With the exception of his elderly housekeeper Miss Agda who he treats almost like a surrogate platonic wife, widowed seventy-eight year old Dr. Isak Borg, a former medical doctor and professor, has retreated from any human contact, partly his own want but partly the decision of others who do not want to spend time with him because of his cold demeanor. He is traveling from his home in Stockholm to Lund to accept an honorary degree. Instead of flying as was the original plan, he decides to take the day long drive instead. Along for the ride is his daughter-in-law Marianne, who had been staying with him for the month but has now decided to go home. The many stops and encounters along the way make him reminisce about various parts of his life. Those stops which make him reminisce directly are at his childhood summer home, at the home of his equally emotionally cold mother, and at a gas station where the attendants praise him as a man for his work. But the lives of other people they ... Written by
from Ingmar Bergman...creator of "Smiles of a Summer Night" and "The Seventh Seal"
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Did You Know?
According to the Swedish DVD release (which contains an introductory interview with Bergman himself), Ingmar Bergman
wrote the movie with Victor Sjöström
in mind. He and the production company agreed that there would be no movie without Sjöström. Bergman didn't dare to call his idol Sjöström himself about the movie though, so the head of the production company made the call. Sjöström was initially reluctant, due to his advanced age, but agreed to meet with Bergman to discuss the movie. So Bergman went to his apartment and talked about it, Sjöström said he'll think about it. The next morning Sjöström called and agreed to the part on one condition: that he would be able to come home and have his whiskey grog at 5 pm every day. See more
It has been included as a continuity error that Marianne says she is going to go swimming at the old house, but when she returns her hair does not appear to be wet. This is not a continuity error, because when the film was shot in the late 1950s, and for at least a decade afterwards, at least in the Nordic countries women gathered their hair up and covered it with a special swimming cap to protect their hair from becoming wet. Some women who had grown up during those times used swimming caps as late as the 1980s, because they had grown up with the custom, and a swimming cap was to them just as integral part of swimming attire as a swimming suit. See more
All along the line, there's nothing but cold and death and loneliness
Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: The Cell
UNDER ROENN OCH SYREN / BLOMMANDE SKOENA DALAR
Music by Herman Palm
Lyrics by Sakari Topelius See more