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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.

Director:

Mauritz Stiller
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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Sweden

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

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As of 2010, about 450 meters of film from the original cut are still missing. See more »

Quotes

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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Connections

Featured in Resident Alien (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

My Heart Belongs To You
Music & Lyrics by Guy K. Austin
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User Reviews

 
Some nice moments and great for Garbo fans, but too long and sprawling
1 June 2019 | by gbill-74877See all my reviews

One of the big things this has going for it is 18-year-old Greta Garbo; this was the film that got her noticed and brought to Hollywood the following year ... so if you're a big Garbo fan, this is probably must-see.

The title character is interesting, though the performance from Lars Hanson is too simple, and doesn't adequately convey the passion of a defrocked preacher who has several women fall for him (Mona Mårtenson, Jenny Hasselquist, and Garbo). Better is the performance we get from Gerda Lundequist, who plays a middle-aged married woman with a thinly veiled secret from her past, an old lover who bequeathed her wealth when he passed away.

There is a theme of the consequences to bad decisions in love that runs through these characters, some of which seem crazy (Hasselquist's father locking her out in winter over a single kiss), and others of which are age-old problems (Garbo's marriage to another man despite not loving him, and Lundequist's situation of having a lover and a husband). The women of the film seem to bear the brunt in unfair ways, and there may a feminist message in showing this (or it could be I'm just projecting that, I don't know).

There are some epic scenes which are impressive on the screen, including one with a horse-drawn sleigh running across the ice at night while pursued by wolves, and another with an impressive fire when a mansion is burned down, even though neither seem to make all that much sense.

And unfortunately that's at the heart of the issue I had with the film - it rambles on in exaggerated ways, lacking cohesive vision, and is at times ridiculously melodramatic. It's also far too long at over 3 hours, making it quite a slog to get through.


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