8.1/10
97,520
225 user 140 critic

Persona (1966)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller | 16 March 1967 (USA)
Trailer
5:01 | Trailer
A nurse is put in charge of a mute actress and finds that their personae are melding together.

Director:

Ingmar Bergman

Writer:

Ingmar Bergman (story and screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,591 ( 497)
Top Rated Movies #194 | Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 10 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bibi Andersson ... Alma
Liv Ullmann ... Elisabet Vogler
Margaretha Krook ... The Doctor
Gunnar Björnstrand ... Mr. Vogler
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin
The 400 Blows (1959)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier
Stalker (1979)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A guide leads two men through an area known as the Zone to find a room that grants wishes.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Stars: Alisa Freyndlikh, Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy, Anatoliy Solonitsyn
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When a woman dying of cancer in early twentieth-century Sweden is visited by her two sisters, long-repressed feelings between the siblings rise to the surface.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Harriet Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Kari Sylwan
Autumn Sonata (1978)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A married daughter who longs for her mother's love is visited by the latter, a successful concert pianist.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Liv Ullmann, Lena Nyman
Tokyo Story (1953)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city, but receive little attention.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Stars: Chishû Ryû, Chieko Higashiyama, Sô Yamamura
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two young Swedish children experience the many comedies and tragedies of their family, the Ekdahls.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Bertil Guve, Pernilla Allwin, Kristina Adolphson
Andrei Rublev (1966)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The life, times and afflictions of the fifteenth-century Russian iconographer St. Andrei Rublev.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Stars: Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov, Nikolay Grinko
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In 1431, Jeanne d'Arc is placed on trial on charges of heresy. The ecclesiastical jurists attempt to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, André Berley
Rashomon (1950)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The rape of a bride and the murder of her samurai husband are recalled from the perspectives of a bandit, the bride, the samurai's ghost and a woodcutter.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori
The Mirror (1975)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A dying man in his forties remembers his past. His childhood, his mother, the war, personal moments and things that tell of the recent history of all the Russian nation.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Stars: Margarita Terekhova, Filipp Yankovskiy, Ignat Daniltsev
Edit

Storyline

A young nurse, Alma, is put in charge of Elisabeth Vogler: an actress who is seemingly healthy in all respects, but will not talk. As they spend time together, Alma speaks to Elisabeth constantly, never receiving any answer. Alma eventually confesses her secrets to a seemingly sympathetic Elisabeth and finds that her own personality is being submerged into Elisabeth's persona. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Previously unseen Director's Cut See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Quotes

Sister Alma: I like Karl-Henrik so much, but you really only love once. I'm faithful to him. Opportunities come up in this line of work, I can tell you.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The American version, released by United Artists, omits a brief close-up shot of an erect penis from the film's pre-credit collage. See more »

Connections

Featured in Bergman Island (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Adagio from Concerto No. 2 in E major for Violin, Strings and Continuo, BWV 1042
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

User Reviews

The Art Of Bergman
14 January 2008 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

From its opening, seemingly random B&W images, Ingmar Bergman's "Persona" screams intellectualism. The film is cold, clinical, and abstract. It induces deep, philosophical questions that lack answers, or questions that provide for a multiplicity of emotionally unsatisfying answers.

About eight minutes into the film, the story begins. In a hospital, young Nurse Alma (Bibi Andersson) is assigned to care for Elisabeth Vogler (Liv Ullmann), an actress who, for no apparent reason, has ceased speaking. Concluding that there is nothing physically or mentally wrong with Elisabeth, the hospital exports her to a seaside cottage, where she is to be cared for by Nurse Alma. Most of the rest of the film is set at the cottage, where the two women get to know each other. But throughout, Elisabeth does not speak. She communicates only with facial expressions and body gestures.

For all of Elisabeth's silence, the film's script is remarkably talky. Nurse Alma talks in long monologues: asking, probing, recalling. She tries to build a relationship with Elisabeth, by vocalizing her own memories and emotional pains in life. Certainly, the film's curious narrative has a lot to "say" about the art, or rather the artificiality, of human communication.

The best element of the film is the artistic, B&W cinematography by Sven Nykvist. Lighting trends toward high contrast, with stark boundaries between light and darkness, a feature that contributes to the film's cold, intellectual tone. There are lots of close-up shots, even extreme close-ups, of the two women. The film's production design is ascetic, unadorned, austere. And this, too, enhances the analytic, abstract feel of the film.

Bergman conceived "Persona" while he was confined to a hospital. And I am inclined to think that the film is a cinematic expression of his own inward psychological struggles during that period of his life.

In other words, "Persona" communicates to us as much about Bergman's mindset, and his ideas of suffering and reality, as it does about any deep, universal questions in a post-modern world, although to some extent, the two dimensions intersect and overlap. Bergman is telling us that, ultimately, the film is not real. It is "nothing". It is an artificial human construct. That is, it is art, a perception that approximates, but does not replace, what we experience as reality.


49 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 225 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Swedish | English

Release Date:

16 March 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Persona See more »

Filming Locations:

Fårö, Gotlands län, Sweden See more »

Edit

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,142
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

AGA Sound System

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.



Recently Viewed