6.7/10
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The Serpent's Egg (1977)

Following the suicide of his beloved brother and deaths of even the most distant acquaintances, Abel Rosenberg attempts to discover the truth while facing depression, alcoholism, and anti-semitism.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Manuela Rosenberg
...
...
Inspector Bauer (as Gert Froebe)
...
Hans Vergerus
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Toni Berger ...
Mr. Rosenberg
...
Student
Paula Braend ...
Mrs. Hemse
Erna Brünell ...
Mrs. Rosenberg (as Erna Bruenell)
Paul Bürks ...
Cabaret Comedian (as Paul Buerks)
Gaby Dohm ...
Woman with baby
Emil Feist ...
Miser
...
Prostitute
Georg Hartmann ...
Hollinger
Edith Heerdegen ...
Mrs. Holle
Klaus Hoffmann ...
Commando Announcer
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Storyline

Ingmar Bergman's The Serpent's Egg follows a week in the life of Abel Rosenberg, an out-of-work American circus acrobat living in poverty-stricken Berlin following Germany's defeat in World War I. When his brother commits suicide, Abel seeks refuge in the apartment of an old acquaintance Professor Veregus. Desperate to make ends meet in the war-ravaged city, Abel takes a job in Veregus' clinic, where he discovers the horrific truth behind the work of the strangely beneficent professor and unlocks the chilling mystery that drove his brother to kill himself. Written by Leigh Thomas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Berlin 1923! A dangerous time to be alive and stay that way! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 February 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Schlangenei  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

DEM 12,000,000 (estimated)
 »

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

Reference to the "The Serpent's Egg" title of the film is made in the movie when Abel Rosenberg (David Carradine) stumbles into a laboratory of the serpent's egg where "the thin membranes [of which] you can clearly discern the already perfect reptile". See more »

Goofs

The Nazi-looking thugs that are beating up people are wearing Model 1943 German army caps and 1940s style clothing. This film is supposed to take place in the 1920s. See more »

Quotes

Abel Rosenberg: I wake up from a nightmare and find that real life is worse than the dream.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.33 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Das Lied vom süssen Bonbon
(uncredited)
Music by Rolf A. Wilhelm
Lyrics by Rolf A. Wilhelm and Kurt Wilhelm
Performed by Liv Ullmann
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Better than it's reputation
13 May 2012 | by (US) – See all my reviews

While not a masterpiece, this is also far from the mess most critics took it for. An intelligent failure (or modest success) Bergman looks at Germany in the 20s as laying the groundwork for Hitler and the Nazis.

Liv Ullman is terrific, as always. And if David Carradine is only good, not great, he certainly didn't deserve the critical attacks he received. The nature of his character is a man so locked in passivity as to be enigmatic. You might not like that kind of character, but it's certainly not the actor's fault for carrying it out well!

Yes, some of it is slow, and some a bit obvious, but those charges could also be leveled against some Bergman films labeled masterpieces. As a cautionary tale of where we were once before, and could end up again, I've certainly seen far worse. It has some truly chilling moments. And I think seeing it again may reveal even more…


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