The Silence (1963) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Silence (1963)

The Silence (1963)

The Silence




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The third film in the Ingmar Bergman trilogy beginning with Through a Glass Darkly and Winter Light, this movie follows the sisters Ester (Ingrid Thulin) and Anna (Gunnel Lindblom) as they travel to their Swedish home in the company of Anna's son, Johan (Jorgen Lindstrom). While Ester is a sexually frustrated lesbian, her sister engages in numerous sexual relations with a series of men, and their sexual drives are at the root of the tragedy that befalls them during a hotel stay.more
Rating: R
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Ingmar Bergman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 19, 2003
Criterion Collection


Hakan Jahnberg
as Hotel Waiter
Hakan Jahnberb
as The Waiter
Birger Malmsten
as Restaurant Waiter
Eduardo Gutierrez
as Dwarf Manager
Lissi Alandh
as Girl in Cabaret
Leif Forstenberg
as Man in Cabaret
Kristina Olansson
as Double for Gunnel Li...
Nils Waldt
as Cashier in Cinema
Birger Lensander
as Usher in Cinema
Olaf Widgren
as Old Man in hotel cor...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Silence

Critic Reviews for The Silence

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3)

One of his most perfectly realized efforts.

Full Review… | August 1, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

There is not much dialogue, almost no music, but the sex scenes have vigor and primitive power, to say the least.

Full Review… | August 1, 2007
Top Critic

Unfortunately, Mr. Bergman has not given us enough to draw on, to find the underlying meaning or emotional satisfaction in this film.

Full Review… | July 20, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Truly intense and cinematically arresting.

Full Review… | August 17, 2010
Cinema Writer

One of Bergman's best realized psychological dramas.

Full Review… | August 9, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A bleak study of psycho-sexual cruelty, delivered with predictable brilliance by Bergman and Nykvist.

Full Review… | May 3, 2007
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for The Silence


Ingmar Bergman, 1918-2007

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer


i'll be in the minority in this among bergman fans, but i don't find much about this film i enjoy. the imagery is completely stunning, and the effect of the relative silence of the film has great effect when we get the emotional outburst from anna towards the end, but overall i felt that this film crawled along in anticipation, waiting for that great moment that never really came. the whole thing plays like a private family affair that you're witnessing but never really being let in on, relegated to the fringe and left hoping to figure out the significance of what you're seeing. the silence of the film has a deafening effect that may have been intended, one in which the viewer feels that their ears are ringing and the story takes place on another plane of existence, but this also left a dull effect. whatever, the purpose, the war imagery seemed to play up the boiling over of the sister's relationship, but it all felt a bit trite to me. in the end, an average film.

danny d

Super Reviewer

Last in the "Silent God" trilogy and certainly the most surreal.

A very bleak and slightly claustrophobic look at two sisters traveling home after a holiday with a small boy who we eventually learn is the son / nephew of the two.

Things come to a head when they stop to stay in a hotel for a few days, to allow for the "elder" sister to recover from her "illness" before continuing on with their journey home. Luckily for us, the hotel the have chosen is filled with a very "Lynchian" group of characters.

The sisters realtionship is strained to say the least and as the film progresses we learn the the elders alcoholism is the least of her issues, while the younger seems a bit of a nymphomaniac. All of which is complicated significantly by an underlying hint of incest. And the relationship of the boy between the two, both of whom (in a sense) act as a mother figure to him.

As with all Bergman films, you will either be sucked in immediately to the world he has created and enjoy being a "fly on the wall" or you will find it rather slow, bleak and unintriguing. His films aren't for everyone, but I tend to really enjoy them.

Robert C

Super Reviewer

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