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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
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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 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

Production Co:

Svensk Filmindustri (SF) See more »
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

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 »

Quotes

Johan Borg: 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 -...
Alma Borg: We're afraid.
Johan Borg: We're afraid.
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

References Persona (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Depressing but Captivating
23 October 2001 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

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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