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The Silence (1963)
"Tystnaden" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  3 February 1964 (USA)
8.0
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Reviews: 37 user | 34 critic

"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 »

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Airs Thu. Dec. 04, 4:45 AM on TCM

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Title: The Silence (1963)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Gunnel Lindblom ...
Anna
Birger Malmsten ...
The Bartender
Håkan Jahnberg ...
The Waiter
Jörgen Lindström ...
Johan
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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

Plot Keywords:

hotel | boy | traveling | room | silence | See All (125) »

Taglines:

BERGMAN at his most POWERFUL! SHOCKING! BOLD!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

3 February 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Silence  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 5,307,000 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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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 loser 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Mayfair Waltz
(uncredited)
Music by Robert Mersey
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User Reviews

 
The Cries and Whispers of Silence
8 January 2006 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

The title of a dark and erotic final chapter of "faith" trilogy may sum up Bergman's own philosophy regarding religion and God – "God has never spoken because He does not exist". Bergman mentioned that he wanted to make a film with as little dialog as possible because "he had made many films with a lot of talking". He wanted "The Silence" to be a pure cinematographic experience where the images do all the talking. The films centers on two sisters, Ester (Ingrid Thulin) and Anna, (Gunnel Lindblom) to whom Ester is physically attracted. Esther, Anna and her 10-year-old son travel together and had to stop in a hotel located in an unnamed European country due to Esther's serious illness.

The film may be viewed on several levels -as the story of two sisters who apparently used to be close but are not able to communicate and understand one another anymore. Or it can be interpreted as a parable of Sensuality, Intellect, and Innocence, that cannot coexist in the world where God does not exist. As with every great and intelligent work of art, "The Silence" has so much to offer to its viewer, it's got so many questions to ask and it does not provide the easy answers.

Complex, suffocating, screaming through the silence, poignant, passionate, harrowing yet strangely hopeful and even funny sometimes - this is an unforgettable film, a masterpiece, a hidden treasure that has to be rediscovered and to receive as much praise and admiration as "Persona" and "Cries and Whispers" - for both of which "The Silence" was an inspiration. The acting by two Bergman's actresses is a miracle (as usual) as well as Sven Nykvist's camera work in creating the claustrophobic world where silence cries, whispers, and kills...


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