Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
"Såsom i en spegel" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  16 October 1961 (Sweden)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 14,161 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 44 critic

Recently released from a mental hospital; Karin rejoins her emotionally disconnected family and their island home, only to slip from reality as she begins to believe she is being visited by God.



0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Winter Light (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A small town priest struggles with his faith.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, Gunnel Lindblom
The Silence (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

"The Silence" is about the emotional distance between two sisters. The younger one is still attractive enough to pick up a lover in a strange city. The older one -- even though she is very ... See full summary »

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Ingrid Thulin, Gunnel Lindblom, Birger Malmsten
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Max von Sydow, Birgitta Valberg, Gunnel Lindblom
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

When a woman dying of cancer in early twentieth-century Sweden is visited by her two sisters, long-repressed feelings between the siblings rise to the surface.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Harriet Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Kari Sylwan
Autumn Sonata (1978)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A married daughter who longs for her mother's love gets visited by the latter, a successful concert pianist.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Lena Nyman
Shame (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Ingmar Bergman's psychological study of how humans react in a situation of war. The film takes place on Gotland, where invasion forces arrive.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Liv Ullmann, Max von Sydow, Sigge Fürst
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

It's late nineteenth century Sweden. Middle aged lawyer Fredrik Egerman and his nineteen year old current wife Anne Egerman's two-year marriage has not yet been consummated. Fredrik wants ... See full summary »

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

While vacationing on a remote Scandanavian island with his younger pregnant wife, an artist has a emotional breakdown while confronting his repressed desires.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Gertrud Fridh
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Harry Lund is a nineteen-year-old young man who meets Monika, a romantic, reckless and rebellious seventeen-year-old, and they fall in love. They leave their families and jobs in their ... See full summary »

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Harriet Andersson, Lars Ekborg, Dagmar Ebbesen
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Andreas, a man struggling with the recent demise of his marriage and his own emotional isolation, befriends a married couple also in the midst of psychological turmoil. In turn he meets ... See full summary »

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Max von Sydow
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

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

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin
The Magician (1958)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When 'Vogler's Magnetic Health Theater' comes to town, there's bound to be a spectacle. Reading reports of a variety of supernatural disturbances at Vogler's prior performances abroad, the ... See full summary »

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Max von Sydow, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand


Complete credited cast:
Lars Passgård ...


A young woman, Karin, has recently returned to the family island after spending some time in a mental hospital. On the island with her is her lonely brother and kind, but increasingly desperate husband ('Max von Sydow'). They are joined by Karin's father ('Gunnar Björnstrand'), who is a world-traveling author that is estranged to his children. The film depicts how Karin's grip on reality slowly slips away and how the bonds between the family members are changing in light of this fact. Written by Mio

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

16 October 1961 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Through a Glass Darkly  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Lars Passgård. See more »


As Minus paints the chair, the amount of paint on the chair changes between shots. See more »


Martin: You're empty but capable. And now you're trying to fill your void with Karin's extinction. But how will God fit into that? It must make him more inscrutable than ever!
See more »


Referenced in Daria: Through a Lens Darkly (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Haunting, Somber Movie That Stays With You Long Afterwards
21 March 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

Bergman's haunting, somber feature "Through a Glass Darkly" is the kind of distinctive, sometimes uncomfortable, and carefully-crafted movie that can stick in the minds of its viewers long afterwards. Its combination of images, scenery, characters, and themes provides plenty of things to think about, more than could be assimilated in any one viewing. Bergman is one of the very few film-makers who had the knack for making this kind of feature coherent and memorable at the same time.

The story could hardly be more efficient. The very small cast and the tight scenario place a premium on the writing, acting, and photography. The characters have a good balance of similarities and differences that makes for a wide range of possibilities, and the story makes good use of them. The seaside setting is used nicely, with the beautiful scenery and thematic images both complementing the story. The old shipwreck is skillfully worked into a psychologically harrowing sequence.

The setting is combined with the family relationships, biblical allusions, philosophical questions, and much more, to raise a wide range of interesting and thoughtful questions. Although "Through a Glass Darkly" does not feature the extensive use of unusual imagery found in Bergman features like "The Seventh Seal" or "Persona", or the dream sequence from "Wild Strawberries", in its own way it is also effective.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Sexual tension between Minus and Karin? stop-making-sense
Incest trainofbutter
What the title means? cinematography
Love as proof of God? moloko_chelloveck
The meaning of the name Minus? pontifikator
The Faith Trilogy (Tartan) UK DVD box nowisthetimeforheroes
Discuss Through a Glass Darkly (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: