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The Ingmar Bergman Collection (6-dvd Box Set)

3.7 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

There is no denying this fact: Ingmar Bergman's films are true commitments. Though averaging only an hour and a half in length, the psychological depth, the magnitude of human exploration, and the emotional rollercoaster you embark on while watching his films can stick with you for a lifetime. According to Bergman, "No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls." By the mid-sixties, Bergman was about to show the world how far the medium film could go. He began to move away from his Seventh Seal style into the dreamlike, deconstructive, nonlinear realm that would continue throughout his career. This DVD set wonderfully captures all his landmark films of the late 1960s marking this significant transition. Each film stars Liv Ullmann, Bergman's beautiful muse, and involves another longtime collaborator, cinematographer Sven Nykvist. Each film has been remastered, and is presented in its unedited theatrical version loaded with pertinent extras, including a featurette on each film, interviews with cast members (every disc has an on-camera interview with Liv Ullmann), a feature-length commentary by Bergman biographer Marc Gervais on four of the films, and a wonderfully surprising commentary by David Carradine on The Serpent's Egg. Couple these films with an extra disc of supplemental material and you have yourself an incredible Ingmar Bergman film festival. --Rob Bracco

The Films:
In Persona (1966), Elisabeth Vogler (Live Ullmann) has stopped speaking and withdrawn from the world. At her doctor's orders, she moves to a remote cottage to be watched over by Nurse Alma (Bibi Andersson). To fill the silence, Nurse Alma talks aloud to her silent listener and slowly lays out her soul and identity to her patient. In essence, the nurse becomes the patient herself. If the extent of your Bergman exposure is The Seventh Seal, be prepared to get blown away by this film's hallucinatory, multilayered exploration in identity and personality. The hallucinatory analysis of personal identify continues with the haunting The Hour of the Wolf (Vargtimmen) (1968). Artist Johan Berg (Max von Sydow) is desperately trying hold on to his sanity, while being haunted by his demons. His wife (Ullmann) is trying to help, but also begins to share Johan's hallucinations. As they both begin a downward spiral Ullmann has to make a painful decision between the love of her husband or her own sanity. Shame (Skammen) (1968) stars von Sydow and Ullmann as a couple in the midst of a civil war. They escape to their farm for safety only to be haunted by the soldiers that invade their home. The Passion of Anna (En Passion) (1969) again stars von Sydow and Ullmann. Andreas and Anna live on a remote island with a neighboring couple. While trying to escape the skeletons of their pasts, they each seek solace in one another, even as their lives are torn apart by deception, isolation and psychological turmoil. The last film in the set is a leap forward to 1977. The Serpent's Egg (Das Schlangenei) may be the weakest of the set, but by no means is it a lesser film. It tells the tale of two Jewish trapeze artists trapped in Berlin during the Nazis regime. Bergman would only turn out three more feature films before disappearing into retirement. --Rob Bracco

Product Details

  • Format: Box set, DVD
  • Language: Swedish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000Z805W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,521 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Ingmar Bergman Collection (6-dvd Box Set)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had originally given this collection 5 stars, but then did some investigating. It turns out that although they've fixed the aspect ratios on a couple of the films, they are still wrong on Shame, Persona, and Hour of the Wolf. This effectively chops out about 12% of the films, destroying Bergman's original compositions. I didn't believe it at first until I went through scene-by-scene and realized the horrible truth.

UPDATE 2012: DVDBeaver reports that MGM now ships corrected versions, though obviously I am stuck with what I have at this point. According to them, the only way to be sure is to look at the UPC code. "The corrected MGM boxset can be identified by its UPC code and Catalog number: UPC# 0 27616 91137 7 and Catalog# 1006999. Both numbers are found on a white sticker situated over the spot where the old UPC is printed, at the bottom of the box (old UPC# 0 27616 90225 2 -- old Catalog# 1005996)."

More information here: [...]
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Format: DVD
After much confusion, the long-awaited Bergman set has finally come out. You can disregard all the negative comments you may have read about faked aspect ratios, etc. Yes, MGM tried to pull a fast one on a couple of the titles in this box, but after being caught out, they did the right thing by pulling the box and waiting to issue an excellent set with transfers that easily match those of Criterion, Kino, etc. (Let's hear it for consumer power!) All the titles are now in their proper aspect ratio. The black and white transfers (Persona, Hour of the Wolf and Shame) are truly beautiful. These films have probably not looked this good since they first came out. The digital transfers for the two colour titles offer equally fine video and clear original audio. The disc of bonus materials is fascinating, with rare interviews with Bergman himself from 1970 and 2002. The bonus disc and the five individual titles also offer interviews with key Bergman players, including Erland Josephson, Bibi Anderson and the ever-insightful Liv Ullmann.
As for the films, they speak for themselves. If you still haven't seen the four sixties films in this box (the summit of Bergman's art in the opinion of many critics), here's a chance to get acquainted with some truly great late-20th century art. Forget about the bad press. MGM got it right this time.
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Format: DVD
MGM (USA) have made an appalling series of errors with their new Bergman boxset. Two films in the set have been heavily cropped from their original 1.37:1 aspect ratio to a very noticeable 1.66:1; and Persona is missing roughly 11.5% of screen information despite being 1.33:1. This is a faux pas the like of which has not been seen for a long time in DVD land. There is no precedent for Hour of the Wolf and Shame being 1.66:1 yet MGM seem to think that these films were shown theatrically at this ratio. With characters' heads chopped in half, Bergman and Nykvist's careful framing is ruined at 1.66:1 (the transfers are non-anamorphic too). R1 Bergman fans should strongly consider holding off this boxset.
DVDBeaver's enlightening examination is clear for all to see. Either MGM will withdraw the set or suffer very poor sales. Maybe Greg Carson, the set's producer, can provide a statement on the matter?
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Format: VHS Tape
'The Passion of Anna' sometimes feels like a compendium of Bergman films, such as 'The Seventh Seal' (Max Von Sydow struggling to find meaning in an apocalyptic environment), 'Persona' (Liv Ullmann and Bibi Andersson as two women suffering on a remote island) and 'Hour of the Wolf' (Von Sydow, living with Ullmann on a remote island, tempted by sophisticated strangers led by Erland Josephson).
But though the film deals with the many of those films' themes - emotional violence, power mind-games, dissatisfaction, ennui, exile - it somehow seems lighter, less like spending two hours on a (nerve) rack. This may be because though the title refers to two kinds of passion - an overwhelming love for or interest in something, and a journey of trials and sufferings leading to some kind of redemption - it features a hero who is removed from either.
A gruesome mystery element soon intrudes, as an unknown figure starts slaughtering all the animals on the island. This element performs at least two functions - by asking the question, who is this madman, it forces us to look more closely at our characters; and it creates an apocalyptic feel that is an appropriate backdrop to the characters' mental deterioraton or fatigue, while also suggesting a wider, largely unseen social framework against which these isolated figures exist.
It also contributes to the film's bleak colour scheme - though in colour, the film's winter setting is all brown and grey, with big black bare trees, swathes of mud and stone, dirty smudges of snow. This has obvious symbolic value - just as we first meet Von Sydow repairing his roof, as if trying to paper the cracks in his mind; so we see him alone, sometimes drunk, in this huge, empty landscape, peopled only by dead animals, elusive madmen and an unseen mob.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's disappointing, because I have wanted these discs for so long. I would rate this a 5 for the content, and a 1 for the flub. This rating could change depending on how MGM handles the exchange.
For those who have received the set and are wondering about the exchange, the following is from
Statement from MGM Home Entertainment regarding the recall of the INGMAR BERGMAN COLLECTION...
"It has come to our attention that the transfers utilized for the release of Ingmar Bergman's "Hour of the Wolf" Special Edition DVD and "Shame" Special Edition DVD are not representative of the intended theatrical presentation.
"In order to provide customers with the best quality product available, we are recalling the product at retail and will be releasing both films in a 1:37:1 aspect ratio on April 20, 2004.
"The Ingmar Bergman DVD Collection will also be available on that date. MGM Home Entertainment always strives to provide the highest standard of product and customer care. For additional information or comments, please contact our customer service at 877/646-4968."
Calling the number gives a recorded message that an email should be sent to, subject line Ingmar Bergman, text of email should have name address and contact phone & MGM will contact you about exchanging the disc.
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