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Scenes from a Marriage (1973)
"Scener ur ett äktenskap" (original title)

TV Mini-Series  |  PG  |   |  Drama
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 11,033 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 44 critic

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 »

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Top Rated TV #172 | Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Marianne (6 episodes, 1973)
 Johan (6 episodes, 1973)
Gunnel Lindblom ...
 Eva (2 episodes, 1973)


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




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 September 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scenes from a Marriage  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$150,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (theatrical)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Originally a six-episode TV series: 1. Innocence and Panic; 2. The Art of Sweeping Things Under The Rug; 3. Paula; 4. The Vale of Tears; 5. The Illiterates; 6. In the Middle of the Night in a Dark House Somewhere in the World. A total of 295 minutes were then cut down to 155 minutes. See more »


Marianne: Are we living in utter confusion?
Johan: You and I?
Marianne: No, all of us.
Johan: What do you mean?
Marianne: I'm talking about fear, uncertainty and ignorance.Do you think that secretly we're afraid we're slipping downhill and don't know what to do?
Johan: Yes, I think so.
Marianne: Is it too late?
Johan: Yes. But we shouldn't say things like that. Only think them.
Marianne: Have we missed something important?
Johan: All of us?
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 »


Featured in Bergman Island (2004) See more »


Concerto for violin, strings & continuo in B flat major, Op. 10, No. 1
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)
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User Reviews

Marriage Is Dead, Long Live Love
8 October 2004 | by (Virginia, USA) – See all my reviews

I used to think that I knew a thing or two about marriage having been married for as long as I have but nothing from my experience had prepared me for the merciless and deep dissection of Marriage: Bergman Style. When we meet Johan and Marianne for the first time, they have been happily (or so it seems) married for ten years. They have two daughters; they are still young, very attractive, healthy, educated, well off, and they seem to love each other very much. But Bergman is not interested in happy families – all happy families are happy in the similar ways. Like Tolstoy many years before him, Bergman explores the second part of the formula – All unhappy families are unhappy in their unique ways.

Bergman and his leading actors Liv Ullmann and Arland Josephson give one of the most truthful, honest, heartbreaking and credible portraits of a couple, one of the most intense character studies ever done on film. For five hours, we share twenty years from the lives of Johan and Marianne as well as their love, hate, misunderstandings, insecurities, anger, jealousy, denial, sadness, pain, despair, and loss. We witness the moments of incredible tenderness and unexpected and shocking violence, both physical and mental. There are no depth that they have not descended in the search of themselves and the meaning of their relationship.

There are actually four marriages Bergman studies in "Scenes from a Marriage" –none of them is happy, all are miserable. Bergman does not deny the possibility of finding a soul mate but his opinion on the modern marriage is quite pessimistic.

It felt like Bergman was saying - marriage is dead, long live love. For hours after the film was over, I could not shake off the sadness and pessimism of it. Only later I realized that even if four marriages in Bergman's film were disastrous, it does not necessarily mean that all couples in the world are or have to be that miserable. Bergman wrote and directed Scenes from a Marriage in 1973 when he was in his 5-th marriage, the one that would last for 24 years until his wife died. He brought in the screenplay (I think so but I may be wrong) the bitterness, resentment, anger and disappointments from his previous four marriages - maybe that's why the film is sometimes almost impossible to watch?

"Scenes from a Marriage" is a masterpiece but it may leave you devastated and emotionally exhausted. I watched the original 5-hours TV version and did not even bother with three hours version. 10/10

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