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The Silence (1963)

Tystnaden (original title)
R | | Drama | 3 February 1964 (USA)
Two sisters and a 13-year old boy travel in a fictitious foreign country. The older sister gets sick and the three move into a hotel.

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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
The Bartender
Håkan Jahnberg ...
The Waiter
Jörgen Lindström ...
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Storyline

"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 ill -- would like to make a human connection also but cannot leave the hotel room. Traveling with the sisters is a small boy who escapes into the hotel, meets a troupe of dwarfs. Which sister is this little boy's mother? Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

BERGMAN at his most POWERFUL! SHOCKING! BOLD!

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Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

3 February 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Silence  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(AGA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was submitted to the rating bureau just weeks after the directions had been liberalized a bit: it went through without cuts, and made a real stir. It attracted huge audiences, was fiercely debated - and acquired a reputation for being the film that shot the first big hole in the "sex censorship wall" of Swedish movie making. Within five years, film censorship had become a formality. Voice where raised for the abolishment of censorship, but with the raising levels of film violence at the end of the 60's the opinion changed and where lesser on nudity and sex but very hard on film violence. State censorship was not abolished until 2011, 100 years after it's introduction. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Johan: [points to a sign] What does that mean?
Ester: I don't know.
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Connections

Featured in Persona (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

THE GOLDBERG VARIATIONS
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

 
Silence reveals
2 July 2007 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Ester, Anna and her little son, Johan. They arrive in a strange city in a strange country. The two sisters have a long-standing love-hate relationship covered by the veneer of a fragile truce. Johan (Jörgen Lindstrom) tries to hold on to his mother Anna (Gunnel Lindblom) but she's too busy with her own desires and resentments to pay him much attention. Ester (Ingrid Thulin), Anna's older sister, is very sick - she represents for Anna an authority figure (once feared and respected).

Ester, Anna and Johan are in a city whose language they don't understand and no one understands their language. Isolation, silence.

There's something surreal, almost buñuelesque, in "The Silence". Johan sees and feels many things, but he can't really understand them. The train is arriving in the city and Johan stares out of the train window

  • he sees many war tanks heading somewhere. He doesn't know what to do


with himself... he wanders through the corridors of the hotel in which they are staying and he meets midgets from a wandering troupe. The relationship between the two sisters, Anna (his mother) and Ester (once so strong and now so very sick) is growing tenser. Johan tries to understand, walks along the hotel corridors, plays... he tries to lean on someone.

We see through the eyes of Johan (chaos and the search for love) and Anna (rebellion, desire, the search for something/someone) and Ester (fear and hope succeeding each other).

Ester, Anna and Johan - they are together but so very far apart. Johan, Anna's little son, is the only one that wants to establish a real connection, but when the film ends, he has already begun to suspect what life's about - the first steps to a rude awakening.

There are not many films like "The Silence". This film is really what could be called a masterpiece. It is very difficult for me to describe "The Silence" and the feelings/emotions it provoked in me. All I can say that it is a very rich film and each viewing will reveal new things and different angles to the viewer. "The Silence" is cinematic art in its purest form.


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