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The Serpent's Egg

Ingmar Bergman
USA, West Germany 1977 / 119’
Persona Autumn Sonata

The Serpent's Egg is the only Hollywood production among Ingmar Bergman's countless credits. It's an utterly dark story about Germany in the 1920s, where there are already harbingers of the nightmare to come: the rise of Adolf Hitler and the outbreak of World War II. The result is reminiscent of a paranoid thriller that could be a prequel to Bob Fosse's Caberet.The main character is Abel Rosenberg, a former circus performer and a heavy drinker who exists in the gray background of Berlin, a city filled with impoverished, frustrated masses. The story begins when Abel discovers that his brother has committed suicide. What was behind his unexpected death? Was it ordinary depression or perhaps a wider conspiracy? At the moment when Abel finds out the truth, he also sees what the future has in store for him.

Piotr Mirski

Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman was one of the most important filmmakers in the history of artistic cinema. Born in 1918, he died in 2007 on the very same day that another legend passed away, Michelangelo Antonioni. He began his career in the film industry by correcting screenplays for others. He gained directorial experience as an assistant to Alf Sjöberg on Torment, for which he wrote the script. He made his directorial debut with Crisis. He gained international fame thanks to Smiles of a Summer Night, and then cemented his position with The SeventhSeal and Wild Strawberries, filmed shortly thereafter. The coming years and decades brought him even more success. He regularly worked with cinematographer Sven Nykvist and actors such as Harriet Andersson, Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow. He also worked in the theater.

Selected filmography

1946 Kryzys / Kris / Crisis

1953 Wakacje z Moniką / Sommaren med Monika / Summer with Monika

1955 Uśmiech nocy / Sommarnattens leende / Smiles of a Summer Night

1957 Siódma pieczęć / Det sjunde inseglet / The Seventh Seal

1957 Tam, gdzie rosną poziomki / Smultronstället / Wild Strawberries

1960 Źródło / Jungfrukällan / The Virgin Spring

1961 Jak w zwierciadle / Såsom i en spegel / Through a Glass Darkly

1966 Persona

1972 Szepty i krzyki / Viskningar och rop / Cries and Whispers

1973 Sceny z życia małżeńskiego / Scener ur ett äktenskap / Scenes from a Marriage (TV)

1977 Jajo węża / The Serpent's Egg

1978 Jesienna sonata / Höstsonaten / Autumn Sonata

1983 Fanny i Aleksander / Fanny och Alexander / Fanny and Alexander (TV)

2003 Sarabanda / Saraband (TV)

Cast & Crew

director Ingmar Bergman
screenplay Ingmar Bergman
cinematography Sven Nykvist
editing Jutta Hering
music Rolf Wilhelm
cast David Carradine, Liv Ullmann, Gert Fröbe, Heinz Bennent
producer Dino De Laurentiis
production Dino De Laurentiis Company, Rialto Film, Bavaria Film, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen
sales Park Circus
language English, German
colouration colour & b&w