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The Silence (1963)

Tystnaden (original title)
Two estranged sisters, Ester and Anna, and Anna's 10-year-old son travel to the Central European country on the verge of war. Ester becomes seriously ill and the three of them move into a hotel in a small town called Timoka.

Director:

Ingmar Bergman

Writer:

Ingmar Bergman
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ingrid Thulin ... Ester / Elder sister
Gunnel Lindblom ... Anna / Younger sister
Jörgen Lindström Jörgen Lindström ... Johan / Anna' son
Håkan Jahnberg Håkan Jahnberg ... The Waiter
Birger Malmsten ... The Bartender
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Storyline

"The Silence" is about the emotional distance between two sisters. The younger one is still attractive enough to pick up a lover in a strange city. The older one -- even though she is very ill -- would like to make a human connection also but cannot leave the hotel room. Traveling with the sisters is a small boy who escapes into the hotel, meets a troupe of dwarfs. Which sister is this little boy's mother? Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

BERGMAN at his most POWERFUL! SHOCKING! BOLD!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Swedish | English | German | French | Spanish

Release Date:

3 February 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Silence See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Svensk Filmindustri (SF) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (AGA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film attracted much international attention. In the United States "The Silence" was presented as a semi-pornographic film with review quotes from the Daily News; "On incest, self-defilement and nymphomania, this Bergman latest is the most shocking movie I have ever seen. I could not believe my eyes.". In Argentina the film's distributor was sentenced to one year imprisonment conditionally, while it was shown uncensored in Uruguay. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Johan: [points to a sign] What does that mean?
Ester: I don't know.
See more »

Connections

Featured in A Letter to Elia (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

THE GOLDBERG VARIATIONS
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bleak and beautiful film
23 March 1999 | by dionysus-6See all my reviews

A harrowing film. Two sisters and a young son spend some time in a town whose language they do not speak. It's dejected and lonely, as bleak as Bergman gets. Supposedly it's about faith; it is part of his "religous trilogy" (along with Through the Glass Darkly). The town is strange and eerie and alien. The sisters' non-understanding of the native tongue brings to a focus their alienation from each other as well as from everyone else - you'll feel it too. It's not a pleasant film to watch, but it's beautiful nonetheless.

By the way, Kubrick fans will love looking at how this film influenced The Shining. The film is rife with long sweeps through the hotel where the sisters are staying. Abandoned opulant hotel corridors swim by, lazy and radiant with mesmerizing patterns. However, this film is even more dejected and alienating than The Shining. And the sex scene is one of the most unappealing I've ever scene; It's ridiculously cold.


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