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Cries & Whispers (1972)

Viskningar och rop (original title)
R | | Drama | 5 March 1973 (Sweden)
When a woman dying of cancer in early twentieth-century Sweden is visited by her two sisters, long-repressed feelings between the siblings rise to the surface.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Agnes
Kari Sylwan ...
Anna
...
...
Maria (and her mother)
...
Isak, the priest
Inga Gill ...
Story teller
...
David, the doctor
...
Joakim, Maria's husband
Georg Årlin ...
Fredrik, Karin's husband
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Storyline

In turn-of-the-century Sweden, cancer-stricken, dying Agnes is visited in her isolated rural mansion by her sisters Karin and Maria. As Agnes' condition deteriorates and pain management becomes increasingly more difficult, fear and revulsion grip the sisters, who seem incapable of empathy, and Agnes' only comfort and solace comes from her maid Anna. As the end draws closer, long repressed feelings of grudging resentment and mistrust cause jealousy, selfishness, and bitterness between the siblings to surface. Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A haunting and shattering film experience.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

5 March 1973 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Cries & Whispers  »

Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Agnes: It is Monday morning, and I am in pain.
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Connections

Referenced in Wings of Desire (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Suite No. 5 for solo Cello in C Minor, 4th mvt 'Sarabande'
by Johann Sebastian Bach
Played by Pierre Fournier
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User Reviews

 
Sad, cold, profoundly desperate
31 December 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

To see Liv Ullmann, whose nature is so warm and natural, play a role in which her warmth is superficial and fraudulent, is a little offsetting; yet, great actress that she is, she pulls it off, so that if I had never seen her before, I would believe she was that way.

"Cries and Whispers," much ballyhooed, I recall, when it appeared, seems too psychoanalytically intense today; dark and mysterious, beautifully filmed in an intense red-yes, very striking against the northern cold, but somehow not entirely convincing. The people are cynically presented as tortured animals caring only for themselves, without a scrap of genuine feeling for others. Anna, the maid, is the exception, so that she may serve as a foil for the rest of them.

Harriet Andersson gives a striking performance as Agnes who is dying of cancer. I have seen what she portrays, and can tell you she expressed it in all its horror and hopelessness. Ullmann plays Maria, one of her sisters who touches others easily, but without real feeling, so that the touches mean nothing. For those who grew up cinematically during the seventies, she was a great, expressive, sensual, flawless star of the screen, one of Ingmar Bergman's jewels. Bergman himself of course was already a legend by the time this film was made, a great master who did what he wanted and what he felt, yet never lost sight of the audience. What he seems to be saying here is we are desperate creatures living a cold and ultimately empty existence. The ending clip seems an after thought that seeks our redemption, but it arrives too little too late. We are lost.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)


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