8.1/10
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Persona (1966)

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

Director:

Ingmar Bergman

Writer:

Ingmar Bergman (story and screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,151 ( 398)

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Top Rated Movies #194 | Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

AGA Sound System

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In the spring of 1965 Bergman was admitted to the Sophia Hospital, Stockholm, for double pneumonia and acute penicillin poisoning. While hospitalized, he created the basic script of "Persona". Inspired by August Strindberg's one-act play "The Stronger", an existence which consisted of dead people, brick walls and some dreary park trees and conceived as a sonata for two instruments. See more »

Quotes

The Doctor: I understand, all right. The hopeless dream of being - not seeming, but being. At every waking moment, alert. The gulf between what you are with others and what you are alone. The vertigo and the constant hunger to be exposed, to be seen through, perhaps even wiped out. Every inflection and every gesture a lie, every smile a grimace. Suicide? No, too vulgar. But you can refuse to move, refuse to talk, so that you don't have to lie. You can shut yourself in. Then you needn't play any parts or ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen (2012) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
Rambling on...
18 September 2000 | by zetesSee all my reviews

I don't know what to say about Persona, but I know I have to say something. I can say straight out that I did not fully grasp it, nor do I believe that it is fully able to be grasped. Like my favorite film, 2001, Persona allows for a plethora of interpretations, none of which can ever be said to be correct. But I know now that I do not understand everything. And I love that about it.

Jesus, it needs to be released on DVD. Criterion, are you listening??? Screw everything else for the moment, do a DVD edition of Persona complete with scholarly commentary (and not the same scholar who commented on your edition of The Seventh Seal, because he did not answer my questions). Not that I want anybody to tell me definitively what anything means, because I doubt anyone can do that. I just want some people to share my thoughts with. I want to watch and rewatch this film dozens of times. With a DVD, a nice one, I could scrutinize it extremely carefully, as I have thankfully been able to do with such great films as The Seventh Seal, The Third Man, Nashville, etc, etc, etc. Watch a scene, quickly rewind, watch it again and memorize each and every word and motion. I'm starting to feel like the main character from Antonini's Blowup! I rented this film two days ago and have watched it twice. If I had not been so tired the first night, I surely would have gone through it a second time that very same night. Doubtless, I would have done it again later. And I still have it for a couple of days, the rest of my life be damned!

All I can really comment on is the artistry of Sven Nykvist, the cinematographer, always been one of the very best, and on the acting skills of Liv Ulmann and especially Bibi Andersson, who gives one of the bravest and most powerful performances I've ever seen in a movie. I would compare her skill in this film to my favorite performance of all time (that I've seen): Marlon Brando in Last Tango in Paris. It seemed to me that she was becoming extremely involved in her character.

And this is where I need to just engulf myself in this film. While I cannot exactly "get" this film from a narrative angle entirely, the important thing, and the aspect of the film which will no doubt bring me back time after time (as long as I can someday get it on DVD, because, as far as I'm concerned, VHS is only for rental anymore) is the emotional aspect. While my intellect had a somewhat difficult time holding on to the text of the film, my emotions were right with the characters. It was an extraordinarily gut-wrenching film for me, and I felt, well, some weird feelings after it ended (part of which certainly had to do with the fact that certain parts of the movie boggled my mind). So my final score is without a doubt a 10/10. Few movies compare.


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