7.9/10
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46 user 47 critic

The Silence (1963)

Tystnaden (original title)
R | | Drama | 3 February 1964 (USA)
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 & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ingrid Thulin ... Ester
Gunnel Lindblom ... Anna
Jörgen Lindström ... Johan
Håkan Jahnberg Håkan Jahnberg ... The Hotel Steward
Birger Malmsten ... The Waiter
Edit

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:

Winner Swedish Film Academy Award Best Film of the Year 1963 See more »

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 »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,936
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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

Ingmar Bergman drew inspiration from his radio play "The City", Sigfrid Siwertz's short story "The Dark Goddess of Victory", Béla Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, and a recurring dream about a huge city. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

Some sex scenes were cut in Norway to get an 16 rating when the movie was released theatrically in 1963, then the new 18 rating was introduced by law in 1969 and the movie passed the Norwegian Board of Film Classification uncut in 1970 with an 18 rating. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Sing, Baby, Sing
(uncredited)
Written by Lew Pollack and Jack Yellen
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Cries and Whispers of Silence
8 January 2006 | by Galina_movie_fanSee all my reviews

The title of a dark and erotic final chapter of "faith" trilogy may sum up Bergman's own philosophy regarding religion and God – "God has never spoken because He does not exist". Bergman mentioned that he wanted to make a film with as little dialog as possible because "he had made many films with a lot of talking". He wanted "The Silence" to be a pure cinematographic experience where the images do all the talking. The films centers on two sisters, Ester (Ingrid Thulin) and Anna, (Gunnel Lindblom) to whom Ester is physically attracted. Esther, Anna and her 10-year-old son travel together and had to stop in a hotel located in an unnamed European country due to Esther's serious illness.

The film may be viewed on several levels -as the story of two sisters who apparently used to be close but are not able to communicate and understand one another anymore. Or it can be interpreted as a parable of Sensuality, Intellect, and Innocence, that cannot coexist in the world where God does not exist. As with every great and intelligent work of art, "The Silence" has so much to offer to its viewer, it's got so many questions to ask and it does not provide the easy answers.

Complex, suffocating, screaming through the silence, poignant, passionate, harrowing yet strangely hopeful and even funny sometimes - this is an unforgettable film, a masterpiece, a hidden treasure that has to be rediscovered and to receive as much praise and admiration as "Persona" and "Cries and Whispers" - for both of which "The Silence" was an inspiration. The acting by two Bergman's actresses is a miracle (as usual) as well as Sven Nykvist's camera work in creating the claustrophobic world where silence cries, whispers, and kills...


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