8.1/10
29,463
215 user 93 critic

Cries & Whispers (1972)

Viskningar och rop (original title)
R | | Drama | 5 March 1973 (Sweden)
Trailer
2:19 | Trailer
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
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 22 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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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:
Miles Jonn-Dalton ... Jurgen
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:

A haunting and shattering film experience. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ingmar Bergman explained the use of the color red in this film: "'Cries and Whispers' is an exploration of the soul, and ever since childhood, I have imagined the soul to be a damp membrane in varying shades of red." See more »

Goofs

When Anna wakes up Maria late at night, Maria follows her out of the room barefoot. After they get Karin, Maria has slippers on in the next shot. See more »

Quotes

Maria: I have no need of pardon.
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Connections

Referenced in Sneak Previews: Take 2: The Best Films of the '70s (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Mazurka in A minor, Op.17/4
by Frédéric Chopin
Played by Käbi Laretei (as Kabi Laretei)
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User Reviews

 
One of Ingmar Bergman's most personal statements, one of his best
7 February 2003 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

Cries and Whispers is a film that will strike at least one chord with any viewer on its emotional placement, the almost unflinching (and absolutely masterful) camera technique by Sven Nykvist, and with the characterizations from the four female leads, in-particular the dying Harriet Andersson. This is also a film that will be very hard to stomach for most (it was at times for me), with it's sheer display of constant despair and grief, and the overall state of mind these characters hold. Ullman plays Agnes, marked with Tuberculosis, she lays on her death bed like a zombie writhing in pain for the eventual end, with her two sisters, Maria and Karin, and the servant Anna, at her bedside, though seeming at a distance (except for Anna). Bergman also views Maria and Karin's relationships with themselves and their husbands, both rather brutal (Karin has a scene with a shard of glass that had me gasp).

The examination of these roles, and the entire feel of the house, which is always shown as red as blood, make this in the realm of cinematic drama a shocker, and a masterwork to be certain. There's only one aspect of the film that I can criticize: many times in the film Bergman uses a red screen to fade in and fade out, and then again a few seconds later, and this seems to have not much purpose to the symbolic impact since the inside of the house conveys enough that these people are in a metaphorical house of hell already, and the fadings don't add any weight to it. Nevertheless this is one director's great films, a landmark in fact, though this doesn't mean it's quite as accessible as The Seventh Seal or even the epic Fanny and Alexander.

This is cinema for those who almost enjoy, paradoxically, their intestines ripped out and stomped on the floor only to find out it was just an unforgettable dream. Swedish movies rarely get this visceral. A+


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Sweden

Language:

Swedish | German | Danish

Release Date:

5 March 1973 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Cries and Whispers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,595
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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