darkly, there IS evidence that the professor is willing to change his persona, as he begins to open up more through the course of the movie. This appears to be assisted through extensive soul searching and dreams the professor has concerning his past and his own mortality--along with experiences he has during a long drive down the coast of Sweden. Because of this, even his extremely strained relationship with his son appears to hold some hope of improvement by the film's end. This hope for change lifts this movie above some Bergman films that only wallow in hopelessness.

FYI--The Criterion version of this DVD is nice due to its running commentary as well as the accompanying documentary. Get this version if you have the chance.

Also FYI--After watching many Bergman films and reading about his life, I detect quite a bit of autobiography in this film and his own stuggles with intimacy.


49 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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