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Prison [1949] [DVD]

Doris Svedlund , Birger Malmsten , Ingmar Bergman    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £7.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Prison [1949] [DVD] + Music In Darkness [1948] [DVD] + Eva [1948] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Doris Svedlund, Birger Malmsten, Eva Henning, Hasse Ekman, Stig Olin
  • Directors: Ingmar Bergman
  • Producers: Lorens Marmstedt
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Swedish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Jun 2006
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000B6F8JQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,323 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Classic Swedish drama from acclaimed director Ingmar Bergman, one of his earliest experimental works. A mathematics teacher approaches one of his former pupils who has become a film director, and asks him to consider an idea for a film about a world where the Devil has declared Earth to be Hell. While the director considers this idea, he is interviewed by a journalist and finds himself recounting a terrible event from his past, that may have a bearing on his next project.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: Swedish ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), English ( Subtitles ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Booklet, Filmographies, Interactive Menu, Production Notes, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: A maths teacher approaches a former pupil, now a film director, with an idea for a film: the Devil declares that the Earth is hell. Upon considering the idea for his next project, the director shares his memories with a journalist while filming an ill-fated passage from his past... Based in and around a movie studio, this experimental and intriguing film is essentially a film within a film and is notable for being the first Bergman film in which Death, a key leitmotif, makes an appearance... ...Prison (1949) ( Fängelse ) ( The Devil's Wanton )

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Bergman's first film where he wrote his own script, and had real
artistic control (in exchange for a tiny budget.).

An aging film professor, just released from a mental asylum, visits an
old student, now a successful director, and challenges him to make a
film showing that the devil really rules the earth. While dismissive in
the moment, the director is haunted by the idea, and a journalist
friend suggests the film could take off from his experience
interviewing a very young prostitute.

We then enter the prostitute's story, and it's (intentionally) never
fully clear if what we're seeing is the film that arose from the
concept, or the truth of the girl's life.

Beautifully photographed, and full of inventive touches (the main
credits are spoken, not seen, over a long tracking shot of a dark
cobblestone street), I was also surprised that it contained more of a
dark sense of humor, about itself and the world, then most critics
acknowledge. In turn, that keeps the film's occasional youthful
over-obsession with despair from ever feeling unbearably sophomoric.

I will admit it lost steam for me in the last third, some of the
performers aren't quite up to the heavy burdens of the script, and a
few sequences are awkward and bespeak Bergman's comparative youth. But
the next morning I found myself haunted by images and moments even if
the whole only felt partly successful.

The Tartan DVD is a very nice transfer.
Comment | 
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2.0 out of 5 stars Early Bergman disappoints 3 Feb 2012
By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
An ex Maths teacher announces he's just been released from a lunatic asylum (as you do) to some people making a film. (He used to teach one of them). He says that he has ideas about the Devil. The filmmakers try to adapt those ideas into a screenplay. Apparently they reject those ideas -after making them - for this film, presumably.

The meandering narrative seems to explore scenarios that surround some pretty miserable and uninteresting people. I think I read that it's Bergman's first film to look solely at mild horror and the place of the Devil, both in philosophy, film and in folklore. Suicide, alcoholism, prostitution, even drowning babies born to the under-aged get limp, clumsy and unconvincing treatment.

It's pretty impossible to follow and no doubt spoilt by knowing what gems came later from the Master of Darkness.

Best thing to come out of it was a line that I've slightly altered - "Life Itself is a terminal illness "
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, inventive, thought provoking early Bergman. 8 April 2012
By K. Gordon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Bergman's first film where he wrote his own script, and had real
artistic control (in exchange for a tiny budget.).

An aging film professor, just released from a mental asylum, visits an
old student, now a successful director, and challenges him to make a
film showing that the devil really rules the earth. While dismissive in
the moment, the director is haunted by the idea, and a journalist
friend suggests the film could take off from his experience
interviewing a very young prostitute.

We then enter the prostitute's story, and it's (intentionally) never
fully clear if what we're seeing is the film that arose from the
concept, or the truth of the girl's life.

Beautifully photographed, and full of inventive touches (the main
credits are spoken, not seen, over a long tracking shot of a dark
cobblestone street), I was also surprised that it contained more of a
dark sense of humor, about itself and the world, then most critics
acknowledge. In turn, that keeps the film's occasional youthful
over-obsession with despair from ever feeling unbearably sophomoric.

I will admit it lost steam for me in the last third, some of the
performers aren't quite up to the heavy burdens of the script, and a
few sequences are awkward and bespeak Bergman's comparative youth. But
the next morning I found myself haunted by images and moments even if
the whole only felt partly successful.
Was this review helpful?   Let us know
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