8.1/10
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74 user 48 critic

Nattvardsgästerna (1963)

Not Rated | | Drama | 5 April 1963 (USA)
A small town priest struggles with his faith.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Karin Persson
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Kolbjörn Knudsen ...
Knut Aronsson, Warden
...
Fredrik Blom, Organist
Elsa Ebbesen ...
Magdalena Ledfors, Widow
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Storyline

On a cold winter's Sunday, the pastor of a small rural church (Tomas Ericsson) performs service for a tiny congregation; though he is suffering from a cold and a severe crisis of faith. After the service, he attempts to console a fisherman (Jonas Persson) who is tormented by anxiety, but Tomas can only speak about his own troubled relationship with God. A school teacher (Maerta Lundberg) offers Tomas her love as consolation for his loss of faith. But Tomas resists her love as desperately as she offers it to him. This is the second in Bergman's trilogy of films dealing with man's relationship with God. Written by <amanderik@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

faith | pastor | winter | priest | suicide | See All (12) »

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Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

5 April 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Luz de invierno  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bergman's friend, the writer and later film director Vilgot Sjöman, was early involved in the project. He would later become the film's assistant director, and documented his experiences in the excellent book L-136: Diary with Ingmar Bergman. See more »

Goofs

In the vestry (or office) to the side of the church, as Tomas realises that he believes life is more understandable without the presence of God, the light through the window behind him intensifies. Assuming the church building has an east-west orientation (as churches tend to do), the light is coming from a northerly direction. Yet, when he later re-enters the church proper (and collapses by the altar rail), the sun is clearly visible, low in the sky, through the window at the opposite (southern) side of the building. See more »

Quotes

Algot Frövik, Sexton: The passion of Christ, his suffering... Wouldn't you say the focus on his suffering is all wrong?
Tomas Ericsson, Pastor: What do you mean?
Algot Frövik, Sexton: This emphasis on physical pain. It couldn't have been all that bad. It may sound presumptuous of me - but in my humble way, I've suffered as much physical pain as Jesus. And his torments were rather brief. Lasting some four hours, I gather? I feel that he was tormented far worse on an other level. Maybe I've got it all wrong. But just think of Gethsemane, Vicar. Christ's disciples...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Ljuset håller mig sällskap (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Right near the top of my Bergman list and any other list
16 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

After watching this film 4 or 5 times over the years, it has moved into the top spot on my Bergman list and is one of my all time favorite movies. There is not a wasted moment in this film. It consists of one great set piece after another. What a cast! Gunnar Bjornstrand gives the best performance of a clergyman since Claude Laydu in Diary of a Country Priest and even outshines him due to the interaction with the rest of the cast. Ingrid Thulin is just outstanding as his former mistress, not only in the long closeup where she bares her soul to Bjornstrand through a letter she has written, but in several scenes where she endures humiliation after humiliation from him in an effort to cut through the wall he has built around his emotions. We also have the little community of church inhabitants--the cynical organist, the hunchbacked handyman, the stern rector. Each one challenges Bjornstrand's faith in a different way. Above all, we have Max von Sydow as a depressed parishioner, looking to the pastor for a reason to continue living and finding none. As we learn in the supplementary material to the Criterion DVD, Bjornstrand was quite sick with bronchitis during filming and this adds to the credibility of his performance. This is absolutely a 10 out of 10. A great,great film.


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