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Thirst (1949)

Törst (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 11 July 1961 (USA)
A needy couple in a bad marriage travel back to Stockholm after a trip to Italy. Meanwhile, a widow resists seductions from two different persons - her psychiatrist and a lesbian friend.

Director:

Ingmar Bergman

Writers:

Herbert Grevenius, Birgit Tengroth (short stories)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Eva Henning ... Ruth
Birger Malmsten ... Bertil
Birgit Tengroth ... Viola
Hasse Ekman ... Dr. Rosengren
Mimi Nelson ... Valborg (as Mimmi Nelson)
Bengt Eklund ... Raoul
Gaby Stenberg ... Astrid
Naima Wifstrand ... Miss Henriksson
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Storyline

In 1946, nervous ballet dancer Ruth and her husband Bertil are returning to Sweden from his scholarship tour around Italy. In a Basle hotel room and on a train they quarrel; give food through the window to starving Germans; overhear wisdoms about marriage by Swedish clergymen returning from a conference; and finally make up. In flashbacks, Ruth reminisces her romance with middle-aged officer Raoul, her subsequent abortion, and her ballet career. In a seemingly separate episode set in quiet Stockholm during Midsummer, middle-aged widow Viola is harassed first by a psychiatrist, Dr. Rosengren, and then by a lesbian old school-friend Valborg, with tragic consequences. Written by Markku Kuoppamäki

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Now it Can Be Seen...Intact...Uncut! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Swedish | German

Release Date:

11 July 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thirst See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamburg, Germany

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (AGA Baltic)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The first of three theatrical films directed by Ingmar Bergman that he did not write. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Tartan region 2 DVD restores the ending of the scene between Viola and her lesbian former schoolmate Valborg, in which the latter tries to seduce the former by getting her drunk. This had been cut by the Swedish censors before the film's original release and had never been seen publicly before 2004. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Three Scenes with Ingmar Bergman (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Black and White Rag
(uncredited)
Music by George Botsford
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bergman perfects his direction of photography and actors
5 August 2007 | by wickestSee all my reviews

I thought I had seen every Bergman film ever made, so I was thrilled to stumble onto this one the week after he died. I had no trouble following the intertwining stories because I kept track of the characters' names and their relationships. So what confused many viewers seemed totally justified, especially compared to films in our post-Altmam era where more and more we see "stories" where seemingly unconnected people's lives crisscross and are junxtaposed ("Magnolia," and "Babel" to name a few).

The filming is fantastic for the time and prefigures the use of close ups in "Through a Glass Darkly." Very different from "Port of Call" just before and "To Joy" just afterwards. I found the film less bleak than "Prison," its lyrical moments prefiguring "Summer Interlude," one of my favorite early Bergmans.

The lesbianism was blatant enough for me, much more obvious than in "Young Man With A Horn," made around the same time in the US. Curiously, this section of the film helped illuminate Bergman's use of the theme in "The Silence," and this makes me want to view that film again. The fact that this is a film Bergman didn't write is intriguing, because he harmonizes his visual language to the rhythms of the screenwriter's oral one. The dialog was rather light for the seriousness of the situations. Perhaps Bergman himself would have been heavier-handed.

Lastly, there are the actresses, and here Bergman's direction of actors seems to solidify, as I find his previous films much more uneven on this score. Here the women, especially the young dancer, show real depth.

Keep in mind that this is not his first film, but still an early work, a seed that will grow into later masterpieces. Then you won't be disappointed, even after the mediocre last minutes of a work that definitely showed promise.


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