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Cries & Whispers (1972)

Viskningar och rop (original title)
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

Writer:

Ingmar Bergman
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Cast

Credited cast:
Harriet Andersson ... Agnes
Kari Sylwan Kari Sylwan ... Anna
Ingrid Thulin ... Karin
Liv Ullmann ... Maria / Mother
Anders Ek ... Isak
Inga Gill ... Storyteller
Erland Josephson ... David
Henning Moritzen ... Joakim
Georg Årlin ... Fredrik
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ingrid Sandell ... Girl at a family gathering
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Storyline

In turn-of-the-century Sweden, cancer-stricken, dying Agnes is visited in her isolated rural mansion by her sisters Karin and Maria. As Agnes' condition deteriorates and pain management becomes increasingly more difficult, fear and revulsion grip the sisters, who seem incapable of empathy, and Agnes' only comfort and solace comes from her maid Anna. As the end draws closer, long repressed feelings of grudging resentment and mistrust cause jealousy, selfishness, and bitterness between the siblings to surface. Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Four women dressed in white in a mansion painted red...haunted by whispers and cries. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Swedish | German | Danish

Release Date:

5 March 1973 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Cries & Whispers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The mansion where the film was shot, Taxinge-Nasby, had not been inhabited for years, and the repainting of the walls with glossy red paint, and the half run-down condition of the place, meant that it had to be extensively renovated by the new caretakers. See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

David: Come here, Marie. Come. Look in the mirror. You're beautiful. Perhaps even more than when we were together. But you've changed and I want you to see how. Now your eyes cast quick, calculating, side glances. You used to look ahead straightforwardly, openly, without disguise. Your mouth has a slightly hungry, dissatisfied expression. It used to be so soft. Your complexion is pale now. You wear makeup. Your fine, wide brow has four lines above each eye now. You can't see them in this light, but ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Being There (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Suite No. 5 for solo Cello in C Minor, 4th mvt 'Sarabande'
by Johann Sebastian Bach
Played by Pierre Fournier
See more »

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User Reviews

The Sounds Of Cries And Whispers Or A Study In Red
18 March 2006 | by G_a_l_i_n_aSee all my reviews

The idea of this film that is considered by many as Bergman's crown achievement came to him in his house at Faro where he lived by himself for sometime in a melancholy state of mind after a rather painful breakup. One image kept coming to him and it was a very vivid and persistent image of a red room (red walls, red furniture) and four women sitting at the window in the room and dressed by the fashion of the beginning of the 20th century. He could not shake the image out of his mind and he knew that the only way to deal with it would be to start writing about the women – who were they, what was their relationship, their lives, their fates?.. He also knew that should the movie be made of his writing, the dominating color of it would be red. Bergman talked with affection and gratitude about his friend and long time collaborator Swen Nykwist who spent many days creating the passionate haunting red world of "Cries and Whispers. The title came to Bergman from one of the reviews on a Mozart's sonata (he does not remember which one). The sonata was described as sounds of cries and whispers…

"Cries and Whispers" is about pain, death, love, lust, hate, and self-loathing. There are more than one scene in the film that I found unbearable, horrifying and depressing. In the same time, it is about beauty and power of life, every minute of it - how little we appreciated it until it is too late. Typical Bergman's subjects, Bergman's actresses giving amazing performances, strikingly beautiful – it even hurts your eyes cinematography by Sven Nykvist - typical Bergman's masterpiece - what less do we expect from him? I admire the brilliance of it: acting, cinematography, Bergman's simple but devastating approach to Death as an inevitable part of life. The ending is heartbreaking - with Harriet's face and her words from beyond the grave about appreciating every minute of life...

Powerful and devastating film.


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