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Ingmar Bergman - Four Masterworks (Criterion Collection)
Ingmar Bergman - Four Masterworks
Criterion Collection
Director: Ingmar Bergman
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror
UR     2007     6hr 24min

The late, great Swedish master filmmaker Ingmar Bergman rose to international stardom in the 1950s. Here, together in one box set, are four of his most cherished, unforgettable masterpieces.


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Movie Details

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Classics, Horror
Studio: Criterion Collection
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 12/04/2007
Original Release Date: 12/23/1957
Theatrical Release Date: 12/23/1957
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 6hr 24min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 28
Edition: Box set,Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: German, Latin, Swedish
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Beautiful restoration of four key works
LI Techie | Long Island, NY USA | 02/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a technically striking and visually pleasing restoration of four of Bergman's key works. The extras on the disks are sparse, as might be expected. My personal choice was to skip the learned commentary for now, as I wanted to re-experience the three dramas (after about four decades) from my own recollections, though I did enjoy the technical comparisons illustrating the depth and detail of the restoration work. The quality of these disks highlights Bergman's mastery of monochrome cinema, and heightened both my enjoyment and understanding of the works. The favorite of my youth, "The Seventh Seal," is still amazing, though the symbolism is somewhat lessened by the passage of [my] years and, sadly, the broad and often comedic imitation of Bergman's personification of death in others' work. Several of the iconic scenes are even more powerful thanks to the quality of the print. My current favorite is "Virgin Spring," the story of the tragic consequences proceeding from a young girl's innocence and budding romantic awareness leading to rape, murder and brutal revenge. Bergman's skill left me with the heartbreaking picture not only of selfish brutality and young life lost but of the death of beauty itself. "Wild Strawberries" is the work that rose the most in my estimation. It is the fantasy-laced story of an elderly and accomplished man forced to confront the emotional poverty of his youth more directly and deeply than Mr. Scrooge or Professor Unrath. A change of pace is the "Smiles of a Summer Night," an amusing comedy of the absurd which, taken with the other works, shows how Bergman's eye for beautiful young women surely imprinted the image of Swedish womanhood in the west of the last half-century. Excellent sound quality, nicely subtitled in English, and worth every penny, even (perhaps especially) if you already have one or two of the works in poorer prints."
The artist and the technician
Ira S. Moss | Zebulon NC | 03/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"After viewing these 4 films once again, I realize how important some twentieth century films are to our understanding of ourselves, our religons, the way we love one another, and the way we deal with death.
The artistry is within every frame.
There is one interview documentry with Bergman in 1998 with one of his assocites, it is clear that as Bergman got older and older, he wanted to dis-associate himself from these early acheivements. Why? He states that although he knew he was master of the medium (and theater as well)that his personal life, was just a series of bitter disappointments ending with the death of his last wife, Ingrid I beleive. So, he assumed himself to be just an anonymous technician, or at least that's what he wished.
The only compliant I have is that the subtitles are inside of the visual image instead of being letter boxed and the subtitles are sloppily inserted. Not up to Criterion criteria.
One new observation is that the ensamble cast that Bergman uses throughout most of these films are one of the reasons these movies are the classics that they are.
Lastly, Bergman films aren't made to be watched once and discarded, they are made to be re-inestigated year-in and year-out.
Outstanding value!
Michael S. Goldfarb | Verplanck, NY United States | 03/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There's little to add regarding the brilliance of these films - see their individual write-ups if you need convincing that they're all masterworks. The key here is getting them for effectively $20 apiece vs. their usual price of $30 and up. As usual, Criterion did an exceptional job in the presentation of all these films, and they will make proud additions to any collection.

I am by no means a mega-collector - I only accumulate films very gradually (though I started collecting way back in the 70s on 16mm film), and I only purchase films that I know have the staying power to watch repeatedly. But it was a no-brainer to pounce on this set - for $20 each, these classics are too good to resist!

If you already love Bergman, you know how remarkable these films are. If you are a curious, adventurous film fan who wants to see what the shouting is about, then by all means, give them a try!"
Not exactly what it says on the cover
Bugnar Adrian | ROMANIA | 06/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I don't know about the other people that bought this box set, but in my case there aren't any bonus features on The Seventh Seal disc at all, despite what it says on the cover about commentary and other stuff...
5 stars for these masterpieces but I have to say it is the first time Criterion disappointed me...Is there anyone else in this situation?"