8.5/10
11,481
40 user 44 critic

Scenes from a Marriage 

Scener ur ett äktenskap (original title)
Ten years of Marianne and Johan's relationship are presented. We first meet them ten years into their marriage. He is a college professor, she a divorce lawyer. They say that they are ... See full summary »
Reviews
Popularity
3,755 ( 83)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1973  
Top Rated TV #179 | Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Saraband (TV Movie 2003)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Marianne, some thirty years after divorcing Johan, decides to visit her ex-husband at his summer home. She arrives in the middle of a family drama between Johan's son from another marriage and his granddaughter.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Liv Ullmann, Erland Josephson, Börje Ahlstedt
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Harriet Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Kari Sylwan
Autumn Sonata (1978)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A married daughter who longs for her mother's love gets visited by the latter, a successful concert pianist.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Lena Nyman
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Recently released from a mental hospital; Karin rejoins her emotionally disconnected family and their island home, only to slip from reality as she begins to believe she is being visited by God.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Björnstrand, Max von Sydow
The Silence (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two sisters and 13-year old boy travel in a fictitious foreign country. The older sister gets sick and the three move into a hotel.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Ingrid Thulin, Gunnel Lindblom, Birger Malmsten
Shame (1968)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Ingmar Bergman's psychological study of how humans react in a situation of war. The film takes place on Gotland, where invasion forces arrive.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Liv Ullmann, Max von Sydow, Sigge Fürst
Winter Light (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A small town priest struggles with his faith.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand, Gunnel Lindblom
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Harry Lund is a nineteen-year-old man who meets Monika, a romantic, reckless and rebellious seventeen-year-old, and they fall in love. They leave their families and jobs in their small town... See full summary »

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Harriet Andersson, Lars Ekborg, Dagmar Ebbesen
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

It's late nineteenth century Sweden. Middle aged lawyer Fredrik Egerman and his nineteen year old current wife Anne Egerman's two-year marriage has not yet been consummated. Fredrik wants ... See full summary »

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Andreas, a man struggling with the recent demise of his marriage and his own emotional isolation, befriends a married couple also in the midst of psychological turmoil. In turn he meets ... See full summary »

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Max von Sydow
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A kind but pampered beautiful young virgin and her family's pregnant and jealous servant set out to deliver candles to church, but only one returns from events that transpire in the woods along the way.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Max von Sydow, Birgitta Valberg, Gunnel Lindblom
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

While vacationing on a remote Scandanavian island with his younger pregnant wife, an artist has a emotional breakdown while confronting his repressed desires.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Gertrud Fridh
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Marianne (6 episodes, 1973)
...
 Johan (6 episodes, 1973)
Gunnel Lindblom ...
 Eva (2 episodes, 1973)
Edit

Storyline

Ten years of Marianne and Johan's relationship are presented. We first meet them ten years into their marriage. He is a college professor, she a divorce lawyer. They say that they are happily married - unlike their friends Katarina and Peter who openly fight, especially when under the influence of alcohol - but there is a certain detached aloofness in the way they treat each other. In the next ten years, as they contemplate or embark upon divorce and/or known extramarital affairs, they come to differing understandings at each phase of their relationship of what they truly mean to each other. Regardless of if it's love or hate - between which there is a fine line - they also come to certain understandings of how they can best relate to each other, whether that be as husband and wife, friends, lovers or none of the above. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 September 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scenes from a Marriage  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Bergman's original version of this (a six hour TV series) was a huge hit on Swedish television. It was always the director's intent to reach a mass audience but he was staggered by the reaction that it generated. He would find himself frequently accosted in the street by bickering couples, desperate for advice. Eventually, he had to change his phone number to escape from a constant barrage of entreaties. See more »

Quotes

Johan: I don't know what my love looks like, and I can't describe it. Most of the time I can't feel it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end titles are not shown on-screen, but are read by director and writer Ingmar Bergman, while "a beautiful picture of Fårö" is shown (different for each episode). Ingmar Bergman himself is in fact not credited at all. For the theatrical version, traditional on-screen credits were used, starting with "A film by Ingmar Bergman". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Annie Hall (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Concerto for violin, strings & continuo in B flat major, Op. 10, No. 1
(uncredited)
Written by Tomaso Albinoni
A short extract is played during the very beginning and end of each episode (it's not featured in the theatrical version)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Tragedy of Emotional Illiteracy (Review is about the 5 Hour Version)
17 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Johan and Marianne have been happily married for ten years. Following the rough choice to abort their child, the marriage begins to fall apart. Theirs is a marriage of convenience anyway, so it is no surprise that they have looked elsewhere for love and comfort. One day, Johan runs away with another woman, and the process of divorce begins. "Scenes from a Marriage" (Scener ur ett aktenskap) is an intense and personal look at the sanctity of marriage in a world where divorce is in vogue.

"Scenes" begins with Johan and Marianne being interviewed for a magazine article about their perfect marriage. Johan is confident in his happiness. He loves his wife, has fathered two children, and has a well-paying job. Marianne is sure of nothing, other than that she's happy. She tries to talk about her future, but the photographer cuts her off for a picture. She never gets to finish her thought. One wonders what she would have said if she'd gotten to same amount of time to speak as Johan did.

During the course of an epic five-hour ride, the two will switch places. Johan will become uncertain of what he wants, and Marianne will become liberated and truly happy. It's what happens in between that fascinates. "Scenes from a Marriage" focuses on the in between moments in life. Most of the time there are only two characters on screen at a time. Filmed in an intimate, documentary-like style, the film gives us the feeling that we're watching a home movie about the down time in the couple's life. This is when they real emotions come to the surface. Johan reveals his passion for Paula, the woman who has seduced him away from Marianne. Marianne, reserved in public, let's her anger, pain, and jealousy flow freely when they are alone together.

It is this that makes the film work. The film was written and directed by Swedish master Ingmar Bergman, a man who knows how to create arrestingly real drama. Bergman knows that the little moments in life are utterly more fascinating then the overblown public moments that most movies show. By allowing us into these personal moments, Bergman allows Johan and Marianne to become like old friends to the viewer, and that makes the story all the more impactful.

The performances by Liv Ullman and Erland Josephson as Marianne and Johan are nothing short of revelatory. Let's face it, most actors don't shoot for the stars in television productions. Ullman and Josephson treat "Scenes" like any one of their theatrical films. This approach is much appreciated. I only wish they could teach American TV actors a thing or two. Ullman and Josephson deliver more meaningful and powerful performances in the course of five hours than half of the American network line-ups could provide in 5 seasons.

Take, for example, the scene where Marianne discovers that she is the last person to know about Johan's infidelity. The camera gets in close on Ullman's face to reveal all the little details of her expression. Ullman's face is a mask of horror and shame. Her eyes are crying out in despair much louder than her voice can.

There is another fantastic scene in which Marianne who, in the ultimate irony, is a divorce lawyer listens to a client discuss her loveless marriage. The comparison to Marianne and Johan's marriage is undeniable. The look on Marianne's face as she sees her future self in her client is hard to describe, but undeniably affecting.

Johan has less emotional depth, as one of the main plot points is that Paula saps the life out of him as the relationship progresses. However, look at the earliest scenes of the film, where he is overflowing with happiness. The joy in his eyes and his voice are so real it's hard to believe that the whole thing was carefully scripted by Bergman rather than improvised by Josephson.

It is said that, following the initial airing of "Scenes from a Marriage" on Scandinavian TV, the divorce rate in Scandinavia grew immensely. More surprising is that Ingmar Bergman was, and still is, delighted by this fact. The film does provide somewhat of an argument for staying together (Johan and Marianne bounce back and forth on th divorce issue several times) and ultimately, as far as I understand, says that even the most strained relationships can be helped. I suppose it is all up to individual interpretations.

I think that "Scenes from a Marriage" is a film about communication. The lack of communication, and the inability to communicate at all, are the major contributing factors in the breakdown of Johan and Marianne's relationship. It isn't until the divorce papers come that the communication begins. A lack of communication with their own emotions prevents the two from seeing any way out other than divorce--they simply assume that it's too late and that all is said and done. It doesn't have to be that way, and "Scenes from a Marriage" will provide a wake up call to anyone who thinks it does.


26 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Abuse versus time and the evolution of couples Felonious-Punk
Is This Realistic? DoobakusBoy
It's too bad Johan didn't die in the end instead... moviesucks
TV or theatrical version first? vanShrike
Argument about the oscar. ttdragster14
TV Version or Teathrical? comeasyouare_2003
Discuss Scenes from a Marriage (1973) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?