: : : Scenes From a Marriage

Story

Ingmar Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage opens with a couple--Marianne (Liv Ullmann) and Johan (Erland Josephson)--being interviewed for a magazine. Every moment seems to teeter on the brink of some rupture; just as they start to get comfortable, the interviewer has them freeze for a photograph. After making some bland general statements, they both start admitting intimate details, confessing that they were brought together by mutual misery, then cheerfully claiming that theirs is a model marriage. The entirety of Scenes from a Marriage, which chronicles their emotional relationship even after their divorce and marriages to other people, continues to have these contradictory moments of honesty and self-deception, cruelty and kindness, concern and self-obsession--all laid bare by the skillful actors and the subtle, constantly shifting screenplay. Every scene is a small movie unto itself; in fact, Scenes from a Marriage was originally a six-episode TV show, which was carefully edited down into a unified film. This is one of Bergman's most immediate and accessible works, concerned more with the facts of human behavior than symbolism or abstract themes. Bergman understands how to balance what could be horrible pain and despair with the characters' earnest efforts to improve their lives. His imitators reduce everything to sheer suffering and alienation; Bergman sees the best in his characters, even when their actions are terrible. This 1973 film won numerous awards, including several acting honors for Ullmann. --Bret Fetzer

DVD Features

  • Video interview with Bergman scholar Peter Cowie comparing the two versions of Scenes from a Marriage
  • New video interview with stars Liv Ullman and Erland Josephson
  • 1986 Video Interview With Ingmar Bergman
  • New Essay by Author Phillip Lopate

Cast

Liv Ullmann
Bibi Andersson
Erland Josephson

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Ingmar Bergman
  • Producer: Criterion/Voyager
  • Length: 462 minutes
  • Aspect ratio: Standard 1.33:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaSep 15, 1974
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaMar 9, 2004
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