Director: 
Ingmar Bergman
Runtime: 
5580
Language: 
Age Group: 
15 and above

Plot:

Grouchy, stubborn, and egotistical Professor Isak Borg is a widowed 78-year-old physician who specialized in bacteriology. Before specializing he served as general practitioner in rural Sweden. He sets out on a long car ride from Stockholm to Lund to be awarded the degree of Doctor Jubilaris 50 years after he received his doctorate from Lund University. He is accompanied by his pregnant daughter-in-law Marianne who does not much like her father-in-law and is planning to separate from her husband, Evald, Isak's only son.

During the trip, Isak is forced by nightmares, daydreams, old age, and impending death to reevaluate his life. He meets a series of hitchhikers, each of whom sets off dreams or reveries into Borg's troubled past. The first group consists of two young men and their companion, a woman named Sara who is adored by both men. Sara, a double for Isak's love of his youth, is played by the same actress. The first group remains with him throughout his journey. Next Isak and Marianne pick up an embittered middle-aged couple whose vehicle has nearly collided with theirs. The pair exchanges such terrible vitriol and venom that Marianne stops the car and demands that they leave. The couple reminds Isak of his own unhappy marriage. He reminisces about his childhood at the seaside and his sweetheart Sara. He is confronted by his loneliness and aloofness, recognizing these traits in both his ancient mother and in his middle-aged physician son, and he gradually begins to accept himself, his past, his present, and his approaching death.

Borg finally arrives at his destination and is promoted to Doctor Jubilaris, but this proves to be an empty ritual. That night, he bids a loving goodbye to his young friends, to whom the once bitter old man whispers in response to a playful declaration of the young girl's love, "I'll remember." As he goes to his bed in his son's home, he is overcome by a sense of peace and dreams of a family picnic by a lake. Closure and affirmation of life have finally come, and Borg's face radiates joy.

Cast:

·         Victor Sjöström as Professor Isak Borg      

·         Bibi Andersson as Sara

·         Ingrid Thulin as Marianne Borg

·         Gunnar Björnstrand as Evald Borg

·         Jullan Kindahl as Agda

 

Poster (s): 
Long Title: 
Smultronstället