In desperation brought on by near-starvation, Helge Roos kills his master's ox and feeds it to his wife and baby daughter. No-one suspects anything until the meat is finished and Helge ... See full summary »


Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Helge Roos
Ewa Fröling ...
Elfrida Roos
Sigvard Silver
Maria Gustavsson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Björn Gustafson ...
Officer in command
Lennart Hjulström ...
Svenning Gustavsson
Helge Jordal ...
Agneta Prytz ...
Old Woman
Rikard Wolff ...


In desperation brought on by near-starvation, Helge Roos kills his master's ox and feeds it to his wife and baby daughter. No-one suspects anything until the meat is finished and Helge tries to sell the hide at a local market. He is spotted by the local vicar and, wracked with guilt, confesses. The vicar assures him that if he gives himself up, he'll be treated leniently, but Helge's sentence is far harsher than anyone predicted... Written by Michael Brooke <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


En film av Sven Nykvist




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Release Date:

22 November 1991 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

The Ox  »

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Did You Know?


Sweden's official submission to the 1992's Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category. See more »


[first lines]
Elfrida Roos: [Helge killed his master's ox] No! Have you gone out of your mind, Helge?
Helge Roos: What am I to do? We have to eat.
Elfrida Roos: How could you? How could you do this to Svenning?
Helge Roos: [screaming] Svenning has another one. We must survive.
Helge Roos: Help me. Stop whimpering and help me. Help me. You don't want Anna to fall ill and die, do you?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Instead of the usual "directed by", the director's titles are presented as "a true story told by Sven Nykvist". See more »


Featured in Ljuset håller mig sällskap (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

rather dark, sad and depressing but genuinely heartfelt.
1 February 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Other reviewers have done a good job at outlining the plot, so I don't want to be redundant. I loved the movie! I saw this movie at least 14 yrs ago, but I still I remember it well. and I don't usually remember most movies I see, the next day.It was filmed in black and white which added to the somberness of the location. . It consisted of the conflict between friends and neighbors, husband and wife and the religious implications which determined the outcome. . I totally recommend this movie for sentimental people who like a serious movie and especially those who are fans of Ingmar Bergmann movies, If someone has a DVD of this film I would be willing to purchase it for up to $25.00 contact:

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A great, yet forgotten movie... oldmanbowse
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