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Ingmar Bergman: Four Masterworks (The Criterion Collection)


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Ingmar Bergman: Four Masterworks (The Criterion Collection) + The Ingmar Bergman Trilogy (Through a Glass Darkly / Winter Light / The Silence) (The Criterion Collection) + Scenes from a Marriage (The Criterion Collection)
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Product Details

  • Directors: Ingmar Bergman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Swedish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: December 4, 2007
  • Run Time: 384 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WC39FY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,630 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ingmar Bergman: Four Masterworks (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

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.

Customer Reviews

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These films are emblematic of his insight, vision, and depth of understanding of the human soul.
L. Barr
It is amazing that they can use the filters and DNR so well to remove grain and static while maintaining the crystal clear quality of the original filming.
Christopher Barrett
All these transfers are excellent, although the newer Criterion blu-ray of "The Seventh Seal" is a step up even from these first rate transfers.
K. Gordon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 26, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jane Austen on June 23, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Four of Ingmar Bergman's greatest films should be on everyone's "Life List," and they are all here in this Criterion Collection, "Four Masterworks." Each film is on its own disc accompanied by many special features, including an introduction by Bergman to "Smiles of a Summer Night;" interviews with some of his favorite actors; and commentary by film historian Peter Cowie. Video about film restoration too, for the techies in the art world. Picture, audio and subtitles are all crisp - no disappointment in quality that you might find in cheap movie reproductions. Ingmar Bergman was a genius of cinema, and these films are worth passing on to many generations.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Barrett TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 10, 2012
Format: DVD
And my four favorite Bergman films overall. I would say that these films, along with the Trilogy (The Ingmar Bergman Trilogy (Through a Glass Darkly / Winter Light / The Silence) (The Criterion Collection)) are the crowning achievements of this brilliant director's career.

Be aware though, that these are basically the original Criterion DVD releases, just put into one package. They have the same content, just a different outward look. So if you already own these films on Criterion DVD, then you have this collection already, just individually.

Criterion has restored these films beautifully. It is amazing that they can use the filters and DNR so well to remove grain and static while maintaining the crystal clear quality of the original filming. These earlier films have different themes and settings, though they share s style that many of Bergman's earlier films had (perhaps because he switched to a new cinematographer before Through a Glass Darkly). I actually prefer the style of the imagery of these earlier Bergman films. The use of contrast is of particular importance. These are visual masterpieces of black and white film, and I think Bergman may visually be the greatest director to ever work with black and white film (Nods to Ozu, Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Ford, and Welles). These films are a delight to view.

Smiles of a Summer Night is among the more lighthearted of Bergman's films. I particularly love the elderly matriarch, and the dinner scene is laugh out loud hilarious. The film does feature a few Bergman regulars, and they are well matched to their roles. A lot of the film centers around the characters having affairs with one another.
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30 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Ira S. Moss on March 3, 2008
Format: DVD
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.
Skoal!
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