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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 38,939 users   Metascore: 100/100
Reviews: 107 user | 80 critic | 8 from

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



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Top 250 Movies #219 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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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




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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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
See  »

Did You Know?


At the end of the film when Emily introduces the idea to Helena that she wants to stage August Strindberg's brand new play "A Dream Play" and that she wishes for Helena to act with her in it, Helena is pretty pessimistic and reluctant about the whole idea and on the mention of Strindberg exclaims: "Oh no... that dreadful woman-hater!". This is somewhat of an in-joke from Bergman towards actress Gunn Wållgren (who portrays grandmother Helena): Gunn Wållgren is first of all well-known as one of Sweden's foremost Strindberg-interpretors ever and secondly; her most successful and praised part on stage was actually the part of Indra's Daughter in "A Dream Play" (a play and a part the actress also loved very much). Gunn Wållgren later in the final scene also recites the first lines of the play's prologue to Alexander. See more »


Among the Christmas decorations in the Ekdahl house, there is a garland of miniature flags of Scandinavian countries, including the Finnish flag. The Finnish flag was in fact only designed and adopted after Finnish independence in 1917, a decade after the events of the film. 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 »


Spoofed in Percy tårar (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Real masterpiece
5 May 2003 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

Most of the ideas revealed through mystery by Bergman in Fanny och Alexander have already been addressed by others. The first time I saw this film was in 1984, on tv and with a much shorter version than the one released in England in 2002, which is the full 300-plus minute original.

That day I was scared -really scared- watching the scene where Alexander is been helped to let out his most evil thoughts by Ishmael, a completely mysterious character with supernatural insight. And then, a blackout. You can imagine: if I was truly scared this left me breathless.

Then, almost twenty years passed until I found this remarkable jewel, in its full version, perfectly digitised and audio-enhanced in dvd. I bought a dlp projector and used a previewing room to show it to my students. I didn't know what was going to happen. But that doubt was worth the waiting.

I think it's very difficult to say any other thing than breathtaking to underline what this film accomplishes. It's the reflected work of years of understanding and hard work between Bergman and Nyvqvist. One of the most powerful, beautiful, fearful and perfect films of all times. An exaggeration, like. Yes, but I think that there are no words to explain how plainly perfect this work is. The way it was written. The way it was directed. The way it was lighted. The way it was designed. The way each and every character plays his or her role. The details -not a Bergman's new- to which they paid the most dedicated attention to. The luxurious use of available light. The setting of the story. The amazing locations. Everything in this film was perfectly studied, down to the colour shifts that would take place in every shot!, forget about whole scenes!

The troubling minds of all those characters whose lives are at crossroads. The powerful and eventful lives of just one familiy. The small and big affairs that affect them. Gratitude and hate. Honour and shame. Guilt and love. Fear and joy. Selfishness and generosity. Every long scene exudes with tension, pure fun or pleasure; with increasing uneasiness and abrupt changes of demeanor. With a richness that could only be found where a very skillful eye -trained to see what most disregard as common- finds beauty and harmony. And a sound that is as exhilarating as the narrative depiction.

When the maxim of making "every frame a Rembrandt" comes to my mind, this film makes me think Bergman pushed the envelope a little further: he gives (or I'd rather say, Nyvqyst) the tratment of Van Der Meer or Bosch or Cezanne or Michelangelo to some scenes. (Think the kids playing at the nursery, the housemaidens sewing socks, the meadow and the boat, the transfixing scene of Alexander in the attic with his mother).

And a story told from the eyes of two kids worth a ton of gold. Alexander's (Bertil Guve, when he was twelve-thirteen) enormously powerful and convincing role can certainly be compared to any big-theatre-role actor.

Superb. Don't think you've seen the whole thing until you get the 5 hour full-story.

116 of 136 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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