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Widely underrated, probably because of its strong comic elements and a tour-de-force scene derived from horror movie conventions, Bergman's chilling exploration of charlatanism is in fact one of his most genuinely enjoyable films. Von Sydow is the 19th century magician/mesmerist Volger, on the run with his troupe from debts and charges of blasphemy, whose diabolical talents are put to the test by the cynical rationalist Dr Vergerus (Björnstrand); their clash results in humiliation, doubt, and death. Much of the film is devoted to wittily ironic sideswipes at bourgeois hypocrisy; more forceful, however, is the way Bergman transforms Volger's ultimately futile act of revenge into a sequence of nightmarish suspense.

Release details

Duration: 102 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Screenwriter: Ingmar Bergman
Cast: Max von Sydow
Ingrid Thulin
Gunnar Björnstrand
Ake Fridell
Naima Wifstrand
Bibi Andersson
Bengt Ekerot
Erland Josephson

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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Technoguy

Yes this is one of the all time best of his early films,with two of his favoourite performers,Sydow and Thulin.Its got a special place in my collection.

Technoguy

Yes this is one of the all time best of his early films,with two of his favoourite performers,Sydow and Thulin.Its got a special place in my collection.