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Persona (1966)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  16 March 1967 (USA)
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A nurse is put in charge of an actress who can't talk and finds that the actress's persona is melding with hers.



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Top 250 Movies #181 | Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Margaretha Krook ...


A young nurse, Alma, is put in charge of Elisabeth Vogler: an actress who is seemingly healthy in all respects, but will not talk. As they spend time together, Alma speaks to Elisabeth constantly, never receiving any answer. Alma eventually confesses her secrets to a seemingly sympathetic Elisabeth and finds that her own personality is being submerged into Elisabeth's persona. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

actress | nurse | silence | beach | medical | See All (77) »


Previously unseen Director's Cut See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

16 March 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Persona  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Susan Sontag wrote that she considered Persona the greatest film ever made. See more »


Sister Alma: What are you hiding under your hand? Let me see. It's the photo of your little boy. The one you tore up. We must talk about it. Tell me about it, Elisabet. Then I will. lt was one night at a party, isn't that right? It got late and quite rowdy. Towards morning someone in the group said: "Elisabet, you virtually have it all in your armoury as woman and artist. But you lack motherliness." You laughed because you thought it sounded silly. But after a while you noticed you thought about what he'd ...
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Love Poem to Liv Ullmann
19 September 2000 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

There are few motion pictures that rely on bodily expression and imagery as most films depend too much on dialogue and speech. Persona(1966) is one of those raw movies that succeeds almost on a metaphysical level. Its about the relationship between an actress who broke down during a stage performance and the nurse who is assigned to take care of her. Bergman's camera has a fascination with Ullmann's figure as most of the film's closeup shots are on her. Liv Ullmann does an outstanding job in playing a character that hardly utters a line of dialogue.

There are a few scenes where the image dominates the screen in a manner that hasn't been done successfully since the silent film period. The director, Ingmar Bergman did an excellent job in presenting powerful images with the use of natural sound. Persona(1966) is a triumph of acting because both Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann are terrific in their perspective roles. There is hardly any movie music and this adds to the tension between the two women. Its a film that was deserving of a Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1966.

One scene that was wonderful is when Alma describes her life to her patient. Another excellent scene is when Mr. Vogler mistakes Alma for his wife(its as if he too has suffered a breakdown and has failed to recognize his own wife). Finally, the sequence where Alma and Mrs. Vogler's image blends together to form one person. Its an errie image because they cease to exist as individual people. Persona(1966) would influence Robert Altman very greatly when he directed the film, Three Women(1977).

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