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The Virgin Spring (1960)
"Jungfrukällan" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  14 November 1960 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 17,316 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 79 critic

A kind but pampered beautiful young virgin and her family's pregnant and jealous servant set out to deliver candles to church, but only one returns from events that transpire in the woods along the way.

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Title: The Virgin Spring (1960)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Birgitta Valberg ...
Märeta
Gunnel Lindblom ...
...
Karin
Axel Düberg ...
Thin Herdsman
Tor Isedal ...
Mute Herdsman
Allan Edwall ...
Beggar
Ove Porath ...
Boy
Axel Slangus ...
Gudrun Brost ...
Frida
Oscar Ljung ...
Simon
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tor Borong ...
Farm-hand
Leif Forstenberg ...
Farm-hand
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Storyline

Set in beautiful 14th century Sweden, it is the sombre, powerful fable of wealthy land-owning parents whose daughter, a young virgin, is brutally raped and murdered by goat herders after her half sister has invoked a pagan curse. By a bizarre twist of fate, the murderers ask for food and shelter from the dead girl's parents, who, discovering the truth about their erstwhile lodgers, exact a chilling revenge. Written by L.H. Wong <as9401k56@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

virgin | church | farm | rape | candle | See All (112) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 November 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Virgin Spring  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wes Craven took inspiration in this film to make his horror film The Last House on the Left (1972). See more »

Goofs

If you look closely when the boy is placing dirt on Karin's body, you can see her torso move as the actress breathes (even though she was supposed to be dead). See more »

Quotes

Beggar: Flying birds find something, sitting birds only find death. I have found both women and churches.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The American Nightmare (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Virgin Spring (1960) ****
12 February 2009 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Now, this was a true work of art. A quietly designed yet devastating story of a religious Medieval family and how their faith becomes challenged when their young daughter is brutally raped and murdered by three derelict brothers. Max von Sydow plays the father who is a God-fearing believer, yet finds himself overcome by his own sweet desire for revenge against those who wronged his little girl. I am happy to say I appreciated Ingmar Bergman's genius just by this movie alone. It's a visually beautiful piece to look at, but also with a story and strong convictions. So much is said without really needing to go overboard. I can see there is a recurring theme in his work where he questions the existence of God, or at least the complicated ways in which God works things out on Earth. I'm not sure whether Bergman was a full-blooded atheist or not at this point but I'd suspect he was at least a questioning agnostic. I'm sure this is partly why Woody Allen is so enamored with the director, as a similar religious thread runs through some of Allen's own movies. For the record, I am a strong believer in God, though these days I too have been faced with personal issues which have had me having difficulties in understanding, much like the father of THE VIRGIN SPRING. So this movie also touches a personal nerve within me. The performances here are all first-rate, with a special nod to Birgitta Petterson as the friendly and generous young woman who we take an instant liking to, but becomes the victim. What more can I say? An exceptional and deeply-moving film. **** out of ****


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