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Hour of the Wolf (1968)

Vargtimmen (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Horror | 9 April 1968 (USA)
While vacationing on a remote Scandanavian island with his younger pregnant wife, an artist has an emotional breakdown while confronting his repressed desires.

Director:

Ingmar Bergman

Writer:

Ingmar Bergman
Reviews
Popularity
3,045 ( 5,558)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Max von Sydow ... Johan Borg
Liv Ullmann ... Alma Borg
Gertrud Fridh ... Corinne von Merkens
Georg Rydeberg ... Lindhorst
Erland Josephson ... Baron von Merkens
Naima Wifstrand ... Old Lady with Hat
Ulf Johansson ... Heerbrand
Gudrun Brost ... Gamla Fru von Merkens
Bertil Anderberg ... Ernst von Merkens
Ingrid Thulin ... Veronica Vogler
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Storyline

An artist in crisis is haunted by nightmares from the past in Ingmar Bergman's only horror film, which takes place on a windy island. During "the hour of the wolf" - between midnight and dawn - he tells his wife about his most painful memories. Written by Fredrik Klasson <fredrik.klasson@boras.mail.telia.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"The Hour of the Wolf" is the hour between night and dawn. It is the hour when most people die. It is the hour when the sleepless are haunted by their deepest fear, when ghosts and demons are most powerful.

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Swedish | Norwegian

Release Date:

9 April 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hour of the Wolf See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Ingmar Bergman originally penned the script in 1964 under the title "The Cannibals". A serious bout of pneumonia led him to reconsider the project whilst lying in hospital; he deemed it to be potentially too expensive in concept and execution. Bergman revised the script idea into a more low budget piece to accompany Persona (1966). See more »

Quotes

Baron von Merkens: "The Magic Flute" is the great example and I shall prove it to you at once. Tamino's guides have just left him in the dark courtyard outside the temple of wisdom and the youth calls out in the deepest despair, "O endless night, when will you be gone? When will the daylight greet my sight?" Seriously ill, Mozart feels these words with a secret intensity. And the chorus and orchestra answer with "Soon, fair youth or never." The loveliest and perhaps the most disturbing music that has ever been ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

There exists an earlier version of the film with an additional, meta-cinematic framing device. In the prologue (lasting about 7 minutes), Bergman is seen on the set directing his actors. The epilogue (lasting about 1 minute) shows us the set being torn down and the crew leaving. These sequences are the only differences to the commonly seen version. Bergman has stated in an interview that he cut off these sequences himself before the general release of the film, as he came to the conclusion that they were just "self-deception". Despite this, a Swedish 35 mm print of the original, longer version does exist, although it's not available on home video in any format. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Eraserhead (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

 
we are drawn in further, as is she
20 March 2008 | by christopher-underwoodSee all my reviews

Our early encounters with Johan Borg, played by the enigmatic, Max von Sydow do not encourage our sympathy. The painter seems troubled but boorish with it and something of a bully. Liv Ullmann is wonderful as his long suffering wife, Alma, and really tries to help her husband overcome his illness. This is the reason they are on the (deserted?) island, to give him a chance to overcome his demons. And what demons! For the first half of the film we are about as bemused as Alma as to what is going on with all the various encounters, but as the film progresses we are drawn in further, as is she. The artist overcome by his own creative imaginings or a sick man struggling with his nightmares? Can one tell the difference in the end? As the two main characters finally fall in together, dragging us with them a full blown Gothic melodrama opens up and almost engulfs us all. Most original and horrifying work. I don't know if it was just me but I had to play this with 'hard of hearing' English as I could find no other English track on the DVD.


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