Hour of the Wolf (Vargtimmen) (1968)
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as Johan Borg
as Alma Borg
as Baron Von Merkens
as Corinne Von Merkens
as Arkivarie Lindhorst
as Gamla Fru von Merken...
as Ernst Von Merkens
as Kurator Heerbrand
as Old Lady with Hat
as Veronica Vogler
as Kapellmastare Kreisl...
as Boy in dream
as Young Boy
as Woman in Mortuary
as Tamino I. Trollflojt...
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Critic Reviews for Hour of the Wolf (Vargtimmen)
Hour of the Wolf is not one of Bergman's great films but it is unthinkable for anyone seriously interested in movies not to see it.
If we allow the images to slip past the gates of logic and enter the deeper levels of our mind, and if we accept Bergman's horror story instead of questioning it, Hour of the Wolf works magnificently.
This 1967 effort is one of Bergman's most outlandish, with its pack of ghouls and its heavy suggestions of exhibitionism, necrophilia, and homosexuality -- a magnificent failure.
Bergman shakes his head and intuitive horrors cascade out, all he has to do is collect image after fulminating image
Audience Reviews for Hour of the Wolf (Vargtimmen)
gorgeous to look at and creepy as hell. max von sydow's dreams invade real life and not only his own
as with many bergman films, i toiled for some time to find a worthwhile and redeemable interpretation, but thankfully, this one gained a slight amount of clarity by the end. not in line with bergman's more masterful works, but not as bad as his overdone floundering films either. some of the dialogue was interesting and max von sydow was convincing as usual.
Hour of the Wolf is the only horror film Ingmar Bergman ever made. And it's amazing. Clearly influenced here by German Expressionism, Bergman and cinematographer Sven Nykvist use exaggerated and stylized light and shadow and deliberately disorienting camera angles to full affect. Bergman's penchant for intense, unblinking close-ups compliments this style of shooting well, and adds a sense of the surreal to the already bizarre happenings. The performances of the castle apparitions -- by actors such as Erland Josephson, Bertil Anderberg, and Ingrid Thulin -- certainly have a definite expressionist, stylized feel to them as well. This expressionist sensibility also calls for the dramatic externalization of the internal; this fits the subject matter of the film in two ways. First and most obvious, the expression of Johan's inner turmoil breaks the psychological barriers between self and other and between reality and unreality (and later, between life and death) necessary for Bergman to create true horror. Second, and a bit less obvious on the surface, is Bergman's own expression here of the internal realities of his own life. It may seem a bit too on-the-nose, but is there any doubt that Von Sydow's Johan is a stand-in for the writer/director himself? The character is a troubled, brilliant artist whose creative visions and past both interfere with his relationship with his pregnant wife. It is certainly no coincidence that the wife in question is played by Liv Ullmann, who at the time was herself pregnant with Bergman's child; the demands of Bergman's art and personality had threatened for a while to tear the two of them apart. There is clearly a dark side to the creative impulse, and its obsessions can impair life in the real world, whether for fictitious artist Johan Borg or real-life Ingmar Bergman. Perhaps that's why this film strikes such a chord: it feels personal, while at the same time fiercely artistic. A must-see for psychological horror fans.
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