IMDb > Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
Såsom i en spegel
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Through a Glass Darkly (1961) More at IMDbPro »Såsom i en spegel (original title)

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Through a Glass Darkly -- While vacationing on a remote island retreat, a family's fragile ties are tested when daughter Karin discovers her father has been using her schizophrenia for his own literary means. As she drifts in and out of lucidity, her family is unable to prevent Karin's harrowing descent into the abyss of mental illness. Winner of the 1962 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.


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Release Date:
16 October 1961 (Sweden) See more »
A young woman, Karin, has recently returned to the family island after spending some time in a mental hospital... See more » | Full synopsis »
Won Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
I don't know what to put's damn good. watch it See more (59 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Directed by
Ingmar Bergman 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ingmar Bergman 

Produced by
Allan Ekelund .... producer
Original Music by
Erik Nordgren (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Sven Nykvist 
Film Editing by
Ulla Ryghe 
Production Design by
P.A. Lundgren 
Costume Design by
Makeup Department
Börje Lundh .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lenn Hjortzberg .... assistant director
Art Department
Karl-Arne Bergman .... property master
Sound Department
Staffan Dalin .... sound
Stig Flodin .... sound
Special Effects by
Evald Andersson .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Rolf Holmquist .... assistant camera
Peter Wester .... assistant camera
Other crew
Ulla Furås .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Såsom i en spegel" - Sweden (original title)
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89 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Film debut of Lars Passgård.See more »
Continuity: As Minus paints the chair, the amount of paint on the chair changes between shots.See more »
Fredrik:I'm an artist.
Fredrik:Yes, Princess, a thoroughbred artist: a poet with no poems, a painter with no pictures, a musician with no music. I despise ready... made art, the banal result of vulgar effort. My life is my work and dedicated to my love for you.
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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
I don't know what to put's damn good. watch it, 15 July 2007
Author: Dustin Luke Nelson from United States

Through a Glass Darkly marks one of the first collaborations between Bergman and his long time cinematographer Sven Nykvist (who passed away this last September). Nykvist shot films as varied as Lasse Hallestroms 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape' to Woody Allen's 'Crimes and Misdemeanors.' Nykvist's touch is present throughout the film, a style that begins to become a part of Bergman's signature mise-en-scene.

Bergman's screenplay is transitional because of it's scarcity of saturation. Using a cast of only four and only one location, the family's country home on an island off the coast of Sweden. Karin (Harriet Andersson) is slowly going mad, her family (fiancée, father and brother) are trying to understand her and not send her away, trying to let her know that things may be alright as she descends into hysteria, talking to walls, waiting for god to come out of the closet.

The film is quite simply a masterpiece. A portrayal of descent into madness and the effect on others that feels more grounded in reality than even the best of films on madness (see: Shock Corridor – Samuel Fuller, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest – Milos Foreman, or The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada – Tommy Lee Jones) Nykvist's mostly static camera gives the film a brooding sense of anticipation, lingering motionlessly, allowing the actors to move freely into deep frames, marginalizing themselves as they move about the large empty frame. The camera even goes so far as to linger a little too long at times, waiting long after the actors have exited the frame, making sure that the audience is aware that the hollowness, these spaces they live and think in exist without them, these voids the audience is watching never go away.

These sentiments are echoed by the well penned script. The father's regret over the madness of his deceased wife, the husbands jealousy, his inability to act, the nearly sexual love the brother feels for Karin, his isolation and inability to get over his immaturity. It's a delicately woven, exquisitely beautiful film on the landscapes of the mind and the solitude of life and the search for god. A good introduction to the psychological drama of Bergman for anyone unfamiliar with one cinema's masters.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Sexual tension between Minus and Karin? stop-making-sense
Did minus exist??? thepyratror
How did Lars Passgard die? appleimacdude
Why is this genius? jv-181-346883
Ending quote noabsolutes
What the title means? cinematography
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