The Sacrifice (1986)
"Offret" (original title)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  November 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 13,240 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 60 critic

At the dawn of World War III, a man searches for a way to restore peace to the world and finds he must give something in return.


(as Andrei Tarkovskij)


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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Allan Edwall ...
Guðrún Gísladóttir ...
Maria (as Guðrún S. Gísladóttir)
Sven Wollter ...
Valérie Mairesse ...
Filippa Franzén ...
Tommy Kjellqvist ...
Per Källman ...
Tommy Nordahl ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tintin Anderzon ...
Helena Brodin ...
Birgit Carlstén ...
Jane Friedmann ...
Martin Lindström ...


Alexander, a journalist and former actor and philosopher, tells his little son how worried he is about the lack of spirituality of modern mankind. In the night of his birthday, the third world war breaks out. In his despair Alexander turns himself in a prayer to God, offering him everything to have the war not happen at all. Written by Gert de Boer

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Sacrifice  »

Box Office


$300,653 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film reflects Tarkovsky's respect for the Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman. See more »


[first lines]
Alexander: Come here and give me a hand, my boy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before end credits: "This film is dedicated to my son Andriosha - with hope and confidence. Andrei Tarkovskij" See more »


Referenced in R.E.M.: This Film Is On (1991) See more »


Performed by Watazumido-Shuso (Hotchiku flöjt)
The Everest Record Group 3289
See more »

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User Reviews

21 September 2004 | by (Honolulu, Hawaii) – See all my reviews

This is the best movie I have seen so far. I watch it again about once or twice a year, like a ritual or an annual holiday I would be taking into levels of consciousness where the mind is not really required. I do not understand, and I do not feel like I have to, it is secondary. I feel touched like only pure and silent beauty can touch me, or bliss. It is obviously created around an idea of sacrifice, being both a gift to others but also to ourselves. By offering his life in order to save his family, his grandson and the world, the main character is also giving a true meaning to his own life that had mostly been of artificiality, questionings and shallowness. Every person who enters the house, he starts seeing under a deeper if not more expressionistic light... And when he meets with magic (while making love with the witch) he creates the bridge that will take him from reality into mystery. The whole film is as breathtaking and self-sufficient as a painting, or even more so, a Russian icon. It is ageless. I suppose it will remain with me for my entire life. I consider it Tarkovsky's last will, but even more so a piece of the Human Heritage that should be protected and kept accessible for future generation.

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Other 'visually beautiful' films? mmeerrtt
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Was Andrei Tarkovsky Catholic? vinnyd3000
this movie disappointed me miles-disney
Dedication (spolier maybe) gusand
This movie cuts corners. verdant4ce
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