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The Saga of Gösta Berling (1924)

Gösta Berlings saga (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 27 October 1928 (USA)
A drunkard priest who has been cast out by his community struggles to atone and regain his honour and dignity.


Mauritz Stiller




Cast overview, first billed only:
Lars Hanson ... Gösta Berling
Sven Scholander Sven Scholander ... Sintram
Ellen Hartman-Cederström ... Märtha Dohna
Mona Mårtenson ... Ebba Dohna
Torsten Hammarén Torsten Hammarén ... Henrik Dohna
Greta Garbo ... Elizabeth Dohna
Gerda Lundequist ... Majorskan; Margaretha Samzelius (as Gerda Lundeqvist)
Jenny Hasselqvist ... Marianne Sinclaire
Sixten Malmerfeldt Sixten Malmerfeldt ... Melchior Sinclaire
Karin Swanström ... Gustafva Sinclaire (as Karin Svanström)
Oscar Byström Oscar Byström ... Patron Julius
Hugo Rönnblad Hugo Rönnblad ... Beerencreutz
Knut Lambert Knut Lambert ... Örneclou
Svend Kornbeck ... Kapten Christian Bergh
Otto Elg-Lundberg Otto Elg-Lundberg ... Samzelius


Gösta Berling is a young and attractive minister. Because he is an alcoholic and his preaches are far too daring, he is finally defrocked. He leaves the town in disgrace and arrives at countess Marta's manor. His new job there is to be a tutor to countess' beautiful stepdaughter. They eventually fall in love with each other. But they don't know that countess hired him only because she has some secret plans of her own... Written by Aljaz Ciber, Slovenia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The film was originally released as two parts in Sweden: "Gösta Berlings saga I" on 10 March 1924 and "Gösta Berlings saga II" seven days later. The two-part version was also used in Finland and Norway, but for the rest of the world a shorter, one-part export version was made. See more »


Elizabeth Dohna: Love had already struck my heart. Well do I know that disease. I have suffered its torment myself. Since that day I have hated love. It only brings agony and suffering.
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Referenced in Three Scenes with Ingmar Bergman (1975) See more »


My Heart Belongs To You
Music & Lyrics by Guy K. Austin
See more »

User Reviews

Extraordinary silent epic
11 December 2009 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Three hours + and this movie had me on the edge of my seat till the last picture .Fans of Greta Garbo might be disappointed for her role is not very important in the first part of the saga.

Selma Lägerlof's " Gösta Berling" reminds me of Thomas Hardy's "Jude" and "Tess" .Like them ,he is more a victim than a "defrocked " minister. The structure of the movie is stunning including long flashbacks and flashbacks inside the flashback ,and so many characters it is sometimes hard to remember who is who.But this extravagant melodrama features so many memorable scenes it's impossible to mention all of them:

-Berling in his church,in his pulpit ,in front of the clergy .

-The "Devil" ,some kind of jack-in-the-box ,claiming another soul among the "outcasts"

-The big fire,filmed with a stunning virtuosity

-Gösta and Elizabeth,in their sleigh,escaping from a world they are not part of ,one of the most frenzied romantic scene I have ever seen.

"Gösta Berling" takes us to the decadent aristocratic world of the nineteenth century and depicts its deterioration.It is one of these rare silent movies which can still grab today's audience.

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Release Date:

27 October 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Saga of Gösta Berling See more »

Filming Locations:

Forsmark, Uppsala län, Sweden See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (TV) | (2 parts) | (Swedish Film Institute restoration) | (video) | (2017 restoration)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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