6.9/10
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Prison (1949)

Fängelse (original title)
A film director tries to create the best film in history, but finds out that human abilities have their limits.

Director:

Ingmar Bergman

Writer:

Ingmar Bergman
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Doris Svedlund ... Birgitta Carolina Söderberg
Birger Malmsten ... Thomas
Eva Henning ... Sofi
Hasse Ekman ... Martin Grandé
Stig Olin ... Peter
Irma Christenson ... Linnea
Anders Henrikson ... Paul
Marianne Löfgren ... Mrs. Bohlin
Bibi Lindqvist Bibi Lindqvist ... Anna
Curt Masreliez ... Alf
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Britta Holmberg ... Birgitta's Mother in Dream (voice)
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Storyline

A movie director is approached by his old math teacher with a great movie idea: the Devil declares that the Earth is hell. The director rejects the idea, but subsequent events in the life of a writer, a friend of the director's, and a young prostitute he loves seem to prove the math teacher's idea. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

INGMAR BERGMAN reflects on life, love, the Devil and immortality...

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Swedish

Release Date:

4 July 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prison See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

SEK 240,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Terrafilm See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first Bergman film where Death makes a personal appearance. In a pastiche of silent-film slapstick, played by an Italian acrobat troupe, Death suddenly jumps in. See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening titles in this film. An unseen narrator (Hasse Ekman) reads the credits, as well as the title, out loud approximately ten minutes in to the movie. The sole title card is the standard "Slut" (Swedish for "End") that closes the picture. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Voice of Bergman (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Vart ska du gå?
Composed by Alice Tegner (as Alice Tegnér)
Sung by Monica Uddén
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User Reviews

 
The first Bergman to disappoint
23 November 2010 | by tim-764-291856See all my reviews

An ex Maths teacher announces he's just been released from a lunatic asylum (as you do) to some people making a film. (He used to teach one of them). He says that he has ideas about the Devil. The filmmakers try to adapt those ideas into a screenplay. Apparently they reject those ideas -after making them - for this film presumably.

The meandering narrative seems to explore scenarios that surround some pretty miserable and uninteresting people. I think I read that it's Bergman's first film to look solely at mild horror and the place of the Devil, both in philosophy, film and in folklore. Suicide, alcoholism, prostitution, even drowning babies born to the under-aged get limp, clumsy and unconvincing treatment.

It's pretty impossible to follow and no doubt spoilt by knowing what gems came later from the Master of Darkness.

Best thing to come out of it was a line that I've slightly altered - "Life Itself is a terminal illness "


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