Ingmar Bergman

The Serpent’s Egg

The Serpent’s Egg

One rainy night in Weimar Berlin, Jewish American circus performer Abel Rosenberg (David Carradine) discovers that his brother Max, his trapeze-act partner, has killed himself. What follows is one of Bergman’s darkest and most fearful visions, as the drowned-in-drink Abel and Max’s ex-wife, cabaret singer Manuela (Liv Ullmann), feel increasingly unwelcome in a menacing and destitute city, eyed by the police as well as a scientist with diabolical intentions. The director’s sole big-budget Hollywood production, for which he created a surreal and atmospheric Berlin on a Munich soundstage, The Serpent’s Egg conjures a Kafkaesque nightmare about the decaying society that gave rise to the horrors of Nazism.

Film Info

  • Ingmar Bergman
  • United States
  • 1977
  • 119 minutes
  • 1.66:1
  • English, German

Available In

Collector's Set

Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema

Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema

Blu-Ray Box Set

30 Discs

$239.96

The Serpent’s Egg
Cast
Liv Ullmann
Manuela Rosenberg
David Carradine
Abel Rosenberg
Gert Fröbe
Inspector Bauer
Heinz Bennent
Hans Vergerus
Fritz Strassner
Dr. Soltermann
Hans Quest
Dr. Silbermann
Edith Heerdegen
Mrs. Holle
James Whitmore
The priest
Glynn Turman
Monroe
Credits
Director
Ingmar Bergman
Producer
Dino De Laurentiis
Music
Rolf A.
Cinematographer
Sven Nykvist
Editor
Jutta Hering
Production design
Rolf Zehetbauer
Art direction
Werner Achmann
Art direction
Friedrich Thaler
Costume design
Charlotte Flemming
Assistant director
Wieland Liebske
Sound
Karsten Ullrich

From The Current

The Touch and The Serpent’s Egg: Foreign Tongues

Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema

The Touch and The Serpent’s Egg: Foreign Tongues

Critically maligned upon their release, Ingmar Bergman’s only two English-language films show the master’s artistry at its most restrained and its most convoluted.

By Karan Mahajan

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Ingmar Bergman

Director

Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman

The Swedish auteur began his artistic career in the theater but eventually navigated toward film—"the great adventure," as he called it—initially as a screenwriter and then as a director. Simply put, in the fifties and sixties, the name Ingmar Bergman was synonymous with European art cinema. Yet his incredible run of successes in that era—including The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, and The Virgin Spring, haunting black-and-white elegies on the nature of God and death—merely paved the way for a long and continuously dazzling career that would take him from the daring “Silence of God” trilogy (Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, The Silence) to the existential terrors of Cries and Whispers to the family epic Fanny and Alexander, with which he “retired” from the cinema. Bergman died in July 2007, leaving behind one of the richest bodies of work in the history of cinema.