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The Best Intentions (1992)

Den goda viljan (original title)
Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, Romance | 10 July 1992 (USA)
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The story of Ingmar Bergman's parents. In 1909, poor, idealistic theology student Henrik Bergman falls in love with Anna Åkerbloom, the intelligent, educated daughter of a rich family in ... See full summary »

Director:

Bille August

Writer:

Ingmar Bergman
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4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Samuel Fröler ... Henrik Bergman
Pernilla August ... Anna Bergman
Max von Sydow ... Johan Åkerblom
Ghita Nørby Ghita Nørby ... Karin Åkerblom
Lennart Hjulström ... Disponent Nordenson
Mona Malm ... Alma Bergman
Lena Endre ... Frida Strandberg
Keve Hjelm ... Fredrik Bergman
Björn Kjellman ... Ernst Åkerblom
Börje Ahlstedt ... Carl Åkerblom
Hans Alfredson ... Kyrkoherde Gransjö
Lena T. Hansson ... Magda Säll
Anita Björk ... Drottning Victoria
Elias Ringquist Elias Ringquist ... Petrus Farg
Ernst Günther ... Freddy Paulin
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Storyline

The story of Ingmar Bergman's parents. In 1909, poor, idealistic theology student Henrik Bergman falls in love with Anna Åkerbloom, the intelligent, educated daughter of a rich family in Uppsala. After their wedding Henrik becomes a priest in the north of Sweden. After a few years Anna can't stand living in the rural county with the uncouth people. She returns to Uppsala, Henrik stays in the north. Written by Robert Stroetgen <stroetgen@rrz.uni-hamburg.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1983 after completing the Oscar winning "Fanny And Alexander", Ingmar Bergman retired from international cinema. Now, after 10 years of writing and reflection, he finds he has "one last story to tell" See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

Swedish

Release Date:

10 July 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Best Intentions See more »

Filming Locations:

Agrigento, Sicily, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,253,106
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ingmar Bergman chose Bille August as director on the condition that Pernilla August be cast as Anna. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Henrik Bergman: So, you don't want us to go on?
Anna Bergman: You know I do. I want nothing else. That is all I want.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original mini-series was released on Swedish television 25 December 1991. Since this preceded the theatrical release, it was not eligible for an Oscar nomination. See more »

Connections

Featured in Bergman - ett år, ett liv (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
When the film's called "The Best Intentions," you know it's going to be an unhappy story
14 September 2016 | by gizmomogwaiSee all my reviews

The winner of the Palme d'Or in 1992, The Best Intentions gave Danish director Bille August his second win of the highest award of the most prestigious film festival in the world, for a film Ingmar Bergman had written. Bergman himself never won the award and didn't direct The Best Intentions, even though he was still directing two decades after his fictional retirement with Fanny and Alexander (1982). If most people in English-speaking countries have never heard of The Best Intentions, there may be a reason- the vast majority would find a three-hour, subtitled unhappy marriage drama unappealing and boring. To some, however, there is a lot to recommend here.

The film touches on issues of faith, the role of church in a changing society, a deteriorating marriage- many topics of which appear throughout Bergman's filmography. A priest struggles on the outskirts of the world in a small community, believing he might do some good, but his wife is deeply unhappy. There are some conflicts with locals who do not like him, including for renting out the church for socialist meetings. Henrik himself is no saint, not particularly deep, sometimes violent against his wife- aspects we see of him as the fictionalized Edvard in Fanny and Alexander. But here we see him suffer a lot more, and it inspires sympathy. Edvard also suffers and I felt sympathy for him too, but Fanny and Alexander is not his film. In a way, The Best Intentions feels like both Ingmar's criticism and reconciliation with his deeply flawed parents.

The Petrus subplot also inspires sympathy and shock- the running to the stream scene is by far the most intense part of the film. It's definitely worth a mention, even if it makes a small part of the running time.


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