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The Rite (1969)
"Riten" (original title)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  18 September 1969 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,086 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 10 critic

A judge in an unnamed country interviews three actors, together and singly, provoking them while investigating a pornographic performance for which they may face a fine. Their relationships... See full summary »



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Title: The Rite (TV Movie 1969)

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Complete credited cast:
Thea Winkelmann
Anders Ek ...
Sebastian Fisher
Hans Winkelmann
Erik Hell ...
Judge Dr. Abrahamson


A judge in an unnamed country interviews three actors, together and singly, provoking them while investigating a pornographic performance for which they may face a fine. Their relationships are complicated: Sebastian, volatile, a heavy drinker, in debt, guilty of killing his former partner, is having an affair with that man's wife. She is Thea, high strung, prone to fits, and seemingly fragile, currently married to Sebastian's new partner, Hans. Hans is the troupe leader, wealthy, self-contained, growing tired. The judge plays on the trio's insecurities, but when they finally, in a private session with him, perform the masque called The Rite, they may have their revenge Written by <>

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Release Date:

18 September 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Riten  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Hans Winkelmann: Isn't it better to have insecurity with small artificial islands of security? It agrees better with the real state of affairs than the other way round.
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User Reviews

29 August 2012 | by (Salisbury, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Imagine that, in 1969, on BBC2, say, an experimental 'Play for Today' was featured, involving various acts of a drama that revolved around three very different actors who are interviewed very rigorously by a 'judge'.

There are various accusations highlighted and all become, or are, squirmingly intrusive, with many very personal subjects being quite explicitly examined. Add a documentary feeling use of static interview room/single set location and with uncomfortably close close-ups, in a rather unflattering greyish sort of black and white.

Considering these 'crimes' border on the uglier emotions and typically Bergman, the dialogue crackles with poetic starkness and honesty, then the Mary Whitehouse brigade of the day would have had a field day. My reference to this, is because The Rite was a drama made for Swedish TV, directed by Bergman and featuring some typically gritty and honest acting. I bet that the TV audience there would have been receptive and revelled in its clever psychotherapy and fascinating insight into human persona. Us Brits would only have seen the 'grubby' bits and blown them out of all proportion.

Whilst this 72minute drama looks odd and dated now - and the few other reviews around almost dismiss this work accordingly, it now comes out as a fascinating but intense montage of human condition and behaviour.

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