Scenes from a Marriage

1974 | Drama | 167 minutes | Swedish with English subtitles


It begins with the feeling that Johan and Marianne have a perfect marriage. Married ten years, Johan is a popular professor, Marianne is a successful lawyer, they are parents of two bright daughters, are liked by their friends, and have a lovely home. But shortly we observe the marriage disintegrating. One evening, out of the blue, Johan announces to Marianne that he has fallen in love with a younger woman.  Marianne can’t seem to process all this and Johan doesn’t seem to care. The divorce is brutal, but somehow we feel that Johan and Marianne still have a bond. A kind of love for each other. Johan does leave Marianne and they both marry others. Ten years later they  find themselves in Stockholm while  their spouses are out of the country. They decide to spend the weekend in a nearby cottage. They are middle-aged now but they are people who still have  a need for each other.  The rest of the film depicts scenes from their failed marriage.

Liv Ullman (Marianne) / Erland Josephson (Johan)
Why Stream This Film?
Of the many films about broken marriages, this one will probably shake up viewers. After all, it was written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Who else?
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 90%
  • Golden Globe Awards: Winner, Best Foreign Language Film
  • National Society of Film Critics: Winner, Best Film; Best Screenplay (Ingmar Bergman); Best Actress (Liv Unman)
  • New York Film Critics Circle: Best Screenplay (Ingmar Bergman); Best Actress (Liv Ullman)
This is what Ingmar Bergman has been able to accept, the source of his reconciliation: Beyond love, beyond marriage, beyond the selfishness that destroys love, beyond the centrifugal force that sends egos whirling away from each other and prevents enduring relationships—beyond all these things, there still remains what we know of each other, that we care about each other, that in twenty years these people have touched and known so deeply that they still remember, and still need. And so begins one of the truest, most luminous love stories ever made, Ingmar Bergman’s SCENES from a MARRIAGE
Roger Ebert

As director and writer, Bergman proves that he is one of the cinema’s best and most theatrical writer of actresses.
Emanuel Levy

SCENES from a MARRIAGE is as powerful and compelling a film as any of us are ever likely to see.
Jacoba Atlas

Los Angeles Free Press

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