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Fanny and Alexander (1982)
"Fanny och Alexander" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama  |  17 December 1982 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 39,700 users   Metascore: 100/100
Reviews: 105 user | 81 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

Two young Swedish children experience the many comedies and tragedies of their family, the Ekdahls.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kristina Adolphson ...
Siri - Ekdahlska huset
Börje Ahlstedt ...
Carl Ekdahl - Ekdahlska huset
Pernilla Allwin ...
Fanny Ekdahl - Ekdahlska huset
Kristian Almgren ...
Putte Ekdahl - Ekdahlska huset
Carl Billquist ...
Police Superintendent Jespersson - Ekdahlska huset
Axel Düberg ...
Witness to Bishop's Death - Ekdahlska huset
Allan Edwall ...
Oscar Ekdahl - Ekdahlska huset
Siv Ericks ...
Alida - Ekdahlska huset
Ewa Fröling ...
Emilie Ekdahl - Ekdahlska huset
Patricia Gélin ...
Statue - Ekdahlska huset (as Patricia Gelin)
Majlis Granlund ...
Miss Vega - Ekdahlska huset
Maria Granlund ...
Petra Ekdahl - Ekdahlska huset
Bertil Guve ...
Alexander Ekdahl - Ekdahlska huset
Eva von Hanno ...
Berta - Ekdahlska huset
Sonya Hedenbratt ...
Aunt Emma - Ekdahlska huset


It's the early twentieth century Sweden. Adolescent siblings Alexander and Fanny Ekdahl lead a relatively joyous and exuberant life with their well-off extended paternal family, led by the family matriarch, their grandmother, Helena Ekdahl. The openness of the family culture is exemplified by Helena's now deceased husband ending up becoming best friends with one of her lovers, a Jewish puppet maker named Isak Jacobi, and their Uncle Gustav Adolf's open liaison with one of the family maids, Maj, who everyone in the family adores, even Gustav Adolf's wife, Alma. Between the siblings, Alexander in particular has inherited the family's love of storytelling, his parents and his grandmother who are actors and who manage their own theater. Things change for Alexander and Fanny when their father, Oscar, dies shortly after Christmas 1907. Although she truly does believe she loves him, the children's mother, Emilie, decides to marry Bishop Edvard Vergérus, who she first met as the officiate at ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


En film av Ingmar Bergman




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Release Date:

17 December 1982 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Fanny and Alexander  »

Box Office


SEK 21,041,492 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ingmar Bergman professed to actually preferring the five-hour forty-eight minute version of the film. See more »


In one scene, Gun Wållgren refers to the historically famous Belgian town of Waterloo, and uses an English pronunciation, which is an obvious modern trait - probably as a result of the popularity of the eponymous song from the pop group Abba. See more »


Ekdahlska huset - Gustav Adolf Ekdahl: Therefore let us be happy while we are happy. Let us be kind, generous, affectionate and good. It is necessary and not at all shameful to take pleasure in the little world.
See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.62 (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Probably Bergman's best
28 December 2003 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

Although I have disliked Bergman's earlier films and thought they were by far too overrated, that did not apply to this film. I saw the director's-cut version, over five hours. A little long, yes, and there is not much music, but it's not slow, like Tarkovsky's films can be.

The opening is great, and the first act, the first one and a half hour, was the part I liked the very most. The realism is utter, so is the casting; the best acting I have seen in a Swedish film, it's amazing. I can't complain about any actor, they were all extremely good. So is the dialog. Alexander had a typical upper class look, so did his grandmother, who looked extremely fresh and healthy and beautiful, for her age. All together, the language and milieus are very credible. No over-colorful costumes and silly dialogs, that is such a frequent element nowadays in historical plays, especially from America.

Bergman succeeds to capture the customs and behavior that were used (and to some extent still is used) within the Swedish upper class, as well as general Swedish customs and behavior. I know this, because I am familiar with it and have partly experienced it myself. The result is sometimes amazing. Bergman succeeds to capture the atmosphere of the old times, through language and decoration. The photo is at time dazzling; some scenes are identical to 19th century Swedish painting, and I get the thought that Bergman turned to these in search for the right setting of the film.

Unlike early works by Bergman, which tend to be somewhat theatrical, the keyword here is realism, which I appreciate greatly. The actors manage, like I said, to speak and play in a way that I feel was customary at that period of time. It might be too much to claim this work to be a Swedish Tarkovsky film, but I sensed it had some philosophical material, and it is definitely thoughtful. Otherwise, I think it is worth watching for the acting and dialog alone.

One of the best Swedish films ever made, and Bergman's best, in my opinion. (9/10)

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