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The Criterion Collection Cover

Cries and Whispers (1972)

a.k.a Viskningar och rop

Director: Ingmar Bergman

Plot Synopsis[]

When a woman (Harriet Andersson) dying of cancer in early twentieth-century Sweden is visited by her two sisters (Liv Ullmann and Ingrid Thulin), long-repressed feelings between the siblings rise to the surface.

Male Deaths[]

  • None

Female Deaths[]


  1. It is the fourth foreign-language movie to be nominated for Best Picture (even though it was nominated 46th Oscars where 1973 movie get nominated and it was include). The first foreign-language to win Best Picture is Parasite (2019).
  2. Ingmar Bergman explained the use of the color red in this film: "'Cries and Whispers' is an exploration of the soul, and ever since childhood, I have imagined the soul to be a damp membrane in varying shades of red."
  3. Bergman, who produced the film with his own money, could not find an American distributor as they felt it was too uncommercial. Roger Corman, who had just left American-International Pictures to set up his own New World releasing company, was in the market for a prestige picture to give his new operation some class.
  4. The mansion where the film was shot, Taxinge-Nasby, had not been inhabited for years, and the repainting of the walls with glossy red paint, and the half run-down condition of the place, meant that it had to be extensively renovated by the new caretakers.
  5. The only Best Picture Oscar nominated film directed by legendary director Ingmar Bergman.
  6. There is no audible dialogue for the first 9 minutes of the film, equal to 10% of the film's runtime.
  7. The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year not to be nominated in any of the acting categories.
  8. Distributed in the US by Roger Corman's New World Films which, that same year, also released their more traditional fare in the shape of Night Call Nurses (1972), The Dirt Gang (1972) and Boxcar Bertha (1972). Apparently, Ingmar Bergman was highly amused by this.
  9. The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list.
  10. Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
  11. This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #101.
  12. The film's Best Picture Oscar nomination was the only nomination in such a category for a New World Pictures release in the company's lifetime.