In the midst of a civil war, former violinists Jan and Eva Rosenberg, who have a tempestuous marriage, run a farm on a rural island. In spite of their best efforts to escape their homeland, the war impinges on every aspect of their lives.
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.
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 <email@example.com>
"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.
Bergman defines "The Hour of the Wolf" as "The time between midnight and dawn when most people die, when sleep is deepest, when nightmares are most palatable. It is the hour when the sleepless are pursued by their sharpest anxieties, when ghosts and demons hold sway. The hour of the wolf is also the hour when most children are born." According to "Films in Review" critic Henry Hart in the U.S. it's about 4 a.m. when the body's resistance is least. See more »
The old ones called it "the hour of the wolf". It is the hour when most people die, when most children are born. Now is when nightmares come to us. And if we are awake -...
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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 »
I don't know why I'm so fascinated with Ingmar Bergman. When I was in college, I went to a film society screening of this film. I hadn't seen Wild Strawberries or The Seventh Seal at the time and this was a real mind blower. There are all those shades of darkness. There are those depressed looking people, haunted by those personal demons. There is Bergman's island, so lonely, so cold. The other inhabitants always seem so threatening. The artist, writing about affairs, assaults, murder, and we don't know whether any of it is true. I suffer through the party with all those pretentious people and their angst. This party is only eclipsed by the one in Alice in Wonderland . The people are truly beasts. Bergman is about bad dreams. The camera pulls us through our deepest fears and dumps us in that dark, evil swamp. I know this is often seen as one of his minor films, but his getting ready to meet his former lover, putting on that makeup to look younger and recapture his past virility, is so gut wrenching.
This is a depressed feast for the eyes and it puts mental illness into corporeal form.
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